Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

On Debating Atheists

Posted by Adam Graham on May 9, 2007

An interesting observation on Christian v. Atheist debates:

First, while faith in God is eminently reasonable (the world’s greatest minds, including everyone from C.S. Lewis to Isaac Newton to Francis Collins, have affirmed Christian faith), faith is still required, for “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Second, while Christian faith made scientific discovery possible and many of the world’s first and greatest scientists have been Christians, restricting the debate to things scientific unfortunately plays into the current prejudice that the only “facts” that are real or valiid are based in science. But there are many fields of inquiry that are not open to the scientific method (history being one of them). Thus, the terms of the debate will only take us so far.

I remember the time my wife and I sat down with a friend who had lots of questions about Christianity. At the onset I asked him if he would become a Christian if we answered all his questions. He said yes. Then we talked and we answered his questions, one by one. But he still declined to become a Christian. It was not for a lack of facts. It was a lack of will. As the Bible says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” I don’t think a debate restricted to scientific facts, however it goes, will change that.

An interesting observation from the comments as well:

More often than not, Jesus asked questions of his hecklers and skeptics. A rather different approach, no? Admittedly, it is an approach that is better suited to personal contact than TV broadcasting, but still…

Perhaps a method to consider.

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