Welcome welcome back to Boston Cage podcast. On today’s show, we give you a little backstory to how I came to meet you. So at Pod Fest 20, 20 this year, I had an opportunity to be to do a speaking engagement and kind of give some insight to what I do. And in addition to that, I offered up to help other podcasters with some growth strategy. The was one of the people that won the opportunity to work with me.
So offline we had opportunity to kind of talk about his business, talk about strategy, and just doing the research of who he is and what he represents and his products and services. And he will tell you a little bit more details of what that is. But I wanted to kind of bring them on the show because I haven’t had a guest like this. And I think it would be very powerful, influential to have someone of this magnitude on the show.
So without further ado, Mackell del Rosario, how are you doing today, sir?
Good, good. Thanks for having me on the show. Great, great, great.
So I kind of give you a little a little fluff. I really didn’t disclose who you are and what you do. So why don’t you kind of give our audience a little bit of background of who you are?
Sure. I’m Michael Dell Rozario and I have a full time position at Dallas Theological Seminary. We’re on the podcast manager and host of the Table podcast. And I’m also doing a Ph.D. right now in New Testament studies focusing on historical Jesus studies. And that’s part of my entrepreneurial side actually, is I have a brand called Apologetics Guy where I help Christians to better explain their faith with courage and compassion. So I be speaking. I have a curriculum that I make available to churches so they can help their people navigate difficult spiritual conversations as well.
And so I’m kind of one foot in your regular nine to five, although maybe not a regular nine to five, because I don’t know a lot of people whose full time job is actually podcast management where they can do that full time. But I do that for our institution, for Dallas Theological Seminary, and that I love speaking at churches and youth events and helping churches with my curriculum as well.
So this is going a little bit more on the coming when you’re talking about that particular niche. Right. And to the meeting that you and I had. You know, I made the mistake and I called it a church. So why don’t you kind of just explain, like, what is it that is actually done at that particular location?
So Dallas Theological Seminary is a school where people go to get graduate education, to be counselors, to be pastors. I’m a student as well and I’m studying to be a professor. I’m also an adjunct professor. I teach at William Jessop University. I teach Christian Apologetics, which is helping Christians to give a rational defense of the faith and better explain their faith to people and then and also teach world religion for them. So the business, generally speaking, is education and training.
And then my specific niche, if you want to drill down beyond just the Christian community, is Christians who want to think deeply about what they believe and have better spiritual conversations with people who see Christianity differently in a way that’s that’s not divisive in a way that’s that’s actually attractive and healthy.
So, I mean, as a unique niche, right.
I mean, we see more so the church’s platform of revenue is completely different than what you’re doing. You’re just kind of go into that a little bit. So the differences between what you’re doing and in church. So what’s the differences between the two?
So for me, I’m just a sole proprietor, so I have a sole proprietorship. Apologetics guy is a registered small business here in Dallas, Texas, which actually didn’t have to do in California. But the rules are a little different. So when I moved over here, even though I was selling intangible digital products, I had to register as a small business. And so churches are nonprofit organizations. And so I’m I’m not a five or three C, so that’s one difference.
Of course, churches have generally that donation driven, donation based mine is a product or service. People will buy my curriculum online or they’ll give me an honorarium to come out and speak at their events. And so that’s how that’s that’s different. I’m kind of a solo pioneer in that regard. That’s a missionary work for a while as well, where I taught overseas at a college. And that was kind of like a hybrid between the two, because I worked for a company, a nonprofit organization called Converge Worldwide, based in Illinois.
But I did have to go travel around America public speaking at different events and churches and kind of generate the money, generate the donations to fund that project. So I’ve had a lot of experience doing kind of in both worlds. I was a youth pastor as well in the Bay Area in California. So I know the church side and I know the entrepreneurial side, which is actually quite great for me. When I first started my curriculum because I was like, what did I need then when I was a pastor, what did I need?
And then I was like, Oh yeah, well, I’ll just make that now. People will people will be able to be helped by it, so especially your niece’s personal development to a certain extent.
I mean, but you have a particular sub niche in that. So you’re not just for development. You’re not just one hundred percent religious base. You’re you’re essentially a hybrid. And like you’re saying that you have a business model that helps you get that message across and also helps you with personal development. And also you have opportunity to kind of get into course development as well. So backing up a little bit. Right. How did you get into this space?
How did you get into this market? Well, probably the question of how did I get into Christian apologetics is a discipline. Helping people defend or explain their faith was just started really with my own questions about my own faith. I was raised Christian, had a lot of questions about are there good reasons really to believe God exists? There are good reasons to believe what the Bible says about Jesus. And if I get in a conversation with somebody who doesn’t believe the Bible is a is a warrant for them to believe anything, what do I say?
And people would ask me questions about what I believed. And sometimes I don’t know what to say. And eventually I found out there were a lot of Christians like that who just didn’t really know what to say. And they wanted to get into spiritual conversations with their their friends and family members who maybe saw Christianity differently, maybe from another religion or of no faith. And they needed help because I needed help. And I know there are people like that as well.
