Saturday, March 17, 2007

Having an Examined Faith

In recent weeks I've heard about something called the Blasphemy Challenge. A lot of people are talking about it now, and so I recently decided to look into it and see what they have been talking about. I'll not go into great detail here, but suffice it to say that there is a group of atheists who call themselves the Rational Response Squad. They have sponsored something that they call "the Blasphemy Challenge." They cite Mark 3:29 which mentions "the unpardonable sin" which is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and then encourage people to make a video in which they may say or do anything blasphemous so long as they include in it a verbal rejection of the power or existence of the Holy Spirit. As I looked at the site and some of the videos I was saddened and sobered by what I was seeing.

As I looked over the website I also came across an interview that they had with Dr. Ergun Caner, the President of Liberty Theological Seminary, the seminary at my alma mater. Since I've gotten to spend a little bit of time around Dr. Caner, I have great respect for him and enjoy listening to what he has to say.

I had a listen to about three hours of unedited debate between him and the rational responders. During that debate they covered a wide range of topics from the trustworthiness of scripture, to original sin and the problem of evil, to name a few. However, what I found to be the most valuable nuggets that came from this were insights into today's growing young atheistic movement. These people are young, smart, well educated, and can make a persuasive argument. At the end of the interview Dr. Caner got to ask some questions about what they believed about Christians and why. I do encourage you to have a listen and hear what they had to say.

It is of concern today that there are groups like this who are gaining influence with young people today. However, what is of greater concern to me is the reluctance of the church culture to engage those who challenge what we believe. Dr. Caner invited the Rational Response Squad to speak to students at Liberty University. For some this is unthinkable, but the unoffical motto of the seminary at Liberty is "an unexamined faith is not worth having." The fact is that we simply cannot get away with expecting the people in our pews to be Christians, "just because," or simply with a vague "because the Bible says so."

We must never be afraid of questions because we know that we have the truth. It is alright to ask "why?" or look to look critically at our faith. God promises that when we seek him, we will find him if we seek him with our whole heart.

Check out the related information from Dr. Caner and Liberty here.


Anonymous said...

I have been trying to locate the video of the debate between Dr. Caner and The Rational Response Squad. Do you have a link to it? I would appreciate it if you could post the link.

God bless

Matt Knight said...

As far as I know there was only a radio interview. The audio file (actually 2 files) was available at the LTS website and the rational responders' website.