There are 9 total YouTube videos, you can find the rest on YouTube.
William Lane Craig debates Sam Harris on the topic “Does Good Come From God?” Dr. Craig simply demolishes Dr. Harris in this philosophical debate. Harris demonstrates no capacity to offer an argument in response to Craig. In the absence of argument he resorts to ad hominem, consistent deflection, emotionalism and vitriol. He fails to make a philosophical or logical argument, never addresses the powerful logical points that Craig makes and attempts to bait him to abandon his argument by trying to drag him into the morass of which religious fundamentist perspective is worse: the Taliban or rabid Christians who want everyone to go to hell. He uses the phrase “morally reprehensible” to describe by inference people like Dr. Craig, then backs down when Craig calls him on it. Harris’ presentation in this debate is disrespectful and in fact he behaves in a “morally reprehensible” way. When he uses his calm, confident albeit flatulent “reasoning” to obfuscate and denigrate, his self-deception is shoved down the throats of his willing readers and followers.
Craig does a good job here of staying on topic and with few exceptions resists the temptation to take the bait of Harris. Harris admits to being afraid of his performance in this debate with Craig and he proved that he had every reason to fear; he loses miserably. What Harris demonstrates is an utter disrespect for the philosophical framework as a legitimate concourse for truth seeking, finding and debating. Alvin Plantinga pointed out the shallowness of these “New Atheists” when he reviewed Richard Dawkin’s book “The God Delusion” which he called “The Dawkins Confusion: Naturalism ad absurdum”. These guys are all hype and very little substance. These guys are simply shock jock amateur philosophers, who like Harris walk into Notre Dame and brazenly mock transubstantiation. That is not good argumentation, and it certainly demonstrates a poor grasp on morality.
For those of you who wanted a more “theological” or “Christian” response, this was a philosophical debate. Dr. Craig several times delineated the boundaries when he says this debate is not about the existence of God or to defend a particular theistic system like Christianity, rather he rightly stayed on topic and demanded an answer to his rebuttal of Harris’ misguided and mistaken arguments that an atheistic world view can provide an objective ground for morality.
I am always looking for good listening, especially because there is so much bad listening on contemporary Christian radio. Much of what is available on the radio is either so poor theologically or so argumentative and vitriolic that when you find something collegial, engaging and easy to listen to, it is worth noting. So it is with the “Unbelievable?” Radio Programme with host Justin Brierly. It airs in the UK, don’t let the British accent fool you, these guys are really sharp even though they misspell “programme”, silly Brits.
The program (notice the economy of letters in the US spelling) I listened to featured noted skeptic author Michael Shermer and a Scottish pastor named David Robertson entitled “Is Christianity Good for Society”. You can listen to the program here, or subscribe to the RSS feed/netcast here.
David Robertson is my new hero. He is well spoken, sharp and really takes Shermer to task for making statements that he cannot back up with facts. I really enjoyed this broadcast. I will be listening to other shows on Eschatology, Science, atheism, divorce, with a great lineup of guests. Looks top notch and worth downloading to your mp3 player.
There is a God! the expert has conceded the point. Whew, now I can rest easy. A really smart guy agrees with me. Antony Flew, notorious atheist philosopher has changed his mind. In this remarkable book, he tells of his movement from atheism to deism. He doesn’t personalize God, rather he simply refers to God as the Superior Mind. He does give an “endorsement” (more on that below) to Christianity via an appendix in the book written by NT Wright.
In an amazingly straightforward presentation, Flew recognizes now the obvious. Something doesn’t come from nothing, and pure matter cannot explain consciousness, emotion, purpose and a whole slew of other things that are necessary components of life. The only reasonable conclusion is God.
There is also an appendix by Roy Abraham Varghese that replies to the “New” atheists like Dennett, Dawkins, Harris et al.
I enjoyed the book and recommend it, but as the leaking sarcasm hints I find the posture a little shameful. Requisite with the acknowledgement of God is worship. As with most intelligent people, Flew refuses to take that requisite step. He fails to see the truth of Isaiah who calls God’s creation to worship Him:
Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.
…to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance,
They will say of Me, Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength,
Men will come to Him,
And all who are angry at Him will be put to shame.
(Isaiah 43:7 & 45:23-24)
God doesn’t need an endorsement, He demands worship.
Penn Jillette has a lot to say about religion, he is an atheist, but here is a provocative video where he tells of someone who gave him a Bible. He says some interesting things that Christians should remember when talking to unbelievers:
- He was complimentary
- He said nice stuff
- He gave me…
- He looked me in the eye
- He made it personal (Penn says: “He said I wrote in the front of it, wanted you to have it)
- He was not defensive
- He was truly complimentary, kind, nice, sane, looked me in the eye
- He cared enough about me to talk to me
Here are some other things he said about the encounter and evangelism (proselytizing):
- It was really wonderful
- I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize
- How much do you have to hate people to not proselytize, if you really believe heaven and hell is at stake?
- He cared enough about me to talk to me
Not all atheists and unbelievers are interested in being evangelized, but everyone is interested when you care about them. Evangelism must be driven by unadulterated love for the person you are speaking to. It is not a debate or an argument, it is an expression of care and concern.