Anyone who has watched any number of debates on the existence of God, particularly those involving the so called four horsemen of atheism, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, but also any of the many others, (Note: I do not recommend that Christians go looking for this kind of material), should have noticed a common tendency of them all to major in rhetoric, straw man attacks and character assignation far more than they do actually defending their world view of atheism.
The problem is that while much has been written by competent Christian thinker to effectively refute all of their relevant attacks against the Judeo-Christian God, little of that material seems to be reaching the local churches, Mega or small.
That alone is a tragedy that is in my opinion, unacceptable. And one that must be laid at the feet to the pastors of those churches that are deficient in any meaningful ability to stand up to atheists intellectual assaults, either due to the use of faulty Christian material such as theistic Neo-Darwinian evolution arguments instead of non Darwinian-creation science material such as provided by Creation Ministries International, Institute for Creation Research, Answers In Genesis, Creation Today and others, or by failing to provide any ministry at all that answers and challenges the major attacks.
But what is just as unacceptable is the far too often weak representation that the Christian community has representing them in their defense in such debates. A weakness demonstrated by either a lack of sufficient preparation for the atheist opponents that they are debating, like the embarrassing job done by Actor Kirk Cameron and Ray comfort the Televised ABC News Nightline Face-off, (I believe they have improved since then), or by the melancholy, timid or overt effort to be friendly, that comes across as weak, allowing the atheist to steamroll over them.
Some Christian debaters, while fairly well prepared for defending the Christian position, fail to control their atheist opponent and allow them to not only deviate from the debate topic, wasting valuable time, but often follow them off topic. Additionally they allow the atheist to waste time with unreasonably long answers during the cross examinations to (I believe, intentionally) use up time.
And perhaps what gets to me most is the Christian debater’s failure to point out to the atheist when they have knowingly told a bold face lie, or knowingly misrepresented the Christian view or scientific truth, having had it clearly explained in previous debates with other Christian debaters.
I am also disappointed in how some Christian debaters accept debates with scientists who specialize in fields that they themselves are not proficient in and come off looking bad by not being able to refute “scientific sounding arguments” that have been well refuted by other competent Creationist Scientists. And what about those “WHY DIDN’T, WHY DON’T GOD” questions? How often have we heard such question go either unanswered by the Christian debater or answered incorrectly?
I am not here attempting to trash my Christian brothers and sisters who are courageously on the front line of this intellectual war, indeed, I highly commend them for even taking the time to study so that they can feel comfortable enough to stand before a crowd and be pilfered with questions about God, the Bible and Christianity. My concern is that most of them seem to have forgotten that atheists should not be allowed to control the conversation with deck-stacking questions, or false representations of God. And they should not be so “Kind” that they can’t challenge an atheist’s arrogance, misrepresentations or rudeness.
In addition to all this, we allow them to stack the deck in their favor by their carefully controlled, selected Christian debater and non Christian host, who are careful not to invite the wrong Christian apologists/scientists that might destroy their atheism defender in the public arena, this too has resulted in the public being doped into thinking that Christianity as a worldview is a dying idea.
It is indeed a masterful move on the part of the enemy to gain as much of a monopoly that he can on the media, and present controlled programming that makes Christianity look stupid, dumb, timid, ignorant and ineffective.
I am currently putting together a report on the many TV dramas, talk shows and sitcoms that have taken undue pot shots and God, Christianity and the Bible with little or no rebuttals or protest from the Christian community or its leaders.
This would not be so effective if Christians who have a large viewing audience were efficient not only in their defense of the Bible and Christianity, but prudent and proactive in their programming to the extent that they pulled the rug out from under the deceptions by directly addressing all of the major atheist/evolutionists/homosexual etc. attacks against God, His word and Christianity.
Any conversation with a young college or high school student about why they do not believe in God or the Bible will yield a wealth of information about whom and what is influencing their worldviews. And poor Christian examples are not the only thing that is driving people away from the church. A lack of intelligent, sound answers to their questions is a major turn off. I know, I talk with these young people and I have seen the transformation that they go through when I confront them with intelligent, sound answers to their Bible-God-Christianity questions.
The massive amount of anti-Bible/Christian rhetoric that floods the internet, TV, cable, movies and education, demands that the church rises to the occasion using the abundance of powerful, intelligent and extremely effective Christian arguments to counter the enemies bid for the souls that we as a church have been commissioned to reach with the ministry of reconciliation.
(2 Cor. 5:18)
While there are some in the body of Christ who are taking this obligation to heart and are indeed rising to the occasion to meet the challenge of the savvy modern day deceivers, (2 John7, Phil. 1:17), there are not enough, there are far more who are making shipwreck with their errors and misrepresentation of the God they claim to be serving. (1 Tim. 1:19).
Therefore, many more in our ranks must determine to be a voice crying in the wilderness, that takes the power of the truth to the intellectual deceiver that are preying on the public and to the public who are eagerly listening for an answer of the reason of the hope that lies within us. (1 Peter 3:15)
We must do all we can to assist the hungry soul to find their way to the truth.
As brother “Jude” said….
“And of some having compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by their flesh” (Jude 2:22-23).
But this can only be done efficiently if we apply the Apostle Paul’s instructions to Timothy. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Does God Exist? The Nightline Face Off-ABC News