On Saturday, June 3, First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston, TX hosted a formal, moderated debate on God's existence. Sonny Hernandez, a Christian apologist in the presuppositional mold and Dan Barker, one of America's best-known atheists, debated this classic question. The format was 20 minute opening remarks, 10 minute rebuttals, 5 minutes each for cross examination, 30 minutes of audience Q and A (which did elicit some pretty interesting dialogue) and 5 minute closings. This ended up being a pretty fiery debate, for better or worse, and even personal at times. But you the audience will have to listen and decide for yourselves who "won" the debate. These questions help me in answering such a question:
1) Who was the most consistent throughout the debate?
2) Who made and who received the most concessions?
3) Who answered the question up for debate? (And stayed on topic.)
4) Who was the most rhetorically powerful?
Why the name “Sin Boldly”? Martin Luther wrote to his friend Philip Melanchthon in 1521: “If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.” To sin boldly, therefore, is not to seek unholy living, but to follow the course we believe the Bible demands even if the world is against us. And if and when we sin, trust in an even greater savior.
First Lutheran also publishes a daily podcast called The Scarlet Thread (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-scarlet-thread/id1110938468?mt=2). This podcast is a reading of the appointed texts for the Two-Year Daily Lectionary. After two years, listeners will have heard most of the Old Testament once and most of the New Testament twice. If you are liturgically-minded and want a little more Bible in your life, this is a great podcast for you.