One of the readers of the blog has submitted this:
Found this claim:
Livestreaming is happening for the Friday night debate, “Did the Historical Jesus Claim to be Divine?”
Instructions: To view the event you must have an account with livestream.com. If you do have an account, just sign in to your account to view. If you do not have an account you will have to go through the process of creating an account with Livestream.com.
Just copy and paste the URL below and follow the instructions.
Moreover, another asked me why in the world I’m interested in doing debates with this, against people I so thoroughly disagree with in front of audiences that are antagonistic toward me and my views.
So here’s the deal. First, with respect to such debates in general. I accept about five speaking (or debating) gigs each semester. I charge a healthy fee for these gigs — minimum $5000 (depending on where it is, how much travel, and so on; west coast is $6000; international is more like $8000; etc.). And I give all the fees to charity (the ones the blog supports) So basically I do this as a way to raise money for causes I believe in. That’s not a big deal. Millions of people REALLY give of themselves to their cherished causes, or donate huge amounts of money (think: presidential campaigns….).
On this debate in particular. Justin Bass has organized it and is my debating opponent. He is a PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary, is a Christian apologist, and is indeed very conservative theologically. But he is a nice guy. Last night he bought me a martini and a steak. So we’re off to a good start.
We will strongly disagree tonight, but that’s the nature of these beasts. My goal in a debate like this is never to “win” in the eyes of the audience. That just ain’t gonna happen. People with closed minds have all sorts of defense mechanisms to keep them closed, and people tend to go away from a confrontation like this agreeing with views that they already agreed with before they came.
But for such debates, I always do hope that maybe some sparks of light will be ignited in, say, two or three people, and that they’ll (eventually) be open to changing their minds about religious dogmas they hold, to adopt a more open and affirming view of the world. That would be a good thing! I suppose the majority of readers on this blog would agree that the evil done by calcified religious certainty is quite extreme. This is one way, at least, I can help fight against it. And if it doesn’t happen, well, at least I had my martini and steak!