This for now will be my last post on the movie coming out soon, “Collision.” I may post something after watching the video at the Desiring God National Conference which is September 25-27 of this year, and I may not. I’m not exactly sure how much more I will say after this post. For those that are interested in buying the movie, COLLISION, it will be released on October 27, 2009. It will be available on DVD and will screen at selected theaters in New York City and Los Angeles. The DVD is available now for pre-order on Amazon.com.
I’ll be a bit honest and say that I have really slacked off of studies and reading this past summer taking it quite easy before I start my Th.M. at Puritan Reformed, which I started this week. The past two to three weeks of August I have spent a fair amount of time in reading three volumes of Christopher Hitchens works like; God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever, and Is Christianity Good for the World? I have now watched at least 50% of Christopher Hitchens debates on Youtube, he is extremely intelligent but what hit me the most was his knowledge of the Scriptures. It is hard to believe that someone that could know, quote and read so much of the Holy Scriptures would but yet be so against it. But a few thoughts came to my mind for you to think about,
2. Do we know the Scriptures as well as a atheist like Mr. Christopher Hitchens? To be able to quote passages of Scriptures left and right, knowing them by heart and memorization?
3. Are we able to stand for truth today in a time and age that truth means nothing to the secular-humanist?
4. How well do you know what you believe in the Scriptures? Not that you have to be as smart as Mr. Christopher Hitchens, but it would seem if we confess a faith that believes in absolute certainty, then we would know that faith better than anything else, better than your wife, your husband, or your own children, right?
Lastly, seeing individuals like Dr. John Piper, Evangelical circles like Christianity Today, and Evangelical Blogs like Justin Taylor’s promote Mr. Doug Wilson scares me, a lot! I honestly wonder what they are thinking when seeing blogs, individual people and magazines that claim Evangelicalism, promote Mr. Doug Wilson in some positive way. Okay Mr. Wilson is obviously a Theist, believes in the 66 books of the Bible as absolute Truth, the God of the Bible, Jesus as a Savior and the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But what about other major issues in the Gospel, like; his book Reformed Is Not Enough which clearly show his differences in Covenant Theology, his views on Peadocommunion, leanings toward Federal Vision, and wish-washy views on the Trinity that still seem not solid in anything that I have heard, read, or saw (too covenantal and no ontological?).
Here is what I think the issue is, and maybe I am wrong but you tell me!?
The problem is the lack of theological knowledge and the power that popularity has in Evangelicalism today.
Let me give some examples;
Paedocommunion– means nothing to the every day Evangelical because if doesn’t effect their circles and nine times out of ten they do not even know what that is.
Federal Vision – because what Doug Wilson had to say in January 2002 Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Monroe, Louisiana, never affected their circles and they never saw the damage it had done in the denominations of the OPC, PCA, and URCNA.
Many Evangelicals today I believe are lacking two main areas;
1. A solid, confessional theological standing on God’s Word.
2. A overview of Church history, knowing their roots in Christianity.
Without both, I honestly do not see how one can properly preach, and teach the Bible. But this is a blog, it is my personal blog, and so therefor it is only my opinion. What do you think?
In the spring of 2007, atheist (better to say Theism-Hater) Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson began talking about the question, “Is Christianity Good for the World?” When the articles came out, Christianity Today was the first there so that they many could soak the debate up. By 2008 the 3 city-site had became a book and now is being placed into video format. If you a reader of science, theism, reason, logic, thought, Christianity or any religion Hitchens is always a must read but even better to listen to.
What is the film about? (From the Collision site)
The documentary COLLISION pits leading atheist, political journalist and author Christopher Hitchens (“God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”) against fellow author and evangelical theologian Pastor Douglas Wilson on a debate tour arguing the topic “Is Religion Good For The World?”. Lives and worldviews collide as Hitchens and Wilson wittily and passionately argue the timeless question, proving to be perfectly matched intellectual, philosophical, and cinematic rivals. COLLISION is directed by prolific independent filmmaker Darren Doane (Van Morrison: To Be Born Again, The Battle For L.A., Godmoney).
In May 2007, leading atheist Christopher Hitchens and Christian apologist Douglas Wilson began to argue the topic “Is Christianity Good for the World?” in a series of written exchanges published in Christianity Today. The rowdy literary bout piqued the interest of filmmaker Darren Doane, who sought out Hitchens and Wilson to pitch the idea of making a film around the debate.
In Fall 2008, Doane and crew accompanied Hitchens and Wilson on an east coast tour to promote the book compiled from their written debate titled creatively enough, Is Christianity Good for the World?. “I loved the idea of putting one of the beltway’s most respected public intellectuals together with an ultra-conservative pastor from Idaho that looks like a lumberjack”, says Doane. “You couldn’t write two characters more contrary. What’s more real and punk rock than a fight between two guys who are on complete opposite sides of the fence on the most divisive issue in the world? We were ready to make a movie about two intellectual warriors at the top of their game going one-on-one. I knew it would make an amazing film.” In Christopher Hitchens, Doane found a celebrated prophet of atheism. Loud. Funny. Angry. Smart. Quick. An intimidating intellectual Goliath. Well-known for bullying and mocking believers into doubt and doubters into outright unbelief. In Douglas Wilson, Doane found the man who could provide a perfect intellectual, philosophical, and cinematic counterpoint to Hitchens’ position and style. A trained philosopher and and deft debater. Big, bearded, and jolly. A pastor, a contrarian, a humorist–an unintimidated outsider, impossible to bully, capable of calling Hitchens a puritan (over a beer).
It was a collision of lives. What Doane didn’t expect was how much Hitchens and Wilson would have in common and the respectful bond the new friend/foes would build through the course of the book tour. “These guys ended up at the bar laughing, joking, drinking. There were so many things that they had in common”, according to Doane. “Opinions on history and politics. Literature and poetry. They agreed on so many things. Except on the existence of God.”
Extra Link for you to check out…
Exclusive 13 minutes preview of Collision.
Who is Douglas Wilson? Well according to Wikipedia,
Wilson earned a B.A. in classical studies and a B.A. and an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Idaho. In addition to his role as pastor of Christ Church, he is a founder and Senior Fellow in Theology at New Saint Andrews College, founder and editor of Credenda/Agenda magazine, and founder of Greyfriars Hall, a three-year ministerial training program. He also serves on the governing boards of New Saint Andrews, Logos School (a Christian private school), and the Association of Classical and Christian Schools. Wilson was instrumental in forming the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches, a religious denomination that is small but influential beyond its size. He is married to Nancy Wilson and has three children, including N. D. Wilson, and 13 grandchildren.
Who is Christopher Hitchens? Well according to Wikipedia,
He was born April 13, 1949 and is an author, journalist, and literary critic. He has been a columnist at Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry, and a variety of other media outlets. He currently lives in Washington, D.C.. Hitchens is also a political observer, whose books — the latest being God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything— have made him a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits. In 2009 Hitchens was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the “25 most influential liberals in U.S. media.” The same article noted, though, that he would “likely be aghast to find himself on this list” and that he “styles himself a radical,” not a liberal. In 2007, retaining his British citizenship, Hitchens also became an American citizen after residing in the US for a quarter century.
Hitchens is a polemicist. While he was once identified with the British and American radical political left, he has more recently embraced some arguably centre right causes, notably the Iraq War. Formerly a Trotskyist and a fixture in the left-wing publications of both his native United Kingdom and the United States, Hitchens’ departure from the political left began in 1989 after what he called the “tepid reaction” of the European left following Ayatollah Khomeini’s issue of a fatwa calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie. The September 11, 2001 attacks strengthened his embrace of an interventionist foreign policy, and his vociferous criticism of what he calls “fascism with an Islamic face.” After adopting a strong pro-interventionist foreign policy, beginning to employ the term “Islamofascist” and his support for the Iraq War have caused Hitchens’s critics to label him a “neoconservative”. Hitchens, however, refuses to embrace this designation, insisting, “I’m not any kind of conservative”.
Hitchens is often regarded as one of the most fundamental figures of modern atheism. Often being described as part of the “new atheism” movement. Hitchens along with fellow atheists Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett have often been referred to as “The Four Horsemen”. He is an atheist, humanist and anti-theist, and describes himself as a believer in the Enlightenment values of secularism, humanism and reason.
Hitchens is known for his ardent admiration of George Orwell, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson, and also for his excoriating critiques of Mother Teresa, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Henry Kissinger, amongst others. Hitchens’ argumentative and confrontational style of debate and writing, and strong critique of usually lauded public figures, has gained him both praise by his admirers, and derision from his detractors. The San Francisco Chronicle referred to Hitchens as a “gadfly with gusto”.
