10 Presentations You Must See

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10 Presentations You Must See

Lists like this are a bit of a gimmick. “Click bait” is the term, I believe. But I’m listing them here out of a conviction that the presentations that follow are, in fact, worth your time. While other presentations surely are just as worthy of your time, these are ten that have impressed me as worth hearing here at the end of 2016 (and, no, these aren’t necessarily presentations made or posted in 2016).

Now, I struggled with even the thought of attempting to rank these, or even to put them here in any particular order. Different considerations would result in a different ordering. But I’m not ranking or ordering them in terms of importance. I feel like each is important is significant and notable ways. So, I offer you ten presentations I believe you’ll want to watch or hear.

10. Alexandr Misko • Billie Jean on Guitar

This is a great and fun place to start, to give us something to appreciate when someone is skilled way above what is normal.

9. Scott Klusendorf and Nadine Strossen • Abortion Debate

These are two skilled communicators. But listen carefully to their arguments. Listen carefully to Scott’s initial case. Then tell me if it actually is answered. Seriously, learn from Scott. Once you are finished, go back and listen to his opening case again. Then learn it. Oh, and don’t overlook how Scott is so familiar with the relevant sources that when they are misread or misused he is ready to point that up. Just brilliant. Then again, the point isn’t simply to praise Scott but to learn his message for the sake of the most vulnerable in our society – unborn humans.

8. Doug Groothuis • Lament as Christian Apologetic

Oh, this one resonates deeply in my heart. Doug is a friend and mentor from my seminary days. He has suffered, learned to suffer, and learned to suffer well. But this is a biblical tradition, even a calling. This one is worth listening to a few times every year – perhaps once every three months.

7. Gary Haugen • The Hidden Reason for Poverty

Do you care about the poor? Want to do something about it? Here is no mere emotivism, no guilt-tripping, no cliché-ridden rant. Here is a perspective drawn from hard experience.

6. Simon Sinek • Millennials in the Work Place

Honestly, I’m still pondering this one. There is a lot here that both rings true and is evidentially supportable. But some of the observations come off more as informed intuitions that perhaps are right, though we’ll have to look a little closer and see. But Sinek suggests what I sense may be a perfect storm in our culture, one that already is taking a toll and still gaining momentum.

5. Dave Brubek • Take Five

Okay, it is time for another music break. This time, a classic for you. Groovy, man!

4. David Foster Wallace • This Is Water

What kind of perspective of others do we foster? Each time I listen to this, I find it convicting and illuminating. Wallace was a complicated individual. I’d love to read his book Infinite Jest, if only I, as a somewhat slow reader, didn’t look at the book and see it as infinitely long. Some day, perhaps.

3. Jonathan Haidt • Two Incompatible Sacred Values in American Universities

I’ve known of Haidt’s work for a few years now. This is a recent presentation that helps us see the difference between justice and injustice in a very important way. Universities have to make a choice here. Other institutions too.

2. Camille Paglia • Signs of Cultural Collapse

Okay, again, like Sinek’s presentation above, this is one I’m still pondering. I’m not confident I can simply affirm it all. But there is something deeply important when we look not simply at individuals on the stage today but at civilizations gone by.

1. Robert P. George • Morality and Neo-Gnosticism

Professor George is an eminent scholar and gentleman. To my mind, he embodies what it means to be a Christian scholar in the academy today. There is a profound clarity to his insights and resolve in his convictions. Frankly, I’ll be listening to this presentation another time or two before 2017 emerges.

That’s all for now. Again, other presentations could have been selected. These are ten that surfaced as I contemplated the many I had seen (perhaps again) this year.

Are there any that have stood out for you, that you believe others must see? Share them in the comments below, if you would.

Cheers from the Oxford Study Centre!

• • •

And…for some bonus material.

1 Hello

2 This Land Is Mine

3 Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions

4 The Office and CPR

5 Stressed Out

6 Way Beyond Reasonable…but Fantastic!

7 That’s a Wrap? (just don’t)

8 Only Watch This Once (if you can)

9 Who Woulda Thought?

10 You’re Fired!

More to come…perhaps.

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