Monday, April 30, 2007

Mankato Debate with Dr. Robert Price 2-11-07

This last Thursday night I had a debate with Robert Price at Mankato State University on the topic, Who is Jesus? This is the sixth time I’ve debated Robert Price on the historical Jesus! As has pretty much been the case every time I’ve debated Dr. Price, the auditorium was packed. In fact, they had to open up an extra section to accommodate the people.

Dr. Price is a former evangelical Christian (he used to work with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship) who is now a rather well known member of the Jesus Seminar and a prolific critic of traditional Christianity. He is as sharp and as well read as they come, and he ‘s honestly the most formidable “opponent” I’ve ever debated. I guess this is one of the reasons I enjoy debating him. It’s a bit like playing a public game of chess, but with historical arguments instead of chess pieces. One might argue the stakes are a bit higher as well. I also just like Bob as a person. He’s…well…“unique.” For example, he’s an atheist, but he still loves going to church and taking communion! Bob and I banter back and forth vigorously, but I don’t think we ever lose mutual respect for each other.

Who won this debate? I did, of course!!! Just kidding. I obviously believe I have the better arguments (and I’ll try to post these on the site sometime this week), but I’m sure the answer to this question depends on who you ask. Still, if the result of the debate is that a few people (or a few hundred people) think a little bit more deeply about the historical Jesus, then I can’t help but believe that the ultimate “winner” is the Kingdom of God. And if this debate in any way contributes to even one person coming into a relationship with the living Christ, then the debate was worth the effort a trillion times over.

Remain aware of his unbroken presence,