Sparks flew as Duke philosophy professor and renowned atheist Dr. Alex Rosenberg debated Dr. William Lane Craig at Purdue University on February 1, 2013. Emotionally noting that he is the child of Holocaust survivors, Dr. Rosenberg objected to the notion that a God who is both benevolent and omnipotent could allow such evil and suffering.
Craig had a response ready: “The problem here is that we are assuming that God’s purpose is just to make us happy in this life, but on the Christian view that’s false,” he explained. “The purpose of life is not worldly happiness as such, but rather the knowledge of God. There may be many evils that occur in this lifetime that are utterly pointless with respect to producing worldly happiness, but they may not be pointless with respect to producing the knowledge of God and salvation and eternal life.”
The Purdue audience of 4200 was joined via live video-streaming by 9600 more, from all 50 U.S. states and 60 countries around the world. Craig was awarded the victory in the debate by the live and virtual audiences, as well as the formal debate panel judging the event.
“The result wasn’t even close,” author (and former atheist himself) Lee Strobel told The Christian Post after the event. “Alex Rosenberg had only shallow and unconvincing responses to Craig’s eight affirmative points, and Craig was able to effectively defuse the argument from pain and suffering that Rosenberg raised.”
“Debates like this illustrate why so many atheists like myself have turned to Christ,” notes Strobel.
You can start a conversation with an atheist friend yourself by viewing the debate together at tinyurl.com/debatepurdue.