John Lennox Christopher Hitchens
Welcome to the first post of a series where I will be sharing different resources that have helped me to grow broader in my understanding of faith and deeper in my spirituality. My hope is that they will encourage you as well. A simple caveat must be said. These debates and lectures are not necessarily endorsements of any particular theology, doctrine, social, or cultural position. These resources are simply meant to help us think about the world through faith. Most of you are familiar with the verse from 1 Peter 3:15
1 Peter 3:13-17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil.
Christians should be learning constantly so that we can have a reason for our faith, but for more than simply defending our faith. Learning helps us to edify our own faith. Learning gives us more and more reason to love and rejoice in God. I think we should also note the whole context of Peter’s exhortation. In America, we rarely suffer for our faith. Some people may suffer because of their attitude about their faith because they come across as close-minded, know-it-alls. We must learn that the reason we debate others is that we love them, not because we want to be right, or because we want to win an argument for the sake of winning.
The resource for today is a debate that was produced by the Fixed-Point Foundation. The debate topic, “Can Atheism Save Europe?” Christian Apologist John Lennox and (The late) Atheist author Christopher Hitchens are more than able to defend their positions. This debate is worth the listen because it helps us to understand the worth of the Christian understanding of culture and Christopher Hitchens offers very good critiques of the mess that can happen when the church and state become too closely aligned. The debate motion is “The New Europe should prefer the New Atheism.”
You can find the debate by clicking here
I think worth noting is that for many people today, they do not distinguish between religions or distinguish between the teaching of Christ and the actions of Christian adherents.
Also, Lennox does a good job of pointing out that religion, Christian or any other, is a pretext and an excuse to carry out the violence that was planned in their heart.
Enjoy, and leave a comment if you found this helpful, or if you have any resources you think would be helpful for others.
Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash