How It’s Done


Last year Bill Maher, in collaboration with Larry Charles, released the film Religulous. The subject: document Maher’s interactions with various religious peoples and organizations in order to “examine” and “evaluate” their claims. The result? Well, at best, Maher’s observations and criticisms are fantastic grounds for discourse. Bill Maher is a divisive personality, so it’s no surprise that most of the people he talked to were relatively irritated or repulsed by his questions. There were many instances where his questions were legitimate and important. However, at worst, Religulous reveals itself to be less about the search for true religion and more about the defamation of all religion. It becomes regularly apparent (unless I’m totally ignorant) that Maher’s quest is not one of enlightenment or genuine searching but is actually designed to make religious people look stupid. Fortunately for Maher, many of them are. Unfortunately for Maher, he never really talked to any Christians who actually seemed to know what they were talking about, when I know for a fact there are plenty that do. I will go out on a limb and say that if Maher’s search was birthed from an authentic search for the truth, he could not come to conclusions such as these,

The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions, is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble and that is what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting s*** dead wrong.”

What’s funny about Maher’s call to “humility”? What’s funny is that it’s not humble at all. If Maher was being consistent here then he must admit the humble thing to do, at the very least, would be to doubt his doubt. Why is his atheism (i.e., religion) exempt from his own standard of doubt? But I digress. The real reason for this post is to point you to a film that actually knows how to present an even handed, unbiased presentation of, essentially, the same debate.

Collision: Hitchens vs. Wilson, is a fantastically interesting Documentary that chronicles the book/debate tour between prominent Anti-Theist, Christopher Hitchens and Pastor Douglas Wilson over the question, “Is Christianity Good for the World?

I cannot recommend viewing this film highly enough.

What is so great about Collision?

Several things:
1. Both Wilson and Hitchens are very intelligent men who argue their points quite clearly and accessibly. Rarely, does this film fly over the audience’s capacity to follow the arguments.
2. Both Wilson and Hitchens like each other. They get along and it’s fun to watch the two men demonstrate the possibility of civil disagreement.
3. Hitchens rarely, if ever, demonstrates apathy for hearing and trying to understand Wilson’s Christian position, in fact he’s downright inquisitive and even impressed with Wilson quite frequently.
4. Wilson is the sort of Christian you wish Bill Maher had tried to interview. He’s loving (even jolly), intelligent, articulate, and uniquely Christian in his responses to Hitchens. Which is to say, he does not attempt to prove Christianity through reason but rather presupposes the revelation of God through Christ and the Bible thereby rightly subjecting reason itself to the revelation of God. Few apologists see that, when they try to prove Christianity by appealing to reason, they are in fact assuming reason is the objective standard by which we determine something is true. Wilson realizes that if he does this, he’s implying that God’s revelation is not a sufficient authority. Hitchens sees this problem too and obviously respects Wilson for not playing into it.

It’s 80 minutes long and is just plain fun to watch. Watch it!

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2 thoughts on “How It’s Done

  1. If you liked this and Doug Wilson's approach, It is laid out in recent terms by Dr. Cornelius Van Til in his book Christian Apologetics and more fundamentally put in concrete by Dr. Greg Bahnsen in basically every book on Apologetics that he wrote. Pushing the Antithesis is one.

    There is a sampling of the entire method here: http://www.youtube.com/gregbahnsen#p/p

    As well as some free lectures from The Gospel Coalition and Westminster Theological Seminary. I highly recommend checking it out.

    Like

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