As many of our readers know, on September 29, 2011, I debated Blair Scott, the Director of Communications for American Atheists, Inc. About two and a half years earlier I debated Dan Barker, the co-president from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In both debates, I defended God’s existence, while the atheists argued that God does not exist. At both events, the venues were packed with people and video live streams of the events were watched by tens of thousands of others.

The primary reactions we have received from the two events have been overwhelmingly positive. Countless e-mails, calls, notes, and personal comments have come into our offices commending us on the work that was done in the debate. [NOTE: Please understand that I write about these events not in any way to brag or boast. To God be the glory for anything good that was accomplished. The reason I relate the events is only to explain the catalyst for this article.] On rare occasions, however, we have had a few individuals express their concern that public debating is not good for the cause of Christ and is ineffective in reaching those who do not believe in God. While many of these people believe that God exists, and that His existence should be taught, they believe that public debate is inappropriate.

We, at Apologetics Press, take such feedback very seriously. Even before agreeing to these debates, we considered whether the debate format is an effective way to teach truth. Having given the issue much thought, we believe there are several good reasons for Christians to be involved in public debate.

First, the New Testament shows that Jesus was often involved in debating His teachings in a public manner against those who taught error. In Matthew 22:15-22, the Pharisees attempted to catch Jesus in His words. They questioned Him about the rightness of paying taxes to Caesar. They thought that they had Him in a trap. They were wrong, and His answer: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” silenced their quibbles….

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