Ten Questions with Ken Samples
by Dayton Hartman
One of the most widely recognized apologetics organizations is the California-based Reasons to Believe. The apologists comprising the scholar team at Reasons are highly sought after speakers with seemingly endless speaking schedules. So, I am very thankful that one of the scholars, Ken Samples, set aside some time to answer ten questions.*
Dayton: “Ken, for those who may not know, could you tell us a little bit about what you do at Reasons To Believe and how you ended up on the scholar team?”
Ken Samples: “I serve as a senior research scholar at Reasons To Believe (reasons.org), a science-faith think tank founded by astronomer and Christian apologist Hugh Ross. I focus on apologetics issues from both a theological and philosophical perspective. Broadly speaking, my role in the organization is to help provide theological and philosophical assistance in RTB’s apologetics-oriented integration of historic Christianity’s two revelatory books (the metaphorical Book of Nature [God’s World] and the literal Book of Scripture [God’s Word]).
My activities at RTB include writing articles and books, presenting lectures at churches and universities, doing radio and TV interviews, as well as participating in the weekly podcasts, I Didn’t Know That! and Straight Thinking. Prior to coming to RTB, I worked first as a research scholar at the Christian Research Institute (CRI) with the original Bible Answer Man—Walter Martin. After leaving CRI, I lectured on philosophy and religion at a couple of Southern California colleges for about five years.
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I first met Hugh Ross when he gave some talks on science apologetics for the CRI research staff. In 1997, when Hugh gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse, I came to work for RTB!”
Dayton: “I understand that at one time you were on the fast-track to becoming a professional baseball player. So, what happened? How did you go from pursuing professional sports to spending your life as a Christian thinker?”
Ken Samples: “I would describe my pursuit of a baseball career in much more modest terms. After high school I played semi-professional baseball in the Los Angeles area for a couple of years. I was fortunate enough to play with a number of athletes who went on to Major League careers, such as Darryl Strawberry. I was scouted, but I never signed a Major League contract.
Though raised in a nominally Catholic family, I became a Christian my second year in college after the premature death of my older brother. C. S. Lewis’ apologetics writings played a significant role in my thinking through the big questions of life, especially the problem of suffering.
Studying philosophy in college seemed a natural fit. My World War II veteran father always said I asked far too many philosophical questions and one of my baseball coaches even gave me the nickname “Professor.” I ended up earning undergraduate degrees in philosophy and history and a graduate degree in theology. While in college I had the privilege of going to work for Walter Martin and my interest in Christian theology, philosophy, and apologetics has never waned…
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