Monday, April 9, 2007

God Debate: Sam Harris vs. Rick Warren


There is an informative article available now featuring Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and atheist Sam Harris. You can read the whole 5000 word (that's long) article at God Debate: Sam Harris vs. Rick Warren. I do hope you'll find some down time to read it for a couple reasons:
  1. Rick's good at explaining our conservative, Christian world-view in ways normal people can understand.
  2. It's helpful to hear an atheist's basic arguments so we can get over our fears of being questioned.
Two additional features of this article online include...
  1. In the introduction to the article, the Newsweek editors included background to the debate. I especially appreciated the mention of Pascal's Wager, "It is rather simple: it is smarter to bet that God exists, and to believe in him, because if it turns out that he is real, you win everything; if he is not, you lose nothing. So why not take the leap of faith?" You can read the introduction to the debate here...
  2. Poll Results. A belief in God and an identification with an organized religion are widespread throughout the country, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. Nine in 10 (91 percent) of American adults say they believe in God and almost as many (87 percent) say they identify with a specific religion. Christians far outnumber members of any other faith in the country, with 82 percent of the poll’s respondents identifying themselves as such. Read more here...
Warren summary at the end of the article:

I believe in both faith and reason. The more we learn about God, the more we understand how magnificent this universe is. There is no contradiction to it. When I look at history, I would disagree with Sam: Christianity has done far more good than bad. Altruism comes out of knowing there is more than this life, that there is a sovereign God, that I am not God. We're both betting. He's betting his life that he's right. I'm betting my life that Jesus was not a liar. When we die, if he's right, I've lost nothing. If I'm right, he's lost everything. I'm not willing to make that gamble.

1 comment:

Christian West said...

Commenting without reading all the related articles is probably dangerous. I am concerned that the closing thrust of the debate may be that Rick and Sam are both gambling on the future of God's existence. I sure would hate to be part of putting the issues in those terms.