A few weeks ago, Nightline aired a debate on the existence of Satan. The panel consisted of Annie Lobert, Mark Driscoll, Deepak Chopra, and "Bishop" Carlton Pearson. Lobert and Pearson both advocate a feelings-oriented view on God and Satan, which produces little more than some unusual one-liners, but Driscoll and Chopra, who both concentrate on a more logical, facts-based argument, make for some interesting television. Watch these two short clips in which they really go at it. Some juicy quotes:
Driscoll: "Do you really think that people got together and said, 'Let's create a religion in which there's only one way to Heaven, we're all sinners, and hell's hot and forever's a long time,' and actually voted on that and that's what we ended up with. Were it invented, I think we would end up with something totally different, like salvation by eating chicken wings and napping. That's what I would've voted for."
Chopra: "I don't need the devil because I don't have the guilt and shame that you people have."
Driscoll: "I don't have guilt and shame; I used to, and then being forgiven lifts it. And then I don't need to rejoice in myself. I get the joy of thanking Someone rather than being proud.
Driscoll: "But you talk about love and compassion and unity and demean people by saying they're primitive."
Chopra: "You are putting all your faith in that book which was written 5,000 years ago.
Driscoll: "I put my faith in the man that this book tells the story of.
It's very easy for a Christian to lose a debate not through his words but through his attitudes. If a Christian succumbs to pride or sinful judging, he has lost the debate, even if he presents the most closely reasoned, logical argument, because he's shown us that Christianity doesn't work. It doesn't do what it claims to do. Usually, that's what happens. Debates tend to squeeze the heart and drain out all of the nasty stuff until it drips all over the other side.
In this case, it's Chopra who's dripping sin and Driscoll who's dripping love and humility. He admits that, given the choice, he'd create a religion of laziness and indulgence. He affirms that he loves and wants good for Chopra, Pearson, and the woman in the audience who disagrees with him (see part 8). THIS, truly, is a victory for Christianity. Not only is it true, it WORKS! (And not just to make us feel good, but to make us holy.) God be praised!
I highly recommend watching the whole video (all 10 parts!-- start at the beginning). It gets better once the audience starts asking questions.