I’m very tentative about commenting on this debate as i’ve not yet listened to it. But i’m going to anyway because I’m a little bit concerned. If you did get a chance to see/listen to it, then please, please correct me if i’ve got something wrong. I greatly admire John Lennox and my gripe is certainly not against him nor his lines of thought.
What surprised me was this comment from Coel on the Faith Central article i referred to before.
Interesting format for this debate. First the moderator reads an excerpt from The God Delusion. Then Dawkins is invited to expound on it. Then Lennox reads a prepared critique of that excerpt. Now, at this point, surely the thing to do is to invite Dawkins to respond to Lennox, defending his work? But no, the moderator then moves on to a new excerpt, and the above repeats. In other words, the format gives Lennox repeated opportunities to critique Dawkins, but gives Dawkins no opportunity to respond to Lennox! And even when Dawkins points out the one-sidedness of this, the moderator persists!
If this is correct, then I’m not at all surprised that Dawkins was frustrated, to say the least (see transcript already posted). It would drive me absolutely bananas if I was in his shoes. What are we scared of, Christians? Why not let the guy respond to critiques? Surely it just gives him more ammunition in the future, and will make him all the more reluctant to enter into these sorts of environments. I take my hat off to him for even being willing to enter into the lion’s den of America’s Bible Belt. The debate’s format simply gives the impression (however unfairly) of being defensive and nervy – and there’s surely no need for that?