Public Debate Planned for April 4, 2014
The inspired apostle Peter instructed Christians to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). At Apologetics Press, we strive not only to provide materials that equip Christians to give a defense, but we also try to be on the front lines of that defense ourselves. In our efforts to present a reasonable defense of New Testament Christianity, we are sometimes called upon to engage publicly those who attack God and Christianity.
In that regard, I have been invited by the Christian Student Center on the campus of the University of North Alabama to participate in a public debate with Professor Bart Ehrman. Dr. Ehrman has written more than 20 books, including the New York Times bestsellers Misquoting Jesus, Jesus Interrupted, and God’s Problem. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is a self-avowed agnostic who claims that the pain and suffering he sees in the world make it impossible for him to believe that the Christian God exists. Thus, the debate will be on the subject of suffering and the existence of God. Ehrman will be affirming: “The pain and suffering in the world indicate that the Christian God does not exist.” I will be denying that proposition.
The debate will be held on the campus of the University of North Alabama (UNA) on April 4, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. in the Norton Auditorium, which seats about 1,700 people. We would encourage you to mark this date on your calendar. As the debate gets closer, we will have more information about how to contact the Christian Student Center and obtain tickets for the event. The debate will most likely be recorded for the purpose of making it available on DVD. Additionally, Gospel Broadcasting Network plans to air the event live on their television network, as well live stream it on the Internet.
At Apologetics Press, we believe that a debate format offers a unique perspective on important issues. It combines the personalities of the disputants with the strengths or weaknesses of each position in a way that encourages interaction between the two views. In many cases, publicly debating a proposition can help uncover the flaws and inconsistencies of a particular position, while at the same time bring to light the truth and validity of the other position. In some respects, a debate is one of the most valuable ways to analyze the truth of any position.
It is our prayer that the upcoming debate will be an excellent opportunity to bring glory to the Creator of the Universe. In the process, we believe it will also strengthen the resolve of those who believe in God, and challenge the beliefs and the hearts of those who do not. We hope that you will pray for the success of this event and make your plans to be a part of it.