Announcements / Commentary / Response

Unpacking Atheism: The Evangelical Emergency Defense Strategy

Lee Strobel, Mark Mittelberg and William Lane Craig are hosting a “seminar” being broadcast simultaneously to participating churches around the US the evening of October 14th, 2012 in how to deal with the rise of atheism. They are promising to “unpack the central claims made by those who deny God’s existence and discuss how we can best answer them.”

Their promotional material reads like a public safety warning against an epidemic:

Atheism is on the rise. If you haven’t been confronted by it yet, you will.

Though, of course, I completely agree with that statement. It continues:

Your children are already being challenged by it. Here are some sobering facts:

1 in 4 Americans under 30 now describe their religion as “atheist,” “agnostic,” or “nothing in particular”

the number of Americans with no religious affiliation has doubled since 1990, to 15 percent

young people are dropping out of church at 5-6 times the historic rate, often because of intellectual doubts

books by the New Atheists have gone mainstream, many becoming international bestsellers

skeptic groups are becoming aggressive; the Secular Student Alliance has doubled in two years, and has established 250 chapters in U.S. schoolsEven if you and your church have not yet run into militant atheism head-on, the effects of it are seeping into our culture and, increasingly, into the church. We must confront this challenge! We need to be ready — and help our church members become ready — to not only “give an answer” (1 Pet. 3:15), but also to “take every thought captive” for Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).

That’s why we’re offering this vitally important live simulcast on Sunday evening, Oct. 14, 2012, called “Unpacking Atheism.” Apologetic veterans Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg will host this event as they interview Dr. William Lane Craig, perhaps the leading defender of Christianity today.

Together, Strobel, Mittelberg, and Dr. Craig will unpack the central claims made by atheists and discuss how we can best answer them. In addition, they’ll disclose inside stories of Dr. Craig’s landmark debates with many of the leading atheists and skeptics around the world. They’ll also interview other guests with fascinating stories of coming out of atheism to follow Christ.

This promises to be one of the most exciting and informative simulcasts ever offered — and your church can participate! It’s simple to sign up and host this event. Then promote it to your congregation, youth ministries, and entire community — including spiritually curious visitors.

Together we’ll answer the toughest challenges to our faith, hear stories of truth triumphing over doubt, and point people confidently toward trust in Christ.

YouTuber brettppalmer (The Bible Skeptic Videos) has made the excellent suggestion that “it would be a good idea if atheists attended this event in order to find out what is being said about our position and how these fundamentalist evangelicals are preparing themselves to confront us”.

Brett rightfully suspects strawmanning and I tend to concur. While these church events are generally open to the public, the broadcast is still being presented in exclusive fashion. It’s likely not only to include misinformation, but it’s fairly obvious that they don’t want this easily accessible to those they are speaking of.  Though they claim they will “offer a balanced and accurate assessment of Atheism..”

If possible, Better Off Damned will be attending one of these broadcasts. Presently, the nearest church hosting this seminar is about 3 hours from us. If one opens up closer by, we will most certainly cover it. If not, we will do our best to make the trip if we are able.

We are encouraging the atheist community at large to try to make your own way to one near you. We cannot allow ourselves to be strawmanned and vilified behind our backs. It’s imperative that we know and expose what is being said.

LIST OF LOCATIONS

UNITED STATES:

ALABAMA:
Magnolia Church of Christ
Florence, AL 35630

CALIFORNIA:
Third Column Ministries
Brentwood, CA 94513

Reasonable Faith
Turlock, CA 95382

The Church at Rancho Bernardo
San Diego, CA 92128

COLORADO:
Cherry Hills Community Church
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126

