In celebration of Good Friday and Easter, here is a short clip of William Lane Craig debating the literal, historical resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and the reliability of the eyewitness accounts.
We were not meant to take on the world.
And yet the internet and our televisions bring the world into our homes with all it’s discussions, ideas, worldviews, trolls and monsters. As Christians, and especially Christian apologists and defenders and witnesses, we feel the pressure to rush into the fray and encounter every intellectual adversary that appears. We’ve studied, we’ve prayed, we’ve read. We’re familiar with our arguments and opposing arguments. Once more unto the breach, dear friends!
The world is too big for us.
We read an article and encounter an objection. Our nature drives us to work out it’s validity. We must do something with it. Then there are the comments. Tons and tons of comments, each with a new rabbit trail, red-herring, twist, challenge, or snark. Gauntlets thrown like rice at a wedding and the urge to pick each one up, examine it, and throw it away grows stronger.
The world outnumbers us.
And we begin to feel it’s weight.
We begin to feel it’s depth.
We begin to feel small.
But aren’t we supposed to engage the world? Aren’t we supposed to make a defense for the hope within us? Aren’t we supposed to be witnesses and salt and light?
Yes, of course. But not to the entire world. God will handle the world, he’s the only one who can fully comprehend it. We must bloom where we are planted. We must study. We must be familiar with arguments and counter arguments. We must be ready to defend our hope in a spirit of love. And our primary duty is the physical place we find ourselves.
The secondary place in the 21st century is where we communicate via technology. But this requires discernment and discipline. We are suffering from information overload as a culture. Like the logician in Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, if we try and fit the world in our head, our head will split open. The internet is a marvelous tool for communication, but it can place a burden on us that no one person was intended to bear.
So debate and engage. Love and serve. Spread the gospel. But examine yourself to see if you’re taking on too much.
Bloom where you’re planted. God will take care of the world.
Downtown there have been several blue-shirted ACLU people, usually college age, taking donations to help protect “gay rights.”
This afternoon I was heading to my office to grab something when I ran across one of them who told me that some politicians were “trying to use law to discriminate and deprive people of their rights. Like women’s reproductive rights, gay rights…” and some others that I can’t remember.
She said that, “These lawmakers are using law to enforce their morality and that’s wrong.”
“So you would say that laws shouldn’t enforce a particular moral view?” I asked.
“Right. It shouldn’t be a factor.” She said.
“But aren’t you trying to force your moral viewpoint?”
Apparently no one had ever asked her this before. She had brought up abortion, so I asked her about her views on that.
“I personally feel it’s not a positive thing. But I shouldn’t force my view on others.” She explained.
“But,” I answered, “if pro-life people are right, and the unborn is a valuable human being, then shouldn’t you enforce your view?”
At this point she was visibly uncomfortable, even though my tone was friendly and non-combative. She changed the subject by explaining that she was out there for “gay rights” not abortion. She then explained that they were attempting to create legislation that would prohibit employers for firing people due to sexual orientation. (I didn’t say this, but in this state employers can fire anyone at any time. So the ACLU would be, if I’m understanding the law correctly, trying to created a special class of protected citizens while the rest of us can be let go for any reason.)
I asked if she thought organizations had the right to hire and retain people that shared their values. She said they did. So I asked if she thought religious organizations should be forced to hire or retain people that did not hold their views. She hesitated, growing more uncomfortable and then said that the hoped someone wouldn’t work at an organziation that didn’t hold their values. That didn’t answer my question of course, and those types of situations are in the news often, but I let it go.
After a few more minutes she began to hestiate and become more nervous, often apologizing for her nervousness and then said that she knew what she believed but wasn’t good at debating. My goal wasn’t to change her mind, but to put a stone in her shoe. So, I brought the conversation to a close by saying that I hoped she would take a little time to think things through a little deeper, since these issues have wider ramifications than we often hear discussed in the public square.
I told her to have a nice day and headed on.
I have nothing against this girl. She seemed very sweet, and I’m sorry she was uncomfortable. But it was obvious that she’s been socialized into her beliefs, which led to her promoting specific policies.
But when asked for her reasons, her silence was telling.
This video is long, but worth watching. Christian philosopher and theologian (he has doctorates in both) William Lane Craig debates one of the “four horsemen” of the “new atheists”, Christopher Hitchens.
After watching the whole thing my opinion is that Craig is the more logical and Hitchens the more charismatic. Craig lays out his logical arguments and Hitchens never really dismantles them, or even attempts to. Logically speaking, I think Craig wins. But if you’re more swayed by quips and charisma, you’ll come away with the impression that Hitchens did.
I like Christopher Hitchens even though I think his worldview is wrong and utterly bankrupt. On the other hand, I’m not a fan at all of Richard Dawkins who comes across as an arrogant bully whose arguments contain little argument and lots of name calling. (He also refuses to debate Craig, claiming that the only reason Craig wants to debate him is because he’s an egomaniac who’s hungry for fame. Talk about projecting yourself on others.)
This kind of debate is perfect to put on and listen while you’re working.