In September 2008, he was made a media fellow at the Hoover Institution. Hitchens is currently writing his memoirs, due for publication in the spring of 2010.
Collision: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson
Christopher Hitchens talks “Collision”
Collision… ? I have for some crazy reason not even heard of this until I got onto Desiring God’s website to look at their National Conference scheduled. I was told by Reformation Heritage Books that I would representing them in sales at the Desiring God National Conference, like the last 2-years. I have always enjoyed attending John Piper’s National Conferences in 2008 (top-ten favorite memories of my life) and enjoyed last years Conference. However when seeing the speakers list for this years coming conference I was quite upset like every other Orthodox Christian – Dutch-Reform, Reformed, American-Presbyterianism and Reformed-Baptist. (Yes Kyle Borg and Nathan Eshelman I place those that adhere to the 1644 & 1689 London and New Hampshire Baptist Confessions as a type of Orthodox Christianity.)
Reason #1 – The list of speakers in my opinion (besides Julius Kim of Westminster Seminary California) would never have crossed my mind when picking my top-five, my top-ten, nor my top-25 on dealing with the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birthday. It doesn’t matter who I’d pick exactly but am glad to say that I attended at Calvin500 Tour and Conference- held in Geneva with over 25 of the top re-known theologians and pastors in dealing with John Calvin and Calvinism. NOT a single ONE is speaking at this years Desiring God National Conference dealing with John Calvin, titled, “With Calvin in the Theater of God.” What Julius Kim, Marvin Olasky, John Piper, Sam Storms, Mark Talbot, and Doug Wilson have in common on dealing with the man John Calvin (even watching all the DG-videos) I still am yet to understand. Which brings me to reason number two.
Reason #2 – Bringing Doug Wilson in to speak at your conference is “risky.” Now I realize a few things…
That I will be at the Conference representing one of the many DG-Book Publisher’s in sales, therefore I need to be carful about stepping on toes.
That for whatever differences that Doug Wilson and I have in theology, does not make any difference in why he is a guest speaker at the DG-National Conference. Nor does it make any difference in what he will be speaking on at the Conference.
That John Piper in Evangelism (I hate that word) is maybe one of, if not the most influence person in the “New Calvinism” movement. He also is maybe one of the largest influences for the growth of some type of Calvinism, old or new today in America, which means bring in men like Doug Wilson is not an issue to the typical layman that knows no better.
However bringing him in for those that do know better, raises a lot of questions in my mind and the many minds that flat-out do not understand “why” John Piper.
Back to the reason for the post, and the few to come on “Collision.” When looking at the DG-National Conference schedule I notice that later on Friday night will be the showing of Collision, then after the screening John Piper and Doug Wilson will briefly discuss the film. I am still not fully in complete understanding what this has to do with John Calvin, John Calvin’s 500th Birthday, Calvinism either New or Old, nor exactly how it goes hand and hand with the theme of the Conference, “With Calvin in the Theater of God.”
Reason #3 – My fear and only hope this is not true is that Doug Wilson is there to be brought into Piper’s circle of friends so that he can gain respect from some spectrum of evangelicalism, being that he lost most of it from American-Reformed and Presbyterian circles for his book, Reformed Is Not Enough, his views on Peadocommunion, leanings towards Federal Vision, and wish-washy views on the Trinity that still seem not solid in anything that I have heard, read, or saw (too covenantal and no ontological?). Just scares me…
Nonetheless, for whatever it is worth in having him there I am extremely excited about the whole Doug Wilson vs. Christopher Hitchens debate video that they will be showing titled “Collision.” I have watched the videos that have been posted on Youtube of Doug Wilson and Christopher Hitchens at Westminster Theological Seminary, and enjoyed them very much. Yes I said it, I actually enjoyed Doug Wilson, his thoughts, and his very sharp mind in conversation with Christopher Hitchens. Although sadly enough to say at least in Philly, Hitchens seemed above and beyond Mr. Wilson’s level.
I am not sure yet to what the whole “Collision” thing is exactly (New York to Philly to D.C. I am assuming), but I would have to say that is what I am looking forward to the most at the DGNC-2009. With that said the next few post will be a little more about who Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson exactly are, what they do, and a link to where you can watch their pervious meeting at WTS.
Check out the trailer below.