In April of this year , Lord Harrison initiated a debate in the House of Lords to discuss the role of Christianity within modern Britain. What ensued was a fascinating exchange of views in which atheists called into question the need for religion in a society that is largely secular. Leading the charge was Lord Harrison who argued that religion was both historically and “very much at this moment” the root cause of “terrible events and some of our most intractable problems”. Baroness Massey of Darwen agreed, pointing out that Christianity was an archaic and malign influence that continued to prejudice people “in relation to sexuality, women, gay people, science and a host of other things”. Lord Goodhart argued that these dangers were all the more tragic given that there was “no credible evidence for the existence of God” and simply “no merit in believing in the truth of something not supported by evidence”.
These kind of arguments are very much “in vogue” at the moment, due to the increasing influence of a number of leading atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. Their books continue to dominate the best-seller lists across the world and their aggressive and rhetorical arguments are influencing a whole new generation of thinkers.
How then should Christians respond to the threat that these arguments pose? What approaches should be used to counter the assertion that Christianity is, for example, dangerous, divisive or a delusion? The Zacharias Trust Training Day is designed to answer some of these questions. It will provide practical teaching to aid Christians in their dialogue with those from other worldviews, as well as offering a chance to discuss some of the issues in more depth during a question and answer session.
Recorded at our Zacharias Trust Training Day at Oxford in January 2008
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