On Saturday, Charlotte and I went to the Christian Book Expo in Dallas at the Dallas Convention Center. This was a gathering of book publishing companies that featured over 200 hundred Christian authors. The gathering was open to the public. For attendees this was an opportunity to hear these authors in various seminars and panels as well as roam through thousands of books.
In the morning, we went to a Christianity Today panel entitled "What is the Emerging Church?" The panel featured Kevin Deyoung, Tony Jones, Scot McKnight, Brent Harris, and Alex Harris. Charlotte and I spent a few minutes visiting with Scot and Kris McKnight after the panel.
That afternoon, we went to another Christianity Today panel: "Does the God of Christianity Exist and Does it Really Matter?" This particular panel featured Christopher Hitchens, an atheist and author of God is Not Great, and four Christian authors, William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Douglas Wilson, and Jim Denison.
The discussion was interesting on several levels. It was very civil and all participants were gracious. Yet, there was something about the format that just didn’t seem to work very well. At times, it felt awkward with the moderator and four other believers reacting to or questioning Hitchens. It seemed somewhat disjointed and without any real direction at times.
In many ways, the comments made by these Christian apologists and by Hitchens were predictable. Nothing really new or unusual. Douglas Wilson seemed to connect best with Hitchens. They had previously been in similar settings together and I sensed that they genuinely liked one another. Yet, Wilson also asked some of the most interesting and probing questions regarding Hitchens’ presuppositions.
It was great to see Bob Matthews, who I went to school with many years ago (Dallas Christian). It was also good to meet Michael Hyatt whose blog I enjoy. (You might enjoy reading his post regarding his three days at the same event. You can read his latest post regarding the Expo here.)