The nature and veracity of religious faith will be the subject of two debates next week—one in the Indianapolis area, and the other in Fort Wayne—between a Christian scholar and secular author.
Is Religious Faith Reasonable? is the title of the debates, both featuring Dr. James Spiegel, Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Taylor University, and author and philosopher John W. Loftus.
Spiegel is the author of several books including The Making of An Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief, The Love of Wisdom, and Gum, Geckos and God. He is also the coach of Taylor University’s Ethics Bowl team, which won the national Ethics Bowl championship in 2015.
Loftus is also an author of several books whose titles include: The End of Christianity, Why I Became an Atheist, and The Outsider Test of Faith.
Spiegel and Loftus will hold their first debate at 7 pm, Wednesday, April 18, at the Brookville Road Community Church, 7480 West US 52, New Palestine, Indiana. Their second debate is scheduled for the theater at the Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, at 6:30 pm, April 19. The Fort Wayne debate is organized by FreeThought Fort Wayne.
Both events are open and free to the public.
“The subject of our debate is whether religious faith is rational,” said Spiegel. “My goal for the debate is to demonstrate that faith is indeed rational, given certain conditions, of course. I hope to educate the audience regarding the many ways in which one’s faith may be supported by evidences—historical, scientific, and philosophical—as well as by other non-evidential factors. I also hope to provide intelligent and plausible rebuttals to the arguments Loftus presents to challenge my claims. But both of us hope to model civil discourse on crucial issues where there is strong disagreement. Despite our divergent worldviews, we both believe it is possible to engage in such debate in a patient, careful, and mutually respectful way.”