by David Theriault (Dave T.)
Video Producer, Ligonier Ministries
I'd like to begin this with a preface, which really amounts to a disclaimer. I came to Ligonier over two years ago from Los Angeles to be their 'video guy.' I have no formal theological training, but have been a believer for over twenty years. I knew that working here would have its perks, whether it was the weekly devotional for employees led by Rev. Burk Parsons, the kindred nature of working with like minded colleagues, or the recognition that my family was rightly prioritized over career ambitions, and more. What I hadn't given too much thought to was that I would be exposed to such tremendous theological instruction and wisdom on a daily basis, just by doing my job as the 'video guy.'
My most recent education came as I edited, and then checked the series Handout Apologetics by Dr. John Gerstner. I had seen bits and pieces of his teaching over the last couple of years, and found his gruff style and gravelly voice to be endearing, if not oddly charming. What I didn't come to appreciate until now, was what a great teacher he was. My process of authoring a DVD has many steps that I don't need to get into here, but one of the last steps is to watch the check discs in real time, in order to keep a watchful eye for video or audio glitches and such. It was during this process that I really came to value the teaching of this icon of theology - the man whom Dr. R.C. Sproul called his mentor.
It might seem odd, at first, that this series rarely delves into specific Scripture to make its defense of the Christian faith, but Dr. Gerstner rather takes the listener on a philosophical, very linear, logical, reasoned journey that defends the Christian faith, and it gives heart to any Christian who has been accused of leaving logic and reason outside the church door.
In doing so he gives what is a powerful and strong evangelization tool to any Christian believer who inevitably confronts the naysayer who views Christianity as an 'opiate for the masses,' or to defend the faith to those who consider believers to be intellectually inferior by mere virtue of their faith in Jesus, or of a just and righteous God. Much of what filled my mind as I watched was, "Could this series help my older brother?;" "Could it help that college professor with whom I've recently been exchanging e-mails?" When I set out on this task I had no idea that this series would give me such an effective mechanism to share my faith, especially with the many intellectuals that have been peppered throughout my life.
The frosting on the DVD comes in the form of what I think is an unreleased "Introduction" with Dr. Sproul interviewing Dr. Gerstner. It may have aired on TV at some point in the distant past, but it is a unique and fun interaction between them from 1990 when this series was originally taped. It shows the camaraderie they shared, as well as their mutual respect and admiration, and gives some insight into Dr. Gerstner's early years as a Christian.
So there's something to ponder from a 'video guy.' And I thank God for this unexpected job 'perk.'
Here's the introductory video with Drs. Sproul and Gerstner: