I recently returned from Rhode Island where I read a paper at the Evangelical Theological and Philosophical Society National Conference. My paper was a comparison of the pagan mystery stories of Osiris, Horus, and Mithras with the Christian story of Jesus. The paper was well attended with some special guests: a couple of atheist Facebook friends, Darrin Rasberry and John Loftus, and a few prominent Christian apologists. John and Darrin also attended the Earnestly Contending Apologetics Conference. John posted about his experience on his blog, Debunking Christianity. Although my interaction with these guys was limited (partly due to my nerves over presenting my first paper at the national conference), the time I did share with them was rewarding. I found John and Darrin to be gracious and thoughtful. On Saturday, after the apologetics conference, Paul Copan invited the gentlemen to the presenters' room to speak with William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, James Sinclair, and himself. Wow! What an opportunity!
What impressed me the most was the manner of exchange between the two “sides.”From reading John’s account and from what Darrin has told me—whether or not anyone was convinced of any argument—the experience was enjoyable for all. This kind of argumentation and dialogue is exactly what I hope to continue to promote here at Confident Christianity and on our Two Chix Apologetics Facebook group.
Once in awhile, people ask me why I feel it is necessary to discuss these issues and why I do not “just leave people alone.” My reply: 1) I actually do care about the people who interact with me, and 2) If there is a God, then the search for truth is the most important subject to address. This past weekend reminded me that while arguments are important, so are the people who hold to the arguments. Concern and love for people must take center stage in all of our lives.
Thank you to all who made this past weekend such a wonderful time of discussion and fellowship.