So I got a master’s degree in Christian Apologetics at Biola University. And I went overseas. Like I said, I did some some teaching there to help students with this this whole area of of knowing what you believe and why you believe it and how can we dialog with people in a healthy way about our faith. And then long story short, I got into a church where I was a youth pastor and eventually I moved away from there and I had no job.
And, you know, this is kind of like a lot of entrepreneurs have the story, right? So the is sitting there with no job and you’re bleeding money and you go, OK, so what can I do now? It’s time to reinvent myself. I go, hey, wait a second. I have this master’s degree in Christian Apologetics and I just kind of forgot all about it. And so how about I just reach out to some churches and homeschool groups and see if I can do some speaking and get to meet some people?
I eventually and here’s a little bit of advice for anyone who wants to do public speaking. Just get out and speak as much as you can totally for free. Just just get out there and do it. And if you’re part of the Christian community and churches, homeschool groups, things like that, that’s really helpful. But I once drove up into this mountainous area to speak for twenty dollars in gas money to a whole bunch of homeschool students. And while I was there, there was a lady in the audience who heard me speak and really liked what what I was doing and training the students.
And she was connected to a megachurch in the area called Bayside Church in the Sacramento area in California. And she got me connected with somebody over there that was running a very large, like three thousand person apologetics event. And so that’s how I kind of got back into public speaking after being away for a while and doing apologetics. And that’s how I kind of started getting getting known in the field. And I just started from that. You just you never know how how a small thing that you don’t really know is going to is going to blow up.
It does sometimes, though.
So, I mean, just to see this podcast as a diverse audience. So to find apologetics, I mean, what what is what does Webster say that is and what’s your definition of that?
So apologetics is a technical New Testament term. It is from from the Bible. And first, Peter, three fifteen. And it’s usually translated reason. It comes from the Greek word apologia. And so it is being able to give a reason for what you believe. So that the specific definition is that it’s a is a subbranch of theology that’s about providing a reasoned justification for Christian truth claims. So it’s kind of like, all right, so you can have faith.
A lot of people have faith in different things. But why do you have faith? Are there any any reasons beyond just it makes me feel good that that you believe in God or you believe that the Bible is a reliable when it talks about Jesus. You saw the description and, you know, hopefully that our audience could kind of take that and understand your point of view of where you’re coming from. So going back into the business. Right. So you said that you kind of just reached out.
So you already knew right away who your niche target was. And it seems like your niche target at the time was reaching out to church churches directly to do speaking engagements. Is that still your target audience currently to is there?
Well, right now with covid, there’s not an awful lot of public speaking that’s going on. This is the first last summer was the first summer. I haven’t I wasn’t booked to do any speaking. I’ve been doing a bunch of Zoom’s, actually. And so that’s kind of where I see, at least for the short term during the pandemic, some of this training going into. But as I said, I’m also a professor at William Jessopp University, so I teach online for them.
So there’s a lot of online education is pretty secure right now. So that’s that’s been helpful. So, yeah, my my niche is kind of divided up into a few groups, one, just individuals who want to learn how to have better spiritual conversations and you have good reasons for what they believe. And then to church leaders and ministry leaders who want to help others to do that. But maybe they don’t have an awful lot of time to prep.
And that’s where I have that curriculum that I created. It’s called Accessible Apologetics. And then pastors are event organizers who want to book me to speak if they’re doing live events or even zom events. And so they can go on apologetics guy dotcom and see those three three options for the three different groups that might hit my site. Yeah. So like with the curriculum, I was thinking, what did I need when I was a youth pastor? And I’ll just make that.
And that’s actually been it’s sold really, really well. Actually, I’ve put out a bunch of other products that don’t sell well and then I just made them free after a while because it’s like, here’s another tip. If your products don’t sell, just give away because they’re not selling anyway. And you’ll get you’ll get to help people, which is why you made them in the first place, hopefully.
So, I mean, it is a good segue to, I mean, overcoming hurdles. So you’re in a space to where obviously in corporate America they tried to separate religion and politics from a work environment or business environment. But your business is associated directly and correlations with religion. Yes. What hurdles have you faced on that journey? Walking the line between the two. You know, I’m not really sure how to answer that question, because I haven’t faced a lot of hurdles in terms of not being welcome in certain spaces just because of my my religious views.
So I would have to say none right now unless I thought really hard about it.
So, I mean, are you so if you walk into are you walking into any church per say or would you say would you be able to walk into like a Buddhist temple and try to do a speaking engagement there, or particularly a Baptist? As far as the segregation of the nationalities of churches, are you and have you done multiples or are you more focused on just one?
OK, yeah. So Christian apologetics is directed toward helping Christians. At least my mind is directed toward helping Christians be able to engage with other people from other faiths. I haven’t done any work actually going into another house of worship and presenting the Christian viewpoint, for example. I guess the closest thing to that is I spoke in a bar once, which is pretty awesome. I spoke at a bar while there was a baseball game playing outside and we had kind of a private loft that we had rented out.
And so that was interesting. But yeah, I guess that’s the closest thing I’ve done to speaking in a in a kind of a secular or non Christian environment.
Gotcha. Gotcha. So we always this is a question that usually asks everyone because everybody’s origin story is uniquely different and their journey to success is uniquely different. Right. So we always hear about the success stories that take 20 years to become a reality. But to the general public, it may have been perceived as an overnight success. How long did it take you to get to where you are currently?
