The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
A well-known Youtuber and a Christian apologist debated about Atheism and Christianity in the first public debate of this kind in a Spanish university.
More than 300 students packed the main lecture hall of the University of Castilla La Mancha-Ciudad Real to witness a debate about God and Atheism organised by the Christian student movement GBU (IFES).
Rocío Vidal is a journalist specialised in science and a well-known Youtuber in Spain. She defended her atheism in a debate with Gerson Mercadal, a Christian apologist, member of the RZ Foundation for Dialogue Between Faith and Culture.
The debate lasted about 2 hours, and the thematic blocs addressed included history of the Church, faith and science, sexuality, and the relevance of the Christian faith today. There was also a time for questions from the public.
According to the organisation, this was the first debate about Christianity and Atheism of this kind in a Spanish university. The format, which has been frequently used in other countries, worked very well, and GBU plans to expand the model to other cities.
JESUS VS. RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY
In her closing statement, Rocío Vidal spoke of how much better a world without religious wars, crusades and intolerance would look like. She referred to John Lennon’s song Imagine and concluded that religious bigotry is still causing too much harm to people nowadays.
Gerson Mercadal closed by saying Jesus’ message was far from what has been seen in religious history and responded that many of the biggest massacres have not been made in the name of religion but under the advance of philosophies which included the negation of the Christian God.
Vidal will publish a summary of the debate on her Youtube channel, which has more than 180,000 subscribers. The RZ Foundation for Dialogue Between Faith and Culture will publish the full debate online.
The event was organised by a small GBU group in Ciudad Real (the university’s Christian Union formed by students of evangelical faith). After the event, they apologised to the people who were not able to have a seat inside the hall, but thanked the two speakers for engaging in personal conversations on the street after the formal debate had finished.
GBU unites more than 500 Christian university students in 41 cities in Spain.