Newly minted professor (and T&T Clark author) Francesca Stavrakopoulou was on the BBC's 'The Big Questions', broadcast yesterday. Iplayer link here for those in the UK. The programme debated the existence of God. I haven't watched all of it, because my internet is a bit slow for such things at work (and, errr, because I'm at work). But the bit I did watch disappointed me a little because the theist arguments I heard seemed very simple, and to come from a wholly uneducated perspective. This was particularly the case when they were talking about an uncaused cause, or an unmoved mover, which even Nicky Campbell seemed to know something about - God (if he exists - I don't know cos I didn't watch the whole show) bless wikipedia. People clearly hadn't really grasped their Aquinas, and had I been there I'd have recommended that they consult several T&T Clark publications for help... notably our Aquinas Reader's Guide.
It was whilst some chap with the poetically significant name Adam, described as a 'Muslim Thinker', was getting himself tangled up that Francesca chipped in with the point that looking at creation as a single event doesn't entirely fit with the biblical account... which suggests an ongoing process of creation. One might even say 'Creation, Un-creation, Re-creation' (as Joe Blenkinsopp eloquently outlines in his book by this title). Of course, the biblical account does suggest an ongoing process of creation, a process of constant creation... (in addition of course to a 'beginning point') in which humanity has a part to play. This notion is present throughout the biblical text, and certainly in Christian theology. Sadly no-one on the theist front bench in 'The Big Questions' (at least not in the bit I watched) seemed to know this and some of them might need to read this, whereas certainly all of them could have done with a copy of this. They were all far more concerned with saying that the big bang doesn't disprove God. Of course, the Big Bang doesn't... so I'm not sure why they were all so preoccupied with it, but it seemed set to remain the battle ground de choix.
I gave up, as did my internet connection... when the old altruism debate (sometimes people are lovely for no apparent reason = God) was wheeled out in the most basic of terms. Of course there is rich fruit here and it is within this line of enquiry that I find my own belief, but sadly it wasn't put across well by the theist front bench.
Anyway, it was all good fun... and nice to have these debates on the telly I suppose. The best thing of all, however, is the way the programme is desribed on iplayer:
'Nicky Campbell debates evidence for the existence of God in Warrington'
I've never been to Warrington, so I wouldn't know.