Yeah, pretty much about that that 20 years, because my my field is, generally speaking, education. And so, you know, there are a lot of people who come straight out of college or really excited about what they’ve learned and put out podcast, put up blogs. But when you’re when you’re operating a space that can get kind of technical, especially where I’m talking about historical Jesus studies using the tools of historian to find out what can we all agree on about Jesus.
Regardless if you’re an atheist or a Jew or any other faith, what can we look at the actual evidence and look at the Bible as historical documents and just, you know, talk about them together as as people from all different backgrounds? You have to have some education to do that. And so I did that master’s degree in Christian Apologetics, graduated two thousand three, then I did some student. Well, it wasn’t really student teaching. It was that missionary work.
But I taught students over there for a couple of years. And then when I came back, I did the youth pastor thing, started the apologetics guy brand, and then I jumped into something called ATHM, which is a master of theology. It’s one hundred twenty unit graduate program at the Dallas Theological Seminary. And that’s where I focused on historical Jesus studies and decided I wanted to do a Ph.D. on this. So, yeah, it takes a long time because you have to have all the all those credentials behind you.
And Lord willing, I’ll be a doctor soon, and that’ll just open up more avenues for me in terms of publishing, in terms of teaching at different institutions and things like that. Got got it.
So it was one thing that you would have done differently if you could do it all over again. On the one hand, the doing the teaching in the Philippines took a couple of years stateside to raise the funds for it and then a couple of years overseas to do the work. And so if I had just jumped straight into the master of theology from that master’s and Christian apologetics, I would have truncated four or five years off of my path. But the thing is, I learned so much.
Speaking at over one hundred churches around America and just the public speaking experience, the networking with different pastors working with a nonprofit like Converged Worldwide, I was able to raise two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for them through the speaking. And that just that was just so helpful when it came to launching out on my own and doing my own apologetics ministry, because I had that background of how I knew how it worked in a nonprofit world. And then I was also a communications and advertising marketing emphasis at Biola University as an undergrad.
So I was able to take those tools as well and kind of put them together. Right. So I was like to say that I think for Christian church workers, you need to have some kind of a side hustle because very few people in nonprofit work are getting rich off of what they’re doing. And so if you want to have a comfortable living to take care of your family, you’re probably going to need to supplement a little bit. And so I see people doing, you know, sensi and like advocator and like a variety of things like that.
But there’s a way, I would say, to branch out off of your actual expertize and help people in that niche, whether no matter what institution, school or church you’re associated with, even if you leave those places someday, you can always take that brand with you. You can always take your expertize with you.
And so I recommend that as definitely some insightful information to take to take heed to what you’re saying. So in addition to that. Right. So on your journey, obviously you have a lot of education, right? You couldn’t do what you’re doing without education. But in part of that, you’re also you’re busy.
You’re you’re a business savvy person. Business savageness is definitely there. Do you come from an entrepreneurial background? Do you have entrepreneurial history before you jump into that space?
Yeah. You know, my parents actually started a college in the Philippines, and I would always learn things about how entrepreneurial my dad was. And he would just want to tell me certain things, like one day we drive by some place and he’d be like, That’s where I used to sell refrigerators with your uncle. Like, what? You sold refrigerators. How come I didn’t know about this? And then just me myself when I was in high school, I grew up in the Philippines and there was a time we had no electricity, no reliable electricity in the main city, main capital city for for a year plus.
And so I started selling invertors, which are essentially truck batteries that can power a computer and power a refrigerator. I use one to power my guitar amplifier and an electric fan.
And so I just kind of found what do people need right now? How can I help my neighbors with this crisis that we’re having? We all need some kind of way to keep our refrigerators running. And so, yeah, I’ve always just been entrepreneurially driven that way. And I like the idea of serving people and putting a brand on it and finding finding where people need help and then fulfilling those needs.
Yeah, I definitely I find and this is one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on the show, because again, in that consultation session that we had, I realized very quickly that you’re not the standard perception of a pastor or educator or minister or any of the definition of what those words are. And just now hearing a little bit more about your background and you have a marketing and there it is like that. That was as I was like, there’s got to be something else going on and then discloser.
So so obviously, I would think that being that your dad was an entrepreneur, do you think that was a part of the fact to your current success? Yeah, yeah.
He he had I mean, we had Christian theology books and things like that in the house. We also had a bunch of marketing books. And I remember once when I was in high school that I went to the bookstore and I bought I bought this marketing book was by Al Ries and Jack Trout. He was called The Seven Immutable Laws of Marketing, I think it was called. And somebody saw that at high school. And they’re like, what class is that for?
Like, not just for fun, like just for fun. So, yeah. And when I was in college as well, first first thing I ever bought on Amazon, actually I was on Amazon first Amazon purchase was in nineteen ninety eight I think. And I bought a book called The One to One Future by Peppers and Rogers. And that kind of predicted so much of the mass customization and the whole like Internet commerce thing that just we’ve seen. So that was, that was almost like a like a foreshadowing to me of what what was.
