On March 3rd, Christopher Hitchens will be debating Christian apologist John Lennox at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. The debate is sponsored by the Samford Socratic Club, which seeks to promote debate and hold no idea so sacred that it cannot be questioned. While that is an admirable claim, I suppose we will see if this debate changes any minds. Samford University is a private, Baptist-affiliated school which has the right to deny any person or group from speaking on campus. For my sake, and the sake of all others that will be in attendance, I am glad they did not intervene.
The Samford Socratic Club is, at its heart, a Christian organization, though I can immediately striate them among other Christians in Alabama as having reason and decency enough to at least present a public forum with an opposing worldview. The organization’s website has the following explanation in their mission:
It is our strong conviction that Biblical Christianity is neither dead nor dying, and we are willing to test that belief by inviting people of different worldviews, Christian or not, into open and honest discussion. Our goal is to seek the truth and to follow the argument, wherever that might lead. We are not without opinion, but that does not mean that we are incapable of objectivity. We hope to win people to our own viewpoint, however we are more concerned with causing people to think for themselves than we are with indoctrinating them with our own ideas. So we have only three simple requests: Noise off, brain on, let’s talk.
For those in the Birmingham/Atlanta/Chattanooga/Tupelo driving radius that are interested in attending, the pertinent information is as follows:
What: “Is God Great?” debate between Christopher Hitchens and John Lennox
Where: Samford University’s Wright Center Concert Hall (Calculate Driving Distance)
When: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 at 6:00 pm Central
Tickets: Purchase Online
I wonder how many “Burn in Hell, Atheist!” signs I will see being held up on the way in the door?
EDIT: (from the Socratic Club website)
Note: Dinesh D’souza’s participation in this event was unexpectedly cancelled due to family matters. We are willing to refund any tickets purchased before now if you deem such necessary. We are honored, though, to have Professor Lennox take his place, as he is a skilled debater and has debated Hitchens previously in a lively event at the Edinburgh International Festival.