Unpacking atheism, you say?

The Atheists are coming horror poster.It turns out, just down the road from Kansas City in Raytown, MO, there is an event at Westridge Christian Church called “Unpacking Atheism.”  It’s going to include a live broadcast from Lee Strobel, Mark Mittelberg and William Lane Craig.  You know William Lane Craig – he’s the one who, in his book Reasonable Faith (pages 47-48 in the 3rd edition), wrote (bold mine):

I think Martin Luther correctly distinguished between what he called the magisterial and ministerial uses of reason. The magisterial use of reason occurs when reason stands over and above the gospel like a magistrate and judges it on the basis of argument and evidence. The ministerial use of reason occurs when reason submits to and serves the gospel…. Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa.

So it’s a chance to get lectured by a guy who decided he’s found the truth, to the exclusion of argument and evidence, before setting out to look for it.  Splendid.

And Lee Strobel?  Get ready for the fine-tuning argument.

According to the event description on their website Lee and Mark will “offer a balanced and accurate assessment of Atheism through their own personal experience, interviews, and the riveting stories of Atheists that have converted to Christianity.”  Well, if it’s going to be balanced and accurate, then surely they won’t mind have a pack of atheists there on the infinitesimal chance that these guys start making a bunch of shit up.

So tonight lots of the contributors from this blog (Dr. Dave, Steven Olsen, Michaelyn, and myself) will join other atheists in the Kansas City area to go see what lies Christianity’s finest are dumping on their followers nowadays.  Afterward, I’ll get some of the conversations we have on film.

I’ll be live-blogging the fun, so check in around 6pm CDT for that.  I also may bring a water bottle full of beer, for which we must conceive of a drinking game!  Then all of you at home can play too!


  1. Two drinks for each of the following.
    1. Moral argument.
    2. Fine-tuning argument.
    3. Argument from design.
    4. Ontological argument (a perfect god would necessarily exist, because existence is part of perfection).
  2. One drink for every argument from ignorance.
  3. One drink every time we’re told we must pray for something.
  4. One drink every time Richard Dawkins is mentioned.
  5. One drink every time an argument is based on atheists being generalized (“atheists just want to sin”, “atheists hate god”, “atheists are assholes”, etc.)
  6. Three drinks for “atheists have a god-shaped hole in their heart”.
  7. Two drinks for Pascal’s Wager.
    1. 1/1000 of a drink every time they’re sure it’s a game-changer (hopefully the drink tally here will be low enough to prevent alcohol poisoning).
  8. One drink for every non-sequitor (gay people can’t produce children…as if that would take children away from straight couples).
  9. One drink for every time your brain tells you to give the Dave Silverman face and you fail to resist.
  10. 1/1,000,000th of a drink every time the guy (WLC) who said reason takes a backseat to the claims of Christianity (affirming that he did not decide those claims were true by reason) praises logic.

Toss in your own suggestions.  I suspect this game would be enough to get even Christopher Hitchens drunk.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Tyler Pounders

    I wish I could go, have fun guys. I’d go with wine in the bottle instead, it tastes better than beer when it’s warm.

  • Tehlise

    So, now to just convince my boyfriend we need to go to KC tonight to watch this in person.

  • DaveL

    Can you imagine having a symposium to explain Christianity to non-Christians, and not having a single Christian speaker?

    • http://volfield.blogspot.com Dave T

      It’s likely to be more accurate than anything Christians themselves would come up with.

  • Jaime Wise

    Things like this are one of the reasons I’m so glad I joined CFI. I’m embarrassed to say I bought a lot of those argumetns about Atheists before, you know, I actually met any of them.

    I say you take a drink everytime they confuse shaking their heads in disdain for an argument.

  • Loqi

    “One drink for every argument from ignorance.”
    You trying to kill people here???

  • Adam

    JT…that drinking game would kill me.

  • Rando

    Better idea! After every drink you have to debunk the argument that was just used. Let’s see how much alcohol it takes to make you dumber than the three of them. This may take awhile, but it could prove entertaining.

  • Annatar

    One drink anytime Craig says “the majority of scholars agree…”

  • http://cityzenjane.wordpress.com cityzenjane

    It’s a pity I can’t pray in good conscience but if I could I would sacrifice a goat to Cthulu in hopes of preserving the livers of the people who play this game tonight. Also…alcohol poisoning can kill… there, some SCIENCE.

  • Valladra

    One drink for every philosopher or theologian Craig name-drops without giving any explanation as to how they’re relevant. Two drinks if this is after he’s criticised such behaviour in others.

    One drink each time religious faith is equated with ‘faith’ in science, especially evolution.

    I appreciate that this is covered by several other categories but I think its worth of its own due to the sheer audacity of it: One drink for every instance of atheism being blamed for the Holocaust and Gulag camps.

  • http://www.arkfrontier.com/ Alex Ryan

    I wonder if the people who are paying WLC & Co. would pay the Amish to lecture them about technology, or pay white supremacist groups to talk to them about what being a minority is like.

  • http://daisymama5.wordpress.com/ dm5

    After I went to the Unpacking Atheism simulcast at my church, I wanted to start conversations with my atheist friends in which I could casually steer the topic to religion and then wow them with my newfound knowledge. No matter what argument they might volley at me, I would spike a response into the sand at their feet. They’d have no response except to acknowledge the superiority of my reasoning and come to faith themselves.