Possible and really opened my eyes and got super excited about it. And I just now remember that when I was in college before there was Facebook or, you know, I’m dating myself here because, you know, 98, I was shopping online in college, but I put together a little online community called Cyber Missions, and I helped connect students who wanted to go overseas and do humanitarian missionary work with organizations who who are looking for people. And I was just kind of the middleman and connected them.
And there weren’t a lot of those kinds of nonprofits out in the online world. And so and so I did that. Yeah. So I learned all about domain names and all that way back in the day in ninety eight when before the dotcom boom and all that for Pops.
Well yeah. So I mean alluding to, I think we go back maybe a couple of minutes in this particular episode. You talking about socially, you raised funding, you said it was like two hundred and fifty thousand. Yeah. That I would think that is a hell of achieving success. Right. In addition to that, that particular podcast, how many viewers do you currently have right now?
Well, right now we’re on YouTube and we’re on all the audio platforms. So interestingly, our YouTube videos, all the YouTube videos have only eighteen thousand views, but the audio is over six hundred thousand downloads at this point. So it’s a pretty broad reach. Honestly, stats are a thing that it’s been difficult for me as a podcast manager to kind of wrap my mind around, especially since we have so many different platforms that we’re on. Recently we got on the Christianity Today network and they’re running ads on our show while they’re running ads for other people on our show.
But they take care of all of all of that. And so it’s all consolidated now with them. So I can do stats on audio, but there’s still no good way to pull YouTube stats in along with that. But, yeah, it’s it’s a pretty large audience. And so we’re mindful of that as we produce our content.
Yeah, I think you’re definitely being modest, right? I mean, you’re talking about six hundred thousand, right? You’re talking about you raised two hundred and fifty thousand and you’re talking about you also has to figure out a way to monetize the podcasts. All three of them are great feats by themselves. And coming from like a podcast background, marketing background to your point, juggling all these things is not an easy task, but you have multiple hands on deck, multiple software, and you have to kind of keep everything in alignment.
So to think about these are three major goals that you achieve. And how long did it take you to achieve those goals in this current market sector? Well, that 20 years that you were talking about was pretty much it, yeah, for you to 20. Well, I’ve been told that podcasting has been around so close to 20 years. Right. So how long has a podcast been life?
So the podcast, the Dallas Theological Seminary went live October 2012. And I came here to Dallas to do my master’s theology in the summer of 2012. And by the end of that semester, I had made contact with my mentor, Dr. Darrell Bock, who is one of the historical Jesus experts. And I asked him if he would be my mentor, that I just boldface asked him if he would be my mentor because I love what he’s doing in terms of being super respected in the scholarly world, but also being able to speak to the popular world in the popular audience.
And he gets on different shows like ABC and, you know, Fox News and kind of mainstream places will we’ll call him when they have comments or that they need for for religious topics.
And so I wanted to be mentored by someone like that. So he started the show and it was just him who is hosting. So I started as an intern with him, just kind of helping to do show notes and time coding and things like that. Well, eventually then I got hired on part time and then eventually full time. And eventually he invited me to be one of the hosts of the show. So that really is how I got involved in podcasting, is first managing the show and then being a host on it as well.
So in the last eight years, you’ve come to it multiple times to get to where you are. So I mean, this is proof in the pudding. I mean, obviously, with your background, with the understanding of the technology and understanding your target audience, you were able to create something that potentially could live on for a long period of time. I mean, it’s one of those and I’ve listened to a couple of episodes, and it’s it’s not the typical.
Religious finding yourself so it’s more it’s now more contemporary, so in writing, do you guys write scripts? Do you kind of just have formal questions based upon the content? I’ve heard it’s influential for anybody, whether you believe or you don’t believe to be invoked to at least listen to your podcast.
Well, I appreciate you saying that. Yeah, we talk about our tagline is we discuss issues of God and culture. And so we talk about not only Christian apologetics and theology and kind of church topics. How do you how do you lead a church? But we also talk about we talk about politics. We go there. We talk about how do you engage the LGBT community? How do you engage in the abortion discussion, immigration race? We go there because we’re convinced that theology and God apply to all of life.
And if the Bible really is true, it’s going to speak to to every part of your life. And so what I do sometimes it depends on the guests. And if the guest is an author and I’m basically walking through their book, then it’s pretty simple. I just read their book or skim through and find like the main things I want to ask them if it’s more of a topic and we’re not interviewing an author based on their book, then I’ll put together a panel.
I just did one on Generation Z and Mental Health. And so we kind of go through our Rolodex and think, first of all, who do we have association with who’s already been on the show or who we know personally, one of us hosts. So we actually have four hosts on the show. They’re about my mentor myself, Kimberly Cook, who is our senior administrator here at the center, and Bill Hendriks, who is our director of leadership here.
And so we’ll put a panel together. So I had somebody who does campus ministry working with Intervarsity at SMU. I had somebody who is a counselor for teens, the mental health work with them, and then somebody who runs a gap year program doing the kind of thing that I do, but on a large scale, training students to think more deeply about their faith before they go into college. And so really and she was even talking about the counselor was talking about how people in the Christian community are are responding and then how people outside the teenager speaks outside how how they’re different.
