Well, maybe not quite in Heaven…but the recent Socrates in the City matchup between David Berlinski and Eric Metaxas was one I looked forward to watching. I loved it. From a discussion of Berlinski’s latest book, Human Nature, they go on to some more theologically charged topics. The dramatic tension between the two is notable and interesting and unusual for the SITC forum, punctuated by laugh-out-loud moments of humor. It’s not just the very different personalities that make the conversation fascinating, but David’s steadfast refusal to agree with Eric that the design evidence that we discuss here points to an intelligent agent behind nature.
David isn’t persuaded by intelligent design or by Darwinian materialism. Nor is he persuaded by evidence, as Eric perceives it (and so do I), for an “invisible world” beyond ours. What, Eric finally asks, does David make of the accounts of supernatural experience that countless human beings have had (including Eric). David’s reply, delivered in classic Berlinski fashion: “Hard to say.” You have to watch this all the way to the end.
Incidentally, after a wry exchange with arch-skeptic Berlinski about whether he’s Catholic or not (he’s not, of course, though he fully accepts the idea of original sin), Metaxas asks David if has read Eric’s biography Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World. Berlinski says he has not — but as it happens, I’m reading the book right now. It’s superb and highly recommended.