Arvada Covenant Church
Arvada, CO 80002

GEORGIA:
Fifth Avenue Baptist Church
Rome, GA 30165

Johnson Ferry Baptist
Marietta, GA 30068

Ivy Creek
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

IDAHO:
Trinity Reformed Church
Moscow, ID 83843

Faith Community Bible
Boise, ID 83709

ILLINOIS:
Peace Lutheran
Lombard, IL 60148

INDIANA:
Wakarusa Missionary Church
Wakarusa, IN 46573

Nappanee Missionary Church
Nappanee, IN 46550

The Pointe
Fort Wayne, IN 46818

Clermont Christian Church
Indianapolis, IN 46234

KANSAS:
Pathway Church
Wichita, KS 67212

LOUISIANA:
First Baptist Church of Ponchatoula
Ponchatoula, LA 70454-2505

MARYLAND:
Patuxent Presbyterian Church
California, MD 20619

Grace Community
Fulton, MD 20759

Search Ministries
Ellicott City, MD 21044

Smithsburg Valley Church
Smithsburg, MD 21783

MICHIGAN:
Crossroads Missionary
Mendon, MI 49072

MINNESOTA:
The Rock Christian Youth Center
Tyler, MN 56178

MISSISSIPPI:
Pearson Baptist
Pearl, MS 39208

MONTANA:
Libby Christian Church
Libby, MT 59923

Faith Lutheran
Kalispell, MT 59901

Assembly of God
Hamilton, MT 59840

NEBRASKA:
Lincoln Berean Church
Lincoln, NE 68516

NEW JERSEY:
Proclaiming His Word Fellowship
Pleasantville, NJ 08232

NEW MEXICO
Crosswinds Community Church
Hobbs, NM 88241

NEW YORK:
Centerpointe Community Church
Lancaster, NY 14086

NORTH CAROLINA:
Westminister Presbyterian
Fayetteville, NC 28304

Mt. Carmel Ministries
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

OHIO:
The Shelterhouse
Springfield, OH 45504

Hillsboro Church of Christ
Hillsboro, OH 45133

OREGON:
Trinity Lutheran Church
Cottage Grove, OR 97424

TENNESSEE:
St Paul United Methodist Church
Knoxville, TN 37918

TEXAS:
First Baptist Church
Seguin, TX 78155

First Baptist Church Bulverde
Bulverde, TX 78163

Oak Hills
San Antonio, TX 78257

Wayside Chapel
San Antonio, TX 78213

VIRGINIA:
Southside Baptist Church
Suffolk, VA 23434

WEST VIRGINIA:
Oakland Church
Charles Town, WV 25414

WISCONSIN:
Calvary Baptist
Eau Claire, WI 54702

CANADA:

New Tusket Baptist Church
Weymouth, Canada B0W 3T0

Mississauga City Baptist
Mississauga, Canada L5A 2X7

Thornhill Baptist Church
Thornhill, ON L4J 1W3

Emmanuel Baptist Church
Barrie, ON L9J 0C6

Grant Memorial Baptist
Winnipeg, Canada R3P 1B8

Foothills Alliance Church
Calgary, Canada T3A 4K4

Ellerslie Road Baptist Church
Edmonton, AB T6W 1A1

Sturgeon Valley Baptist
St. Albert, Canada T8N3Y5

Christian Life Centre
Fort St. John, BC V1J 6G2

Westwood Mennonite
Prince George, Canada V2N 2L8

Smithers Baptist
Smithera, BC V0J 2N0

Courtenay Fellowship Baptist
Courtenay, Canada V9N 9V2

Bethel Baptist Church
Duncan, BC V9L 3T7

TIMES:
7pm-9pm EASTERN/MOUNTAIN
6pm-8pm CENTRAL/PACIFIC
5pm-7pm MOUNTAIN

More Info: http://incastevents.com/portfolio/unpacking-atheism/

10 thoughts on “Unpacking Atheism: The Evangelical Emergency Defense Strategy

  1. Addressing atheist claims eh? Must be hard when atheists don’t actually make any. Atheism is a rejection of god claims… This is off to a great start for them.

  2. Well, atheists (at least those of us who debate theists) do make some claims, like the need for beliefs to be warranted by the evidence, that subjective personal experience is not enough to ascertain objective truth, that religious claims should not automatically be beyond scrutiny…
    Not that I think those will be the claims addressed here.

  3. Any word on what happened yet? Here in the UK we don’t have this kind of thing. In fact, I myself had a photo and a chat with the Archbishop of Canterbury last week. Atheism is just such a normal part of life here, even the church likes us guys! Haha

    Did you ever see Richard Dawkins and Rowan Williams have their discussion at Oxford? It was more like two old friends having a chat than a debate.

    I feel for you guys over in the states having to contend with this crap!

  4. Two reasons people have abandoned their faith have been the falsehoods perpetrated by creationists and the hatred of Evangelical Christianity towards homosexuals.

    Thanks to the internet young Christians are aware of the former and thanks to the sermons they hear at their church they’re aware of the latter.

  5. If your group has a regular meeting, I am happy to have a question-answer session on Christianity and Atheism. I am a Christian philosopher who lives in the Denver area.

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