And one of the insights, she said, is that Christian teenagers seem to have more affinity groups, that they can be a part of youth groups and things like that. And a lot of the students outside the church that she sees, they don’t have as many affinity groups. And so it was interesting for her to just kind of share her experience, at least with her with her clients and some of the major trends that she’s seeing.
Interesting. So just a little bit more into you personally.
Right. How do you juggle your work life and your family life? Well, I’m blessed that my family actually is well, my wife is an introvert and she loves to read, and so she needs her her personal time. And my son is a typical teenager, so he lives a lot of his life, especially right now during our covid days on Xbox. So I actually have a lot of time to get done what I need to get done. And I’m really the most extroverted of the whole family, I think.
So that has been a challenge. So what I’m able to do is to kind of I decided early on, it’s kind of like you go to work, you have one boss, you do your one thing, right? It’s like, what’s my boss want me to do? And you do it when you’re an entrepreneur, especially when you have a variety of income streams like I do. I’m an adjunct professor at the school. I have a full time position here at Dallas Seminary.
I have my entrepreneurial apologetics guy project. I also work for Pearson Education, in which I facilitate a course for them as well. In Christian world view, instead of thinking like, well, now I have three bosses or whatever, I kind of look at my whole life in a holistic kind of way. I also have my Ph.D. So in that sense, I’m kind of my boss there, too, as far as I need to get my writing and research done.
So I just think of it as as a variety of buckets in an overall arching focus of my life right now, which is, generally speaking, to help Christians better engage culture and defend the faith, explain their faith with courage and compassion. That’s the overarching narrative of everything I do, whether it’s the the high level academic stuff, whether it’s the entrepreneurial stuff on my my personal side or if it’s the day to day work that I do teaching students or working on the podcast, it’s all just it’s a it’s a holistic thing for me.
I mean, you just you just really pretty much describe that your niche is one thing under the umbrella of multiple tentacles, but all these tentacles feed into that one. Yes. You always come back to that core value, which is where you get the respiring. You’re not stretching yourself too thin. Everything you’re doing is for the same goal.
Right. And I’m not I’m not going off into. Oh, no, I want to start an unboxing channel and start reviewing laptops just because it’s lucrative. Right. Everything is singularly focused. But the beauty of that is that they all work together. So I’m able to take a table podcast material and use it for my apologetics guy side. I’m able to take a curriculum that I wrote or a speech that I gave at an event and use it here at the seminary.
And so it helps both ways.
Gotcha. Gotcha. So what are your morning habits and your routines?
Well, that’s not really a very it’s not very interesting if you are basically I wake up, I’m not really a morning person, so I like to stay up late. So I wake up and grab a banana or something and head off to work. But when I get into my office, I guess the first thing that I do, which has been helpful, I’ve been doing this for years, is I have a whiteboard and I’ve tried apps and things like that for to do lists.
But I just find it really helpful to on the whiteboard put what are my priorities today. And then once I write them all out, I’ll put hours by them, say, well, it’s nine o’clock right now. So at nine thirty I’ll do this at ten thirty. I’ll do that eleven thirty. I’ll do this. And admittedly things will happen and I’ll get sidetracked. But then I just come back and reassess after lunch breaks. All the, all the numbers put the hours back on and then busted out.
So that is just something that’s helped me to, to be able to look back up at that whiteboard with my email box is constantly getting emails in it and things are coming at me to look back up at the whiteboard and say, OK, what’s priority right now? I got two hours left. What’s priority? Get this done. This other stuff. I’ll do it tomorrow.
What time do you usually wake up on average? Seven thirty or eight guys. So do you wake up before seven thirty or a what time does a day usually. And what’s, how do you turn off. It seems like if I may assume a little bit right. It seems like you’re a type of individual that even when you’re sleeping you’re probably thinking, well that is true.
In fact, last night I had a dream about making YouTube thumbnails because of what you talk to me about, which is rebooting that YouTube channel. So I want to tell you that I check out about about eleven o’clock at night and just chill for an hour, watch some Netflix or I’m watching I’m watching The Walking Dead World Beyond right now. So that’s kind of cool. But last night I didn’t want to watch anything. I started making YouTube thumbnails. So it’s the kind of guy who like to rest.
I’ll I’ll design something like that. Right. Yeah. So sometimes that is that’s restful for me as well. It’s just creative. It’s just fun.
And it goes back to your marketing background. I think that that’s kind of something to fall back on when you don’t want to think about the business side of things.
So it breaks stereotypes to to be to be this kind of action, to be seen as like an academic type where I know that the academics is necessary so that I can have something of substance and content to help people with. But that’s not really where I nerd out and get really excited about it. I get if I do get excited about it, it’s because I go, wow, I can share this with people in an accessible way that people can get.
And there are academics who kind of look down on the word accessible like, oh, you’re so accessible, you’re just kind of dumbed down for the populace. But that’s what gets me excited actually, is to take something that might be a little complicated, bring it down to our bottom line. It can help your your everyday average person sitting in the church pew and they don’t have to be an expert in this or that. But if you can explain it to them, you know what you’re talking about and it can actually help people instead of just sit in your mind and you think, oh, I have this cool thought, you can actually see that helping people.
