‘Is the Reality of Evil Good Evidence Against the Christian God?’
Southern Evangelical Seminary Hosts Saturday Debate between Professor Brian Huffling and Skeptic Michael Shermer on This Profound Question
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—“The problem of evil is still the best argument against the Christian God that I know. …”
This was a conversation-causing tweet from Skeptic Magazine editor Dr. Michael Shermer, who will debate the issue of “If God, Why Evil?” this weekend on the Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu).
SES faculty member Dr. Brian Huffling and Shermer will explore the specific question: “Is the reality of evil good evidence against the Christian God?” Set for Saturday, Feb. 23, the debate will culminate after several breakout sessions, and will be followed by a free prospective student dinner. SES co-founder Dr. Norman Geisler will also talk that day during a special session about how God’s sovereignty and human freewill are compatible.
SES President Dr. Richard Land said the so-called problem of evil is one of the most often discussed topics in apologetics.
“Our goal at Southern Evangelical Seminary is to equip our students to know what they believe and why they believe it and to defend the Christian faith rationally, intelligently and lovingly,” Land said. “This means answering difficult questions from skeptics, atheists and others. Therefore, believers must be prepared to address convincingly and thoughtfully these queries. Our aim is that this event will not only spur critical thinking for the attendees, but also introduce a new group of gifted and dedicated students to Southern Evangelical Seminary. We never shy away from seeking truth at SES. We do so in the firm conviction that ultimately the pursuit of truth will confirm God’s Truth.”
Dr. Brian Huffling has master’s degrees in Apologetics, Biblical Studies and Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary. He is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Theology and is the Director of the Ph.D. program at SES. He is also a reserve chaplain in the Air Force. Learn more at www.brianhuffling.com.
Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, where he teaches Skepticism 101. He is the author of “Why People Believe Weird Things,” “The Believing Brain,” “Why Darwin Matters,” “The Science of Good and Evil” and “The Moral Arc.” His new book is “Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality and Utopia.” Learn more at www.michaelshermer.com.
The schedule for the day includes the following sessions:
- 12:30-12:40 p.m. | Welcome & Announcements
- 12:45-1:40 p.m. | Breakout Session 1: How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?
- 12:45-1:40 p.m. | Breakout Session 1: Is God of the Bible Racist?
- 1:55-2:50 p.m. | Breakout Session 2: How are Divine Sovereignty and Human Free Will Compatible?
- 3:05-4:00 p.m. | Breakout Session 3: Did God Command Genocide?
- 3:05-4:00 p.m. | Breakout Session 3: How Do We Know God is Good?
- 4:15-6:00 | Debate: Is the Reality of Evil Good Evidence against the Christian God?
- 6:15-7:45 | Prospective Student Dinner | The dinner is free, but registration is required. Participants will also receive special discounts when registering for classes.
Tickets for the debate are $10 and registration may be made at ses.edu/debate.
Tied to the debate is an upcoming course team-taught by Geisler and Huffling titled “The Problem of Evil,” March 11-16, Monday through Friday evenings and Saturday during the day, both on campus and online. Focusing on one of the most important topics in apologetics, the course could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study this issue under Dr. Geisler.
Modules are week-long courses that complete all the lectures within the week and allow the following 10 weeks to complete the coursework. Students can take “The Problem of Evil” for credit or as an audit.
Those who cannot attend the debate or prospective dinner are reminded that some sessions will be live-streamed and that online classes are available year-around so that students can delve into these subjects from anywhere in the world.