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A New Christian Debate Resource

May 27, 2008
(This post is a work in progress and will be cleaned up and improved upon in the coming days).
Last updated 5/29

This is something I’m incredibly excited about working to put together. I often enjoy listening to debates more than anything else because it can never be a one-sided argument. Of course, when the Christian debates the atheist I don’t side with the atheist; however, a debate presents both sides of the argument and provides the opportunity to hear the Christian response and defense to objections. This is a facet that is not always offered in a sermon since that is not the proper forum for such objections.

Therefore, after realizing that I have not been able to find a site (though it may be out there, I’m not trying to be revolutionary here) that offers audio or video of Christian debates, the following is what I have found on the internet that either has audio or video files. I have listened to many of these debates, but not all of them in their entirety. I don’t necessarily agree entirely with every Christian who is represented here, but just hope to provide a resource that will be useful to any who enjoy Christian apologetics and learning by hearing both sides of the argument. I will be adding to this list and updating the post regularly as I come across more debates that are on the internet. I have divided the list into two sections. The first is debates on theology, and focuses more on debates within Christian circles on theological matters such as Calvinism or eternal security of the believer. The second division is broadly labeled as debates proving the existence or nature of God. These are between Christians and and those of other faiths, atheism included. I recognize that this is also a theological matter, so my labels are not entirely accurate, but this was how I deemed it best to divide the categories. Without further delay…

Debates on Christian Theology:

Al Mohler (president of Southern Seminary) and Paige Patterson (president of Southwestern Seminary) “discuss” the matter of Calvinism at the Southern Baptist Convention here.

My reaction: This is one of the best debates out there – Mohler and Patterson present their positions in a clear and respectful fashion. I think pretty much anyone in the SBC should be required to listen to this.

Mark Driscoll debates Dan Corner over the eternal security of the believer here.

My reaction: Good debate – the audio quality is not great, but Driscoll does a good job defending the security of the believer.

Debates on The Existence/ Nature of God:

“The Great Debate” – Greg Bahnsen (Christian apologist) debates well-known atheist, Gordon Stein, here.

My reaction: Excellent – one of the most famous debates out there. Greg Bahnsen is brilliant

John Lennox (Oxford mathematician & Christian Apologist) and Richard Dawkins (Oxford scientist & author of The God Delusion) debate here.

My reaction: This is a great debate between one of the leading Christian apologists and probably the best known atheist of our generation. The worst part of this is the debate format. It doesn’t seem like the moderator really let the two talk without interrupting. Having heard Lennox speak at Southeastern chapel, many of his best arguments (especially his conclusion) were cut off as he was getting to them because of time restraints.

A video conversation between Alister McGrath (of Oxford) and Richard Dawkins here.

My reaction: This video format is somewhat awkward. You can see the same interview on YouTube in a series of ten minute videos as well. This is a good video that is more of a conversation than a debate. This comes from Richard Dawkins‘ website, so it’s important to recognize that he is asking the questions to McGrath. Therefore, Dawkins is able to be on the offense throughout the entire discussion – a significant advantage.

Ray Comfort (from The Way of the Master) vs. Ron Barrier (atheist) here attempting to prove/disprove the existence of a Creator.

My reaction: This is a very poor debate, and I’ve included it only for the sake of completeness. Barrier’s arguments are very poor and mostly simple logic that appeal to the emotions of his audience. Comfort isn’t too impressive either for the Christian defense…

William Lane Craig (Christian apologist) debates Jamal Badawi (Muslim apologist) at Emory Univeristy. Part of 1 of 11 is below, and the remaining 10 parts are also on YouTube.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tyler Smart permalink
    May 29, 2008 3:07 am

    Good resource! I wonder if there is any way to centralize these to a site where you could control the content? What I mean is: what if they content went down and it was no longer available? It is a great list, and that is the point, so I am probably overthinking it. 🙂

  2. Bryan Barley permalink
    May 29, 2008 9:20 pm

    Tyler, good point. I’ve thought about downloading the audio so I can have the files in case they become unavailable. I would host all the files on here, but I know that many of these debates are copyrighted and can’t be hosted here. That’s why I’ve provided links to the site rather than directly to many audio clips. But, I’m still thinking on that one… Hope you’re enjoying your mission trip!

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