And that’s that’s a rewarding thing. Yeah, I think that’s one of the things that that you’re saying now, but visually and also audibly hear it when you’re on your body, it’s like you’re you’re taking these grandiose topics and you’re making them small enough and comprehensible enough that anybody layman could understand them and then make a decision based upon that information versus trying to look at the big picture and try to swallow once. So I definitely commend you again for your podcast.
Just just just the way it’s set up. It’s I think it definitely will be a fruitful thing to kind of continue to grow and expand.
Well, thank you. So what do you see yourself in twenty years? Wow. Well, without saying my current age right now, well, in 20 years, I would like to have a good professor position, a track record behind me, working not only in a full time professor position as a as a PhD, but also still having that that one foot in the church world and doing events and helping people with my my apologetics ministry as well so that I can just get get larger and the scale can be can be larger, especially once you get that credential, more worlds open up to you.
So right now, if I wanted to publish a book, a scholarly book, that that would be difficult to do just by myself. I would have to partner with with a doctor to do that. But once I am a doctor, it’ll be easier to publish those kinds of books. And what’s beautiful about that is once you get that academic book published, you can continue to version that into a variety of popular works. And so then you’re helping everybody and not just helping the academics.
You’re also helping a lot, lots of other people in the popular world being that you’re in the education space.
And I had a previous guest on this show that some of them were education, but in different levels and different spectrums. And you’re going on a new level. So to ask you, do you think education is useful? Will be facetious. Right. But in today’s world, do you think that the learning platform is being utilized for full capabilities to where the youth are coming from?
I don’t know if I know the answer to that question. I know that I love teaching in the classroom. And teaching online is a beautiful thing that we have that technology. So I’m able to teach students California. I’ve been able to do that for the past eight years. But I know that it’s not the ideal, at least for me. I love that that real time face to face. What was interesting to me is that I always try to offer a synchronous opportunity for my students and no one ever took me up on it.
Like people who do online education of this pre covid, of course, they took an online class because they don’t really want synchronous communication. They want to do it on their terms. They want to feel in their their discussion questions at midnight or whenever they want to be on there. But I do make myself available and sometimes I’ll face time people if they have a question about an assignment or something like that. So I think in this day and age, we’re starting to find more and more what can be done.
And but we’re also finding out what is. Not as effective via computer mediated communication in the same way that reading a Kindle book isn’t for some strange reason, you don’t retain as much if you’re reading on a screen versus paper. And that’s just a physical physiology thing who we are as humans. And it just drives home that we’re really we’re meant to be in use. Is a big Christian theological term incarnated or like physically with someone else? There is no substitute for that.
This is great that you and I can do this, but no substitute for getting coffee with you, you know? Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
Face to face is definitely something that’s in. I’m a techie, like I loved the world that we’re in right now. But to your point, I mean, networking is something about being in front of someone. You smelling the aroma, you’re hearing the room watching body language is not the same on a zoom meeting. It’s kind of like this. Different principles, different rules being online. Right. So to add on to that to that original question. Right.
So thinking about the nineteen thirties. Right. The Industrial Revolution and the school systems back then were essentially designed in a fashion for assembly lines. Right. Taking that into a classroom with classrooms are essentially set up in the same similar fashion.
But in today’s world, we’re more to your point, hands on more intuitive. Do you think that that teaching method is still valid today? Well, I think especially in the space that I’m working in, you can have people from all walks of life and all different all different backgrounds and educational backgrounds, even in the same room. So whereas in second grade, you basically have everybody who’s the same age and they do kind of a cookie cutter thing. Generally speaking, of course, other schools are different, but generally speaking, you have that kind of set up in the world that I work in.
And the graduate education, you could have somebody who is straight out of college. Someone is twenty four, twenty five years old, sitting next to someone who has a Ph.D. in physics, and they just now decided they wanted to do a theological education. I’ve been in a classroom with a judge. I’ve been in a classroom with someone who is a biologist. And so we have people from multiple generations all in the same class. We’re all learning to read ancient Greek together so we can read the New Testament.
And so you see the beauty of that actually. Do you have different generations, people from all walks of life and backgrounds together studying one thing and it doesn’t have to be a kind of cookie cutter. OK, you’re all twenty five years old. So we all have to do this thing the same way. And then people can learn from each other too, especially you have classes where we’re talking about doing intercultural work and I can share some of my experience working overseas.
Somebody else can do that. And maybe somebody who’s never been overseas can learn from that as well. So there’s there’s a lot of give and take there. Yeah, definitely, I could definitely visualize that, I mean, it makes sense in that environment to be like that. And to your point, the bouncing of ideas and different backgrounds can definitely be very fruitful, very fruitful. So you’re saying you’re learning. Do you speak multiple languages?
Well, I’m Filipino, so I speak Filipino or Tagalog, and that’s I’m bilingual. So I can do that. In order to do the work that I’m doing, I have to be proficient in Greek to read the New Testament in the original language. I also had to pass a proficiency exam in German and French just so that I could do research. So that’s not like I could just walk into a German coffee shop and order coffee. But if I’m looking at an academic journal, I can I should be able to find a paragraph and say, OK, let me sit down with this thing and actually translate it, because I probably need this right here and then Hebrew as well, because the Old Testament is written in Hebrew mostly.
