Apologists have long been used to an easy run when it comes to delivering their comedy lines with a straight face. Who's willing to challenge them? Most of those who can and should simply shrug their shoulders. They're crazies, right? So why bother.
That's a really bad move. It leaves the apologists crooning to their home-crowd admirers. See, we're right, 'cos nobody can answer our talking points.
Then along came Thom.
Thom Stark, I think it'd be fair to say, doesn't suffer fools gladly. When braying jackasses set out to defend themselves against the indefensible, Thom doesn't sit back and mutter ineffectually to himself... he picks up the proverbial jawbones of said asses and lays lustily into them with unrelenting point-by-point refutation.
And - hallelujah! - he has a sense of humor too.
Yes, there are those who take offence at Thom's style. But then, as someone recently put it, pouting about Thom's 'direct' approach is a bit rich when these same aggrieved apologists are happy to think of Yahweh as a righteous murderer of the innocent.
Thom is the author of The Human Faces of God, my nomination for the best biblical studies book of 2010. And don't overlook his free book-length review of Paul Copan's hugely flawed Is God a Moral Monster.
A kindly word of advice to Matt Flannagan. If you want to take him on, then you'd best do your homework thoroughly, and even then I'd definitely think twice...
Just ask Richard Hess.