27 October 2009

Christopher Hitchens: "What I have learned from debating religious people"

Yesterday Christopher Hitchens had this to say at Slate:
I haven't yet run into an argument that has made me want to change my mind. After all, a believing religious person, however brilliant or however good in debate, is compelled to stick fairly closely to a "script" that is known in advance, and known to me, too. However, I have discovered that the so-called Christian right is much less monolithic, and very much more polite and hospitable, than I would once have thought, or than most liberals believe. I haven't been asked to Bob Jones University yet, but I have been invited to Jerry Falwell's old Liberty University campus in Virginia, even though we haven't yet agreed on the terms.

Wilson isn't one of those evasive Christians who mumble apologetically about how some of the Bible stories are really just "metaphors." He is willing to maintain very staunchly that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and that his sacrifice redeems our state of sin, which in turn is the outcome of our rebellion against God. He doesn't waffle when asked why God allows so much evil and suffering—of course he "allows" it since it is the inescapable state of rebellious sinners. I much prefer this sincerity to the vague and Python-esque witterings of the interfaith and ecumenical groups who barely respect their own traditions and who look upon faith as just another word for community organizing. (Incidentally, just when is President Barack Obama going to decide which church he attends?)

I think I'm starting to like this guy...
(HT: Doug Wilson at Blog and Mablog)

Additional Resources
Buy Collision TODAY at Amazon
Read the whole Hitchens piece at Slate
Hitchens and Wilson on NPR's "All Things Considered" (download .mp3)


  1. Wow. John Meyer showed us a Hitchens debate at the Rock Retreat. That is cool that Christians can love (love on) him with hospitality which definitely affects him :) I also appreciate that he would rather talk to people that are straight-up in their beliefs like, "Yeah. I believe that there is a true Ressurection and the world is 6000 years old. Let's talk." That gives me hope that even if people disagree with us at Summitview, at least they know our beliefs are real.

  2. I totally agree. Wilson said something in the "All Things Considered" piece that I thought was fantastic. He was commenting on how "splitting the difference" between faith and non-belief doesn't help anybody and, in fact, that these "good fences make good neighbors."

  3. Anonymous9:05 PM

    You know mainstream evangelicalsim is blindly equivocal when Christopher Hitches is admonishing us to be hot or cold, not luke warm.