So those are the four languages that that kind of touched my area because as a as a historian, I’m dealing with Jesus as a historical figure in the 1st century Palestine and the whole Greco Roman world, the Palestinian the Jewish culture that he’s in and second temple Judaism. So all those things come into play in terms of what influence Jesus and then how he influenced the Christian movement.
I think you just opened up Pandora’s Box to explain what really goes into being in the position that you’re in. I mean, you’re hearing these, but what is that? But then you’re talking about the languages you’re learning, right? So it’s hard enough for somebody to learn a second language. Right. And you’re juggling essentially six lashes, which is pretty impressive. Definitely. So if I want to step into your shoes and I’m following your shadows and I want to follow your footsteps and I want to kind of be where you are, what words of wisdom would you give to someone like myself or someone that’s younger that potentially wants to grow up to be like you or to be in your position?
Well, on the on the academic side, I would say be sure that this is something that you want to pursue for your life and that you won’t get bored with it. So I’m doing my dissertation right now on the claims of Jesus, and that is something that I know I won’t get bored with. But if you choose a specialty, that’s going to be you. Whatever you put after your PhD, if it’s a in New Testament, that’s going to be your bag, you’re going to be known as that.
I’m going to be known as the Jesus apologetics guy. That’s cool with me. And that’s that’s actually what I want to do. But really make sure that the subject, the subject matter that you specialize in is something that you will hold, not only will hold your interest that you’re fascinated with it, but also something that you can transfer to a popular level. So I didn’t decide to do my dissertation on textual variance in some Syriac translation of an Old Testament book that very few people who are specialists will care about.
I wanted to do one that’s more popularizer so I can go into churches and help people think about Jesus from a historical perspective, whether they are Christian or not. So that’s number one. And the number two, it doesn’t hurt to ask. So when I went into my mentors office and I just Baldfaced asked them if you would be my mentor, that was a risk. But what could he have said? No. Right. So it don’t hurt to ask.
And then the third thing I would say is on the on the business side, the entrepreneurial side, whether you are in this space or even if you’re in a non-religious space, think of serving your customers through the idea of the golden rule. You treat people like you want to be treated. You want to do unto others as you’d have them do to you. So instead of it just brings your whole mindset away from you. If you’re working at a plant, it’s like, well, if I walk in here and I pull this lever, it makes money, right?
Instead of thinking when I walk in here, what I’m doing is I’m helping to make this part that makes cars safer and family safer, makes the roads safer. It helps society flourish. And so what we’re doing as entrepreneurs should be to help our customers flourish, to find an actual problem. They really have to really step in there and help them, because if you don’t make that product, if you don’t help them, they’re going to be saddled with whatever X, Y and Z.
They’re still going to have that problem. Maybe you can help them do something better so they have more time to be with their family so they have more time to pursue their dreams. And so really think of it as business, as a service. And I think you can’t go wrong that way.
So anything you said, you can’t go wrong with everything you say was 100 percent dead on. And I definitely appreciate you for laying out that blueprint.
So you have a lot of different platforms. Right. So how could people get a context? Facebook, Instagram podcast, just list them off. Sure.
My website is apologetics guy dot com and my social media is Facebook is also apologetics guy, Instagram apologetics guy. And then Twitter is at Apologetics Guy The Table podcast. We have the table, the podcast. If you look at it on well it just go to you could add at this point you can get the table podcast at vts dot edu slash the table. You can also find us on Apple podcast, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, Chaser, wherever you listen to podcasts.
Cool, cool. So I got a couple of bonus questions for you. So if you could spend twenty four hours a day with anyone dead or alive, uninterrupted, who would it be and why?
My wife, because I love her so much. Twenty four hours a day. Dead or alive? Yeah, I mean. I would say I have spent so much time with my wife and she is really, really like she complimented me so well, like the things I’m not good at. She does actually all of the accounting and taxes and that whole messy business side of my my apologetic work, she does all that. And so I’m just privileged to be able to to live my life with her and have her walk walk with me through this whole thing.
I mean, wow.
I mean, I think this is the part of the video that we’re going to have to edit that way.
If she ever asks you to sleep on the couch, which is another question for you. What is your most significant achievement to date? Well, I’ve done a lot of things, and so it’s difficult for me to think what my most significant one is, but one of the top ones for sure is just having the variety of income streams. Remember, back to the story I was telling you where I was sitting in Sacramento with no job. And I was perusing all the how to get a job books and how to do well in the job interviews.
And right next to that bookshelf was the entrepreneurial side, where after a while the economy was really quite bad in Sacramento. And I got tons of interviews, but I never got anything else, like, you know what? I’m going to hire myself and I’m going to build something. And it might not put all of what I need together, but maybe I can piece together a few things. And I remember this one book said you could have five income streams and just make one fifth of what you need and it should be OK.
And I’m like, well, yeah, right. Who can really do that? And as as things turned out, I’ve had I’ve had this mix for quite some time. And so I’m really I’m blessed and I’m proud of that. That that that’s that’s worked for us.
