(Above: A meeting of the minds, from L-R – Greg Burgess, Calvin “Speedy” Wilburn, Rick Burgess, John Lennox, me, and William “Bubba” Bussey)
This morning it was my pleasure to once again be a guest on “The Rick & Bubba Show.” How many times have I been a guest on this juggernaut of the airwaves? How many times have I heard Rick take (in good fun) little jabs at me when I’m not even there? (See “Secular Larry” episode.)
This time, however, was special. It was essentially the ten-year anniversary of my first appearance on the show, and on that occasion I was with Oxford University Professor John Lennox (see earlier posts for a description of the incorrigible Lennox). So it was fitting that this appearance should be with Lennox, too. Rick & Bubba have become long-time supporters of my work and are huge fans of “Doctor John,” as they like to call him.
That first appearance on the show was to promote a then little known organization (Fixed Point Foundation) and a then little known man (John Lennox) who, together, were doing a debate on Intelligent Design as Samford University. The event was extraordinary. So enormous was the turnout that many people had to stand in the aisles, sit in the foyer and in the choir loft, and even on the floor of the stage itself. “Doctor John” gave an admirable defense of the Christian faith. But it was all a mere warm-up for what would happen the following year: another debate in Birmingham, this time with John’s Oxford University colleague atheist Richard Dawkins. “The God Delusion Debate” changed everything. Not only was the concert hall packed, but our website crashed from the weight of the traffic on it.
Rick & Bubba were in the thick of that event, too, helping us to get the word out by having both John and Richard on the show. It was what Rick would call “Radio gold.” Watching Rick and Bubba interview Dawkins is one the funniest things I have ever seen. Rick would occasionally give me a look that asked, “How am I doing?” That would quickly be followed by a look that said, “Never mind. I’m doing great.” This alone was enough to send me into fits of laughter.
Today, Lennox is in high demand all over the world as a speaker on science and religion. I have just published my second book (The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist). Rick & Bubba are, well, Rick & Bubba. And the world goes on …