About a month ago, I posted my thoughts on the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. It was an exciting event, because it provided an opportunity for dialogue with many of my good friends about the intersection between science and faith. There was a conversation that popped up on Facebook following the debate where a friend of mine shared her thoughts on the debate, and several of her friends (myself included) responded. One friend of hers, someone I don’t know personally, presented a case for the creationist viewpoint, and I pushed back rather hard against the apparent evangelical spin on Christianity that was being offered.
I might have compared the Calvinist version of God to a Lovecraftian horror.
There was some back and forth on the topic between us while the agnostics and atheists participating in the thread looked on, apparently bemused (I might be projecting my own thoughts about the exchange on others here), until finally this person just decided to send me a private message to continue the conversation. I thought it was an odd decision, since I’m all in favor of public discourse over private correspondence, especially on a topic such as theology where I think it’s healthy for people to see that Christianity doesn’t have a single unified front. In that interest, I’d like to present the transcript of our conversation here, with a few edits to maintain privacy. All last names except my own have been removed. Otherwise, the conversation is unchanged and presented in full.
I encourage anyone who has an opinion to offer it, and by all means feel free to criticize my responses if you think criticism is warranted. In concluding our discussion, when I asked for permission to use his name, Damon expressed reservations because he felt that I would be unfair in my presentation of him, although he did say I needn’t give him a pseudonym. There will be subsequent posts where I will be examining the content of our dialogue (with my own biases intact, of course), but this initial one is done to give the account as plainly as possible and without me imposing an unfair interpretation on his words. This conversation has been very emotionally draining, and I expect my own contributions to it have been inadequate in places.
Because of the length of the conversation, I’ve put it in a Google Doc (found here) for easier viewing. Embedded within it are links to various articles and videos that Damon and I shared with each other in our dialogue that readers may wish to peruse to better understand some of the ideas we discuss.