Thursday, May 03, 2007

Whatever happened to modest claims?

Ted Slater wrote today that Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (of The Way of the Master) are going to appear on ABC's Nightline next Wednesday, May 9th. It will be broadcast live on ABC's website at 2pm, and on TV at 11:35pm that night. According to wayofthemaster.com,
When ABC ran a story in January about hundreds of atheists video-taping themselves blaspheming the Holy Spirit, Ray contacted the network and told them he could prove God’s existence, absolutely, scientifically, without mentioning the Bible or faith. He said that he and Kirk would like to challenge the two originators of the "Blasphemy Challenge" to a debate on the existence of God.
JT reports that Comfort plans to prove God's existence in thirteen minutes. I cringe. Nonetheless, ABC.com's article on the TV special (because, with all this hype, that's the best I can call it—I certainly wouldn't call it a debate) is impressively frank about the evangelistic duo's statements:
"I believe the Scriptures teach that there's a literal heaven and a literal hell, just like Jesus said," he explained. "And without forgiveness of sins that, yeah, the place of punishment is called hell."
...
"I have no authority. I am simply trying to be faithful to the God who saved me, who changed me and who has commissioned me to tell you and those who are watching this interview...about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that it has the power to change people's hearts."
The atheists have responded thus far with appropriately modest claims:
"There isn't any good reason to believe in God" ... What's wrong with God? "What's wrong with the tooth fairy? ... There's nothing wrong with something that most likely doesn't exist."
To say the least, I have very mixed feelings about this...well, I still don't know what to call it. Publicity stunt? Confrontation? Caricature? Honest debate? I suppose that verdict will have to wait until after it's aired. Still, I dread this being a horrible and very public gaffe for Christianity in the face of atheism. But, there's another part of me that is really excited, hoping and praying that God will be made famous and Christianity will be seen as rational. Maybe I'm just a dreamer...
Perhaps you think that anyone who says that he can prove the existence of God is a dreamer. Maybe, like most people, you believe that the issue is a matter of "faith." Then we must be dreamers, because we can prove that God exists, scientifically, absolutely, without mentioning faith or even the Bible. Do you find that hard to believe? Then watch the debate.
At the very least, we should all be praying very hard that God has His way with this and that He is with what Comfort and Cameron are doing.

10 Comments:

Blogger Chris Baker said...

Yeah, when I saw this announcement a few days ago, I felt a deep sense of distrust for these people. If you remember, though, James Cameron had a "silver bullet" just a few weeks back, but it didn't go anywhere...that I could tell, at least. I've all but forgotten the hype from that "physical evidence". I think that if this turns out badly, it could just as easily fall into oblivion. I mean, if you saw what was on our cable channels just last night -- "buy our product and get blessed", "donate to us and have faith and you'll see wealth" -- you'd see that a lot of "christian" hype/stuff is simply ignored already.

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