Christian response to the Atheist vs. Christian Debate
Granted, I have a bias (like everyone does) on this issue, and mine happens to be a Christian one. Yet, before any tenets of the arguments were discussed, the first thing I noticed was the anger – and this theme continued throughout the whole documentary. Perhaps they caught the atheists on a rough day, but I have never seen a group of people so consumed by anger. I truly feel bad for them. Unfortunately, this anger led to disrespect. Interestingly, the atheists were the ones sporting the “Holier than thou” attitude as it was evident through their remarks, reactions, and body language. The Christian debaters trumped the atheists in regards to civility.
Two things I want to harp on from the debate and then I’m done. First, Kelly made a rather interesting statement, something along the lines of (this isn’t exact, but the message is the same), “There’s not sufficient evidence that Jesus was even a man”. Wow. To begin, the debate was about God and not Jesus, so it would have been better for her to stay on topic (yes, Jesus is God, but the title of the debate was, “Does God exist?”).
The reason that she should have stayed away from this is because we (”we” meaning historians) have sufficient evidence everywhere regarding the existence of Jesus. Josephus is often cited as a source, and it should be (atheist will cry ”foul” b/c it is said that it was altered…but if one takes out the added text, it still says Jesus existed, had a following, and was put to death by Pontius Pilate). No matter though, there is still (with no Christian bias) evidence in the letters from Pliny The Younger to the Roman Emperor, The Babylonian Talmud, ancient Graffiti regarding Christians and Christ, evidence from Tactitus, and Lucian (to name a few).
Next, Brian Sapient brought up the question, “who created God?”. Very cliche; most likely expected. I haven’t heard/read the response to this, but here is a quick one on the subject. First, this statement assumes that God was created. However, if we perceive of God as outside of the three-dimensional world that we know, then such a question cannot apply. If God is a being that is unlimited in time (outside time), and if He has access to every piece of time as if it were now, the question of who created God is an invalid question. The question is like asking someone to draw a four-sided triangle – the terminology is self-contradictory. God exists outside of time and space, and if He is the Creator of time and space, He obviously was not created.
I chuckled a bit at the end of the documentary when Sapient and Kelly said that they felt like Ray and Kirk needed a hug. I got the impression that they thought Ray and Kirk were overwhelmed by the debate. That obviously wasn’t the case, both men appeared at ease, calm (not angry mind you), and eager to talk more about the subject. I am willing to admit that my interpretation of this particular event isn’t the only one, but it is defiantly what I observed.
In the end I think that the documentary, as well as the subject, elicited more attention. Regardless, at least it started up some dialogue, and likely millions of blog posts from passionate Christian and atheist believers alike.