Last year, after viewing the debate on ABC between Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron and the atheists Brian Sapient and "Kelly" I found myself initially walking away with mixed emotions. The chest beating male in myself saw it as a contest of Tyson v Holyfield proportions and was cheering for my guys (Ray and Kirk) to kick some serious atheistic butt. Having been heavily influenced by Ray and Kirk's ministry I was well aware that both Ray and Kirk are fine Christian apologists who have deep familiarity with the Scriptures and are very capable at going "into the ring" with the angriest of atheists. As I watched them argue primarily from the basis of creation and human conscience pointing to a creator I found myself screaming on the inside begging them to pull out the heavy argumentative artillery and teach these atheists a lesson. Many Christian commentators felt the same and launched some stinging attacks on both Ray and Kirk and suggested that they did a poor job of defending the case for a Creator.
My thoughts were that I loved Ray and Kirk and their ministry but I was disappointed that they didn't "go for the jugular" with their opponents. They failed in their attempt to convince the American public of God's existence......... or did they. It was at this time that I was slowly working my way through the book of Romans and the Gospel of John. By the time I'd hit chapter 3 in both of these books I was convinced that my initial impression of the debate was wrong and that Ray and Kirk actually did the right thing in appealing to the idea that creation proves there is a Creator, and that the conscience reveals God's moral law written on the human heart. No one has asked me to write this, but my hope is that it would serve as a reminder as to what Scripture tells us about sinful man and what our priorities should be as the body of Christ, sinners saved by grace, embarking on the great commission.
So what happened in my travels through the early chapters of John and Romans? Over the next five days I will be discussing Five Observations about witnessing to atheists drawn from these chapters of Scripture as well as the debate that occurred between Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, and those angry atheists. I hope that they will serve to galvanise and transform our evangelistic endeavors in the future.
Starting tomorrow: Observation 1
Go On To Part 2