Faiths Act is based on the street, not on the podium
Can you prove that God exists? I don’t think so. Nonetheless, people often give it a go, and few more publicly than Christian theist William Lane Craig who, last Monday, drew a large audience of Londoners to his debate on the existence of God, with atheist Stephen Law.
Riz and I, along with Faiths Act Fellows Charlotte and Maryam, were also in attendance. I went out of curiosity, to see how these speakers might grapple with the challenge, but I left somewhat disappointed. I didn’t particularly warm to the arguments or rhetorical style of either speaker.
On the podium, Craig reeled off long, rambling and obscure arguments for God’s existence, couched in pseudo-science-style language, and weak historical references. Even as a God-believer myself, I wasn’t blown away with the so-called evidence presented. In his responses, Stephen Law swatted away most of Craig’s assertions. Law’s own arguments gave me no reason to doubt the existence of God, merely reasons to doubt the persuasiveness of Craig. Thus, I left the hall feeling no more or less convinced that God exists.
I left more convinced than ever that the Faiths Act Fellowship is the best approach to the question of religion’s place in society. Personally, I would never attempt to debate the existence of God, or seek to prove to anyone that Judaism is the truth. Our work in Faiths Act is not about proselytising, it’s about mobilising existing people of faith to do amazing things that improve the world.
Last weekend, Riz and I took a group of school pupils from four different faiths to clean up the streets around Brick Lane, raising money for maternal health as we went along. As a Faiths Act Fellow, I’m glad that my job is based on the streets, and not on the podium.