I mean, I think definitely it’s a great achievement in the entrepreneurial space because a lot of times we’re working on just one thing. And if you not only have you mastered how to promote and market podcasts and to to achieve funding and achieve to where your podcast is monetize, but you’ve also figured out how you can diversify your income and make it scalable and also have it to where some of it is probably even passive as well in the sense that’s why I was like, OK, this you’re your true definition of an entrepreneur, whether you know it or not.
Thank you. Definitely.
So this is the part of the podcast where I kind of turn the microphone over to my guests. And if you have a question or two for me, go ahead.
Next hour, how would you how would you counsel somebody like me to balance the time that we spend on the popular side, doing the social media, doing YouTube, all that with all the things that the academic side. So that’s the first question, I have another one for you, so the juggling, so you’re thinking about more so from the perspective of you have a podcast that’s I think the podcast. I mean, if you have to divide the podcast, I would think it’s probably 40, 60.
Right. Currently of the diversification. But for you, I don’t think we had this conversation before. I would interject some more of publication because the publication goes back into the not to say it’s the thinking man’s game, but in reality, that’s what it is. So you’re having a podcast that’s more for the socially aware and then people that want more to hold on to have a physical book to write in that I would kind of complement what you’re doing on the front end with a physical book so that it’ll work together in unison and then do another it’ll be another six six revenue streams.
Well, that’s actually a good point, because the book is the perfect hybrid between the academic side and the popular side. It’s a book that you can find in Barnes and Noble. It’s a book you can get on Amazon. And whether it’s a scholarly book, you can also version it down to something that is more popular and an opportunity to create serious news.
You create one books and you create two books, three books. And I also like podcasts. This is one thing that I really haven’t seen podcasters do as much as they should in today’s world, in that market space, if you have a series of podcast episodes in a season. Season one is season one, season to season to season three. Season three. If you backtrack, season one could easily be transcribed and converted into a book to book Season three into a book.
Now you have a collection of books that follow your closing of every single series, so you’re automatically training your audience to say, OK, at the end of the season we have a book of season one. Right? And it’s the highlights is not verbatim, it’s the highlights is little details that you may not have the opportunity to discuss on the episode. It may have been, hey, I met this guy over here and to meeting him, six degrees of separation.
You’re telling the story of how you got to even get to the interview. That’s that’s a resource in itself that people that love your podcasts would easily want to gravitate to and pick up this book, and then you have long term longevity with that. Right. If you’re planning on doing the five seasons. Well, there’s five books.
So here’s another question for you. I have my brand is apologetics guy and I have spent the past 10 years building that brand. I also own my own domain name, Michael Dell, Rozario Dotcom. And as as I began to write academic books and things in the academic world, I will just be Mackell del Rosario. But is there a way to hybrid hybridize those two things? It used to be I promoted. I even have a logo apologetics guy.
But what I’ve been doing recently is converting. Even though all my social media tags are the same, my handles are all the same apologetics guy on the website, it says Michael Dell Rozario, your apologetics guy. So I’m almost switching those two right now. Is there a time where you see that brand needing to go away?
I would say never. I mean, once there’s brand equity and it’s easy to maintain whether it’s using software or personal assistants to kind of maintain that brand. I would not get rid of it. And then always the comparison I always want people to understand is Steve Jobs, Apple, iTunes, they’re all completely separate brands and they all have their own equity share in the bigger umbrella of Apple. Right. If you want to look at more micro platforms, prime example would be Elon Musk.
Elon Musk has done that version of branding multiple times. He was more so the equity guy that came in and he did most of PayPal and all these other things to even get into where he is right now. Then out of nowhere, he created Tesla. And in addition to Tesla, now he also has SpaceX. There is no overlap between finances, Tesla and spaceships, but I’m happy to say that, yeah, because I’ve worked real hard to build that brand and so I don’t really want it to go away.
But there is a way, I suppose, to really link my name with that so that if people go out and hear me speak and they don’t necessarily know apologetics guy, let’s say from the from the podcast, I don’t see that brand name on the podcast, which is the school’s podcast. But my name, as long as they search it, they’re going to find apologetics guy.
Yeah, you just cross reference them. So my brand, my essay Grant Brand, as I look at as Grant as the Steve Jobs of my cerebral brand, but then my boss Uncage is my iTunes. So get on Balsan Cage. I’m using the grant pen name on my publication. I’m using the grant pen name and there’s commonality in crossing over between all the brands. But if I’m talking about growth strategy, I’m going to send someone to my essay.
Grant, if I’m talking about web development, marketing, graphic design, I’m going to send a miserable 360, but I’m the commonality between all those different brands. Gotcha, well, I definitely appreciate your time, I think this was definitely a very insightful episode and I think you gave a lot of things for people just to think about. And I think one of the great takeaways from this episode for me was not even realizing that in your particular niche, you had to learn so many languages to even be able to voice and understand and comprehend and give back that information.
So I think that’s definitely another one of your achievements, believe it or not. But I mean, to understand, six of the languages is definitely a milestone in itself. Well, thank you. Well, it was definitely a pleasure and hope to see more from you soon. Thanks so much and all. I appreciate you having me on the show today. Definitely a pleasure.