Tuesday, October 11, 2011

'Putting the fear of God' into atheists

William Lane Craig is research professor of philosophy at Talbot Theological College in California. He is also a renowned Christian apologist who has debated some of the world's best known atheists. He comes to England this month to lecture on the rational grounds for the truth of Christianity and to debate the existence of God with leading atheists.

He will speak between October 17 and 26 in public meetings in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford and Southampton. You can find details of his meetings at www.premier.org.uk/craig.

Atheist Sam Harris describes Craig as "the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into my fellow atheists." Professor Richard Dawkins, arguably Britain's best known atheist, has declined to debate with him, and offered a variety of weak excuses for doing so.

(Newspaper columnist and president of the British Humanist Association Polly Toynbee agreed, to many people's surprise, to debate him in London, but later withdrew, saying "I hadn't realised the nature of Mr Lane Craig's debating style, and having now looked at his previous performances, this is not my kind of forum.")

The invitation to Richard Dawkins to a public debate in Oxford remains open. If he fails to turn up on the night, the meeting will go ahead, but an empty chair will be placed on the platform and allowed to remain there through the meeting.

You may remember that two years ago increasingly aggressive British atheists paid for posters on the sides of buses saying "THERE'S PROBABLY NO GOD. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE."

The organisers of the meeting in Oxford have now put posters on the sides of Oxford buses saying "THERE'S PROBABLY NO DAWKINS. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY OCT 25TH AT THE SHELDONIAN THEATRE."

I like it.