“. . . 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.
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!