TORONTO – CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE – If there was ever any doubt, the solar eclipse of 2017 provided plenty of evidence that many people remain fascinated with the idea of something bigger than themselves. But what is the origin of such hunger for beauty and mystery?
On September 15, 2017 at 7:30 p.m., individuals, groups, and organizations large and small will have the opportunity to think about this heady question and others like it by participating in a free, live-streamed event featuring two world-renowned scholars who will share their thoughts on whether or not God is a figment of the imagination.
Alister McGrath – the British atheist who became a theist, and Michael Shermer, the American theist who became an atheist – are coming to the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall. Technology will capture their two-hour dialogue and stream it (via YouTube) for free to individuals, organizations, student groups, community groups, churches, and book clubs.
Dr. Alister E. McGrath is Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford and a devout Christian. In addition to his work at Oxford, McGrath is Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, founding President of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, and serves as associate priest in a group of Church of England village parishes in the Cotswolds, (UK).
Dr. Michael Shermer is a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University (Orange, CA) where he teaches Skepticism 101. He is the founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Science, Nature, and other publications.
“Alister McGrath and Michael Shermer represent the highest possible caliber of thinkers and speakers, world renowned,” says journalist and senior editor of Faith Today magazine, Karen Stiller, who will host the event and moderate the evening’s discussion. “They’ve wrestled personally with life’s biggest questions and have come to opposite conclusions. It will be a great, challenging evening, whether you’re there to see it in person, or watching via live-stream.”
“Wycliffe College makes staging an event around the live-streamed discussion easy,” says Steve Hewko, Program Director at Wycliffe College. “When groups register through wycliffecollege.ca, we send them a free hosting package that includes promotional posters, postcards and PowerPoint slides, a step-by-step hosting guide with suggested discussion questions, and follow-up resources.”
The event is part of the Wycliffe College Religion and Society Series, which seeks to generate critical conversations on matters of faith, society, and public interest. The purpose of the series is to play a catalytic role in helping shape discourse around topics that matter deeply to individuals and society.
Tickets for those attending the live event are $25 ($10 for students). The evening is co-sponsored by Wycliffe College, The Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation (CSCA), Faith Today magazine, the Centre for Inquiry Canada (CFI Canada), RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) and P2C (Power 2 Change).
“Outside the Greater Toronto Area, all you need is an Internet connection and a screen on which to watch the dialogue,” says Hewko. “But this is a great opportunity for people to gather in groups to participate in discussions of their own.”