Something of a Rarity: A Civil Theist - Atheist Discussion at "The Place"

For about the past year and a half or so, I have been a fan of the work of A|N member, Steve Shives, and in particular, the videos he has produced on YouTube.  My initial introduction was via a series of videos he did on Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ, reading that book from an atheist's POV and analyzing / dismantling Strobel's arguments for his belief system.  Steve has given several other such christian apologists' texts similar treatment, as well as engaging YouTube apologists shockofgod and Sye Ten Bruggencate in discussions / debates, where he handled himself (and his opponents!) far better than I might hope to.

Yesterday while checking my YouTube subscriptions, I noted a piece posted on his page simply called, "The Place."  It was a long video, nearly two hours, and I'm not ordinarily given to sitting still for such drawn-out stuff.  Curiosity got the better of me, though, and I gave it a click ... and got the surprise of my life.  What I saw was a discussion, led by one "Dr. Jones" and his wife, who are members of something called the New Covenant Group.  The show included three or four other panelists, atheists and theists both, and featured Steve Shives as their guest.  Jones opened the program by stating that: "This is The Place for intellectual, spiritual and scriptural honesty" ... a damned tall order, considering what I have seen of the behavior of some theists and their definition of "honesty" and the practice thereof.  After some brief commentary and introductions, Dr. Jones let Steve cut loose with his video, "Five Stupid Things About Heaven," by way of introducing Steve to the audience ... and what happened from there was something I'm not certain I have ever experienced: a civil discussion between believers and non-believers which Really Was Civil and Really Was a DISCUSSION!!!  Considering the online debates and harangues I have read, watched and participated in, this was unlike ANYTHING I had ever seen, heard or read before.

And because this discussion is, at least to me, so utterly foreign to a great deal of our general experience as atheists, I thought this video was worthy both of posting and of lending it a bit more discussion than the average video post.  Yes, I'm asking you to invest two hours in this.  Yes, I think it's not just worth your time but VERY MUCH worth your time ... because this is not something you run onto every day.

Please let me hear your thoughts about this video and its content.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on August 17, 2013 at 1:13pm
Loren, I very much like this interview and look forward to more of these conversations. Being able to discuss ideas with believers and non-believers works for me, if the object isn't to dissuade the non-believer or the believer. I tried to "Like" it but am unable to. Just know that this is the kind of discussion I enjoy.



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