I’m going to a debate tonight on suffering and the existence of God. Can I say I’m a bit nervous? The atheist is scholar from UNC. The guy arguing for the existence of God is a right-wing evangelical. From the cult-like religious tradition I left. And hailing from the same alma mater as I.
What happens if the UNC chap’s arguments resonate with me more then the Evangelical’s?
I have been recently faced with the fact that my own faith has been a traditionally deistic approach. It is almost completely rational; I come to God from an academic perspective. I see truth and I see beauty, and I ask how can a creator not have had a hand in this? To me, art and music are direct evidence of God. But I believe in God because of reason, not revelation.
And Apologetics Press, who is putting on this debate, is the very definition of the kind of Christianity that I have been avoiding like the plague.
Regarding debates on the existence of God, they say things like “We are excited that the Lord has given us this opportunity to stand-up and be counted for His cause.”
Really? Stand up isn’t hyphenated. Just kidding. (Not really, but that’s not my point.) My issue is with the idea that debate is considered standing up for God. I think it’s more our job to be disciples. Which means doing what Jesus did. I don’t recall Him going around trying to present proofs on His own existence.
So maybe I’m worried that an atheist scholar will argue from a standpoint that makes more sense.
Add to that, right now it seems like the biggest argument against God is that Christians tend to increase suffering, rather than decrease it. At least here in the West, where they tend to be the privileged group, but want to cry persecution at every turn. And seem to have a history of oppressing minorities.
At this point, what do I say? Wish me luck? Pray for me?
I will let you know how things turn out.