Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, Way of the Master and the big face-off

6th Monday in Eastertide / 3 days until Ascencion Thursday

As a Christian, I was insulted by the face-off on America’s ABC “Nightline” program. Not because of the “Rational Response Squad”. In essence, I have to agree with them. Why?

Because simply put, Comfort & Cameron’s bold claim prior to the face-off that:

Perhaps you think that anyone who says that he can prove the existence of God is a dreamer. Maybe, like most people, you believe that the issue is a matter of “faith.” Then we must be dreamers, because we can prove that God exists, scientifically, absolutely, without mentioning faith or even the Bible. Do you find that hard to believe? Then watch the debate.

And further more their claim “that the existence of God can be proven, 100 percent, absolutely, without the use of faith” was a straight lie. Going by the way that they “evangelize” on their “Way of The Master” program (which I personally find appalling), they would fail their self-described “good test” by their own actions that night. I like Cameron, he’s a good actor and I enjoyed his time on “Growing Pains” but in this role, my advice to him is “Don’t give up your day job.”

There were logical fallacies on both sides, ontological, philosophical (and I by no means make any claim that I am a ontological or philosophical genius). But as a Christian, I am insulted that these are the representatives that claim to speak for Christians in the “fight” against atheism and secularism. If Cameron and Comfort were trying to style themselves as modern day versions of St. Paul (who was well versed in Hebrew & Hellenic thought when debating others), they failed miserably. Their entire “scientific” argument while supposedly not referencing faith, was a joke because faith was repeatedly used throughout their sections. I can only pray that God may have mercy on their souls.

As for the RRS, to me at least, they were bordering on creating an atheistic religion (an oxymoron, yes) with almost the same fire and passion that some evangelicals in the community have (such as Way of The Master does).

As a Christian, I will have have to agree with the Rational Response Squad and say that one cannot prove that God exists scientifically as Cameron and Comfort claimed to have done. Atheists and agnostics do form part of the circle of people I know; I miss the email discussions that me and that cute, agnostic, atheistic, young lady (who used to work in my office before she got a new job in the public service) used to have on philosophy, metaphysics etc.. Both of us ended up coming to the agreement that while my faith was in God, her’s was in God not existing because on a rational, naturalistic view of life around us, God couldn’t be present (we had some great conversations regarding the theodicy issue). And there was no targeted evangelism there, it just came out in natural discussion (who knows, maybe a seed has been planted?). But yes, she and I had some great email conversations.

Ontologically, philosophically, metaphysically and theologically, one can defintely make a case for God’s existence; if you want such examples, St. Anselm of Canterbury’s Monologion and Proslogion, stuff by written by Baruch Spinoza or Paul Tillich are good examples.

Personal experience and faith, yes indeed you can make a case. Scientifically, I personally doubt it because one cannot contain God in a box and do repeated experiments on Him so that one can objectively verify his existence and attributes – such a thing only comes about through faith.

And for me, my faith is rational (you could call it an extension impressed on my mind by the post-modernism that is present in today’s society coupled with my upbringing in a Chinese Christian household where I could have easily been Buddhist had my father’s side of the family not become Christian generations ago). I never thought that I’d come to agreement with atheists on some issues relating to theology, but on this I can out of my own free will. As an evangelical, I’m ashamed at what happened last week. And the brush that has been used to paint all of us with the same color paint.

Good Lord, have mercy on us all.

Pax,
+ bf 0059hrs

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3 thoughts on “Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, Way of the Master and the big face-off”

  1. i didn’t know that this debate occured, but i do have a good friend who listens to way of the master radio and uses that evangelism on me. i hate it, and i want to puke when she does it. so, honestly, it’s good to hear someone else say this. also, i appreciate the previous post on monasticism. i often find people, including my family, who do not at all understand my attraction and search.

  2. Just curious, what do you believe? You say that you are a Christian and you also agree with the atheist. Please explain “my faith is rational”.

  3. RD (I don’t know if you have decided to use those set of initials in homage to Richard Dawkins of “The God Delusion” fame, or if you are Richard Dawkins himself. If you are then I am honored that you have found this crappy little blog of mine =),

    When I do say that my faith is rational, it is in this sense:
    My faith is rational in that I do not attempt to try to explain God scientifically (what Comfort and Cameron claimed to do in that face-off) because God cannot be explained scientifically (God is not someone/something that can be reduced to a 1+1=2 statement). If God is in the supernatural realm (something that I do believe in, and which RRS and Cameron & Comfort would probably agree on, even though RRS does discount that God actually exists), how can one make a case for God scientifically when science is (I’m using a dictionary definition here): “The study of the physical and natural world and phenomena, especially by using systematic observation and experiment.” (Macquarie International English Dictionary, 2004).

    If man could capture God and subject God to study by systematic observation and experiment, God would not be God then. If man could capture God and subject God to systematic observation and experiment, then man would essentially be higher than God in the scheme of things (something which by personal experience I definitely do know that I am not unless I delude myself into thinking that my self is God). When I say my faith is rational, it is only in this sense. It is not in the sense that I can explain God away by pure reason and logic (because I cannot based on what I have experienced seen in my own short life).

    My faith in God has come through a long and arduous process in my short life where at one point in time, I was considering joining any of the other world religions or becoming an agnostic/atheist (and this happened in a family which was strongly Christian, call it my rebellion between the ages of 10 to 13). That didn’t happen because like Cameron, God revealed himself to me in a personal way that cannot be measured or repeated by scientific experiment. I take His presence with me to be on faith.

    I agree with RRS in that the debate was supposed to be one where Cameron and Comfort were to present 100% proof logically and scientifically that God existed which they failed to do in my eyes. That is the only thing that I agree with the atheists from RRS on. Cameron and Comfort failed to provide scientific evidence (as the term would be ordinarily understood) and repeatedly went back to using faith-based answers to argue their “scientific” case. To me that is intellectual dishonesty.

    Pax.

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