Interview With Greg West

AA: Please tell us something about your family, work, family life and your faith in Christ.

Greg: I have the most wonderful wife in the world who is my full partner in my life and our ministry. We are blessed with a son who just turned nine. I met my wife at the church that we currently attend. She works full time while I work full time on The Poached Egg and double as a stay-at-home-dad. I was raised in the church and in a Christian home but as a young man doubt in Christianity being the ‘one true faith’ led me to becoming an agnostic for many years.

The problem of the human condition—how sinful man was began to make me realize that the things I was taught growing up about Christianity corresponded with what I knew of reality and I became more and more open to Christianity being true, but I resisted—I didn’t want it to be true because that would mean making some major lifestyle changes if I were to become a follower of Christ.

I soon realized that there was either no hope for salvation outside of Christ so I placed my faith in him once and for all. It wasn’t long after this that I began to study apologetics, first to ease my own doubts and then later to see if the truth claims of Christianity could really stand up to scrutiny.

AA: Please tell us something about your ministry "The Poached Egg". Why this name and what is it about?

Greg: That’s a good question and I get it often. It’s a hat tip to one of my favorite quotes fro C.S.Lewis from his book Mere Christianity. Lewis said, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.”

The focus of The Poached Egg is ‘Is Jesus who he really claimed to be; Are the truth claims of Christianity worth believing?” We try to cover those questions from as many different directions as possible—to help believers learn how to defend their faith and to give provide answers for seekers and respond to skepticism.

AA: What difference does it make whether one believes the world was created or evolved?
Greg: What we’re basically talking about is the difference between a naturalistic worldview (the belief that nothing exists outside of nature) and a Christian, or biblical worldview. The former means that we’re ultimately not responsible to anyone but ourselves, and the latter means that we are accountable to someone much greater than ourselves.

AA: The first eleven chapters of Genesis have incurred the most criticism from modern scholars, scientists, and skeptics. How shall we interpret these eleven chapters? There are multiple arguments on the authorship and that is it a poetry, parable, prophecy, or truth?
Greg: I would rather help someone learn how to interpret the Bible than tell them how I think it should be interpreted. We have to realize that although the Bible was written for us, it was not written to us, and that to interpret it correctly we have to look at it through different lenses which is the historical and cultural times it was written. Although the Bible does contain many scientific truths, I think it’s a big mistake to treat it as a science textbook. I believe that when God’s special revelation of the Bible and his general revelation through nature are both interpreted correctly, that they will be in harmony every time. I don’t think that believing one over the other is an option since both are from God.

AA: Progressive creationism is becoming very popular among evangelical Christians now a days. Is it a viable option?
Greg: I think it’s a very viable option and one that I’m a proponent of. I really like what’s going on with organizations such as the Discovery Institute and Hugh Ross and his staff over at Reasons to Believe. I also believe that a good case for it can be made from the scriptures alone. But at the same time, I try to be open to other models, even if I don’t necessarily agree with them. I’m not sure that any of us will have it 100% right this side of eternity. Maybe someday we’ll al have a good laugh up in heaven over how wrong we all were!

AA: Did God really took billions of years for creation, or was God actually referring to a literal 24-hour time-period in reference to each, individual creation day?
Greg: To me, the evidence is so much in favor of the progressive creation model. Although many scientists are Christians or have become Christians because of the evidence for creation, I don’t know of a single scientist who became a believer because he became convinced of a literal six-day creation. Like I said, progressive creation is the model I favor, but it’s not something I hold on to dogmatically.

AA: Is Jesus God? How?

Greg: I believe wholeheartedly that Jesus is God because he is the whole focal point of scripture, which points to his coming in the Old Testament, of which he is the fulfillment of in the New Testament. On top of that, I think that the case for reliability of the Bible and the case for the resurrection are quite solid.

As for the ‘how’, I’ll leave it to more competent theologians than me to be able to explain how the hypostatic union works.

AA: How to witness non-believers?

Greg: First and foremost, I think relationship is the key. A friend who trusts you is going to be more likely to listen to what you have to say than someone you don’t know, although we want to be aware that God can open the door for opportunities to share with strangers as well. Second, I think you have to be prepared to answer some tough questions to help them overcome any emotional or intellectual arguments they may have about Christianity. Of course not many of us can know the answer to every question, but it would help to at least know some of the answers to the most common objections. You also have to remember that you may just be the one planting a seed and that someone else may be the one to cultivate it. Never get discouraged and keep lifting them up in prayer.I’ve seen God change the hardest of hearts—especially mine.

AA: Any tip for new apologists?

Greg: I could almost write a book on this topic, but I’ll try to narrow it down a bit… Keep in mind that apologetics is not about winning arguments. If your goal is just to ‘one up’ someone, you may as well not even bother. Our first goal should always be to share Christ and be Christ-like, and that’s sometimes hard to do when we feel like our intellect is under attack. Also learn some basic philosophy which will help you recognize bad arguments and how to counter them. Never assume, that just because you’ve read a few apologetics books or have listened to a few lectures, that you’re an expert on all things apologetics. I’ve been seriously studying apologetics for nearly ten years now and consider myself a fair to middle apologist.

If you don’t know the answer to something, be genuine and honest. If you try to fake it, it will only damage your credibility. Lastly, never let yourself lose control; always answer with gentleness and respect. When a skeptic or seeker sees consistency from you in this area, you may just find that they will be more open to listening to what you have to say.