“. . . Why are we going to television?” he [David Silverman, president of American Atheists] asked the audience [at Stanford], a mix of about 100 students and people from the local community. “It’s part of our strategy of going where we are not. . . .” — Kimberly Winston. Atheist TV: Coming soon to a television near you (Religion News Service. 5/7/2014).
So began my morning reading. This led to a simple Emerging Scholars Network Facebook Wall post in which I commented:
I’m surprised that “atheists” don’t already have a TV channel of some form or that some channels might not be considered atheistic by default. But it’s great to have the American Atheists clearly defining their perspective via a TV channel. I confess not following “Christian TV” (or much TV in general).
Then I transitioned to several questions:
What TV channel gives you the most encouragement and/or equipping as a follower of Christ in higher ed? If there is not one, what is your vision for one? Note: Feel free to imagine it in a unique format, e.g., web-based . . .
What TV channel, programs, and ads do you find most challenging to following Christ? Why?
Do you consider your campus a place where atheists are present or “where they are not”? What does a push by atheists to be more present look like in comparison to those by campus ministries such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship? Any stories?
Before I knew it I had offered an invitation:
For those engaged in conversations regarding atheism (internally and/or externally), below are a few recommendations of InterVarsity Press (IVP) books for you to sort through as you develop your summer reading list — maybe even discuss/incorporate into a summer reading group. If you’re interested in writing a review (individually or as a discussion group), please drop me a line ;)
And yes, the Facebook Wall post was already too long before I reached the long list. Not wanting to edit either, you now have an ESN Blog post with not only the comment, questions, invitation, and titles, but also two more requests:
- Please forgive me for the long list . . .
- Please offer your top recommendation of a book to engage the topic of atheism.
Drumroll . . . . a few pertinent titles which come to mind from InterVarsity Press (IVP):
- Against All Gods: What’s Right and Wrong About the New Atheism — Phillip E. Johnson and John Mark Reynolds
- Can We Be Good Without God? A Conversation About Truth, Morality, Culture & a Few Other Things That Matter — Paul Chamberlain
- C. S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason — Victor Reppert
- The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine — Alister McGrath and Joanna Collicutt McGrath
- Deepest Differences: A Christian-Atheist Dialogue — James W. Sire and Carl Peraino. Note: James Sire on ESN.
- Did the Resurrection Happen? A Conversation with Gary Habermas and Antony Flew — Edited by David J. Baggett. Note: In 2004 philosopher Antony Flew, one of the world’s most prominent atheists, publicly acknowledged that he had become persuaded of the existence of God.
- God & Morality: Four Views — Edited by R. Keith Loftin
- God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible — Edited by William Lane Craig and Chad Meister.
- In Search of a Confident Faith: Overcoming Barriers to Trusting in God — J. P. Moreland and Klaus Issler.
- Is Belief in God Good, Bad or Irrelevant? A Professor and a Punk Rocker Discuss Science, Religion, Naturalism & Christianity — Edited by Preston Jones).
- Is Believing in God Irrational? — Amy Orr-Ewing.
- The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails — Randal Rauser.
- Is Reality Secular? Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews — Mary Poplin. Stay tuned for ESN blog interview series with Mary Poplin.