The Colson Center for Christian Worldview has launched a new series of web videos, called, “What Would You Say?” The project features short videos that answer questions Christians face about God, faith, family structure, life and gender identity.
The videos answer questions, such as “Does God Exist?”; “Does Human Life Really Begin at Conception?”; and “How Do Transgender Activists Think About Sex and Gender?” Each video runs about four or five minutes, and the organization plans to launch a new one each week.
Joseph Backholm, Legal Counsel for the Colson Center, directs the new effort. As former President and General Counsel for the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) for more than a decade, Backholm is a seasoned activist with a depth of understanding about Christianity, culture and policy. While leading FPIW, a Focus on the Family affiliated group, he worked to educate and mobilize families and churches on behalf of marriage, life, religious freedom and parental rights.
He’s also no stranger to video. At FPIW he produced a series of “man on the street” videos which racked up millions of views. In one video, he visited the University of Washington and asked students whether people could change their age, height and race – just as some claim to change whether they are male or female. Students, indoctrinated by years of teaching about tolerance, had a hard time saying, “No, you can’t do that.”
During his time with FPIW, Backholm grew increasingly concerned as he saw many Christians unprepared to answer basic questions about the faith. He also saw church leaders reluctant to address relevant issues because they were “divisive” or “political.” He developed a business plan for an online platform with short, engaging answers to common, but sometimes difficult, questions, and providentially connected with the Colson Center. “While the job is certainly different than what I was doing at FPIW, the mission remains the same. We are trying to bring clarity where there is confusion,” he said.
The ultimate vision for What Would You Say? is to have a readily accessible, online library with “thousands of answers to series of questions, allowing people to follow conversation threads and build their knowledge over time, and go as deep as their curiosity takes them.” The Colson Center says that 82% of internet traffic will be video by 2020, and that YouTube, where the videos can also be accessed, accounts for more than 1 billion hours streamed every month.
In the video “Does God Exist?”, Backholm uses logic and reason to explain that there is evidence from the universe around us that God exists. Other videos feature Katie Faust and Stephanie Grey. Faust is founder of Them Before Us, an organization devoted to defending children’s rights. She’s featured in videos that answer the questions, “Is Surrogacy the Same as Adoption?” and “Doesn’t Love Make a Family?” Stephanie Grey directs the organization Love Unleashes Life. In the video, “When Does Life Begin?”, she gives well-reasoned answers to help Christians answer that question.
Backholm acknowledges that these are challenging times for the church. He says, “I think it’s possible that the cultural cancer the west has is terminal. History suggests we are in the process of destroying ourselves and ultimately will. But it doesn’t have to happen.” Despite the lies and confusion in our world, he has hope for the future: “I get that hope from the knowledge that Jesus is building His church and He promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. But God doesn’t operate the way we do. We need to find out what God is doing and join Him in it.”
Backholm believes What Would You Say? will help believers engage the culture with confidence and truth.