Sunday, November 15, 2009


I had the privilege of attending the Arkansas premier of Collision last Wednesday. It was a special presentation made possible by the Central Arkansas Theological Society (CATS - of which I've written previously) and Logos Bible Software.

The movie is a documentary of sorts concerning a series of debates between Christopher Hitchens (athiest) and Douglas Wilson (christian). They debate the existence of God and the benefit of Christianity for the world. You can read an overview of the movie as well as bios on the "stars" on the movie's website so I won't bore you with those details.

However, I will bore you with my thoughts on the film...

I was riveted. The film is well produced. The dialogue is stimulating. The personalities are compelling. The conclusion is fulfilling (in a strange sort of way).

Both Hitchens and Wilson respect each other and that keeps the movie from degenerating into a shouting match (like so many silly talking heads). In fact, their respect for each other makes the movie utterly enjoyable - well that and the endless witty rejoinders. Both of them are bright, passionate, and winsome.

Intellectually speaking, no great new arguments arise on either side. Those familiar with this debate will find nothing new. However, Wilson artfully collates many of the best arguments and provides satisfying explanations at almost every point. I especially enjoyed his short discussion of Jewish ethnocentrism in the parables of Jesus. Great stuff!

In my opinion the debate boiled down to each man trying to place a heavier burden of proof on the other. Hitchens cries foul of Christianity and commissions Wilson to prove otherwise. Wilson asks on what moral basis Hitchens' can make his claim.

There are lots of other interesting points in the film that warrant discussion, but it would be better to just watch it with friends and discuss. I would heartily recommend this film to anyone - athiest or believer.