"The Question of God"... and my question to you

"Does God exist?"

 It's the type of question that could start a war.  Come to think of it, it probably has.

But on October 2nd, two brave souls somehow succeeded in discussing that very question without any (physical or emotional) bloodshed.  Instead of name-calling there was friendly jibes, and instead of hard feelings there was laughter.  At the end of the discussion the ideological opponents had loved every minute of it, and so did those lucky enough to be there to witness it.  

If you were at the Question of God Forum, you know exactly what I mean.  And if you weren't, well... don't worry.  We are making DVD's. :o)

The "Question of God Forum" was a friendly dialogue between the President of the American Atheists, Dave Silverman, and Christian scholar, professor and author Dr. Glenn Sunshine.  It was held at a local college campus and organized entirely by Community Christian Fellowship, the small and fairly-new church where my husband and I are founding members.  It's the first time that our church sponsored something like this, and we were excited about bringing this type of event to our community.

Dean from CCF introduces the speakers
CCF chose to put on an event like this because we believe that intellectual reasoning and historical evidence are compatible with (and actually bolster) the Christian faith, not destroy it, as is the frequent assumption.  We are so confident in this belief that we were willing to bring in the head of the best-known atheist association in the country and give him a wide-open opportunity to make his best case against the Christian God, on our turf, and on our dime.   Go ahead, Dave... hit us with your best shot!

Dave Silverman, or as the Atheists called him, "Mr. President"
 We also hosted this event because we believe that people don't spend enough time contemplating spiritual matters.  For example, in common conversation I have heard countless "Team Edward" vs. "Team Jacob" arguments, but it's a rare day when I hear people actually having a spirited religious debate/dialogue of just about any kind.  And why is that?  What matters more?!

(In case you were wondering, that was intended to be a rhetorical question!)

Dr. Glenn Sunshine, Christian prof/author/scholar.  (Notice how he didn't need to use notes.  It's all in his brain.  Very impressive.)

Pat (my hubby) runs the Q&A
 Our goal with the "Question of God" event was primarily to spark sound, intellectually honest religious dialogue with members of our community and so far based upon the feedback we've received,  it seems to have achieved that goal.  In addition, we are inviting anyone who wants to talk more about the intersection between faith and reason to join a discussion group based upon the book "The Reason for God: Belief in the age of Skepticism" by Tim Keller.  If you're local to us and want to join in on the discussion, let me know ASAP.  The groups haven't started yet, and it's not too late to count you in.

Attendees were able to talk to the speakers during the intermission, which was so much fun.  Thanks to Dave and Glenn for being so approachable and open!
 So my question to you is, what truly deserves your time and attention?  Don't you deserve more than just trivial matters and banal entertainment?  I think you do.  I think you are made for something deeper, for something more meaningful.  Please, don't waste your life on stupid stuff, and don't wait until tragedy hits or your kids ask you spiritual questions that you can't answer before you start investigating what it is you REALLY believe, and whether or not what you've always believed is valid and trustworthy.  Your life is worth more than that.

I know it is.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, the local paper did eventually print my "letter to the editor"  about the Question of God Forum. They printed it the morning of the event, which is not exactly what I was hoping for, but I guess it's better than nothing.)

Next up... the race that almost wasn't.


Melanie said...

Great post ~ and great to see photos from the event. Hoping it has a lasting effect on many there.

Oh! And can't wait to hear about the race that almost wasn't.... ; )

Prisca said...

Thanks for the positive feedback!

Mel did you see they put up the photos of us from the race? So funny! Mine especially... those pink shorts will live in infamy. ;o)

I tried to comment on your race post the other day but I don't think it went through. Not sure if it was a site issue or just the fact that I'm on my new laptop and sometimes it does screwy stuff (or I do screwy stuff to it, which is probably the case). Loved what you wrote! Running with you made it fun, otherwise it would have been torture. <3

Don and Shelly said...

The fact that such an event took place without an outbreak of "artillary" should have been proof enough to any antheist of the peace of God. Wish we could have seen it.

suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter} said...

yes for christian and churches unafraid of honest dialogue and intellectual discourse! blessings on your new church plant and presence in the community.

meet you at relevant:)

Prisca said...

Shelly and Suzannah,
Thank you both for your comments and encouragement! How did I manage to miss meeting you at Relevant?!
I am so glad to see other Christians who find value in this sort of honest, intellectual exchange. Some believers don't see any reason for it, or don't understand it. I am happy to hear that we are not the only ones who thinks that these matters are worth discussing with people who have a very different worldview than we do.
We actually are working on finalizing the DVD of the event, and it's going to be for sale soon ($10, I think, so cheap, just to recoup the videographer's fees). I'll post it on my blog in case either of you are interested in ordering it.