This is an interesting debate that took place on ABC this week between Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (yes, the actor) from The Way of the Master with the two atheists that offered The Blasphemy Challenge.

I think that Cameron and Comfort did decent (much better than I expected), but I am disappointed that both sides were unable to put their best foot forward for this, the first debate of its kind, on national TV. The atheists in this debate did not represent their faith well at all. I have no sympathy for atheism, but these were about the two worst people that could have represented their side. In the end, I guess all went well, but I would really like to see ABC choose their guests more wisely in the future.

The weakest point of the debate from the Christian side was when Cameron and Comfort were flustered by the “if God created the universe then who created God” argument. From the atheists side, it all seemed simply childish, emotional, and unprepared.

Let me know your thoughts.

Here are all six segments of the debate. What are your thoughts?

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    8 replies to "Kirk Cameron Defends God Against Atheists"

    • nathanimal

      Yeah, I watched this on TV this week. I share your thoughts on this Michael. I think that the atheists that were on the show were not the best representatives for the atheist position. Their rude and hostile attitude made it hard for me to even want to hear them out. Even before Kirk spoke, the atheists were already bad-mouthing them.
      There was no real thorough dialog between the two. I’m not even sure if either side was willing to hear each other out.

      But what interesting is that after I watched the segment the other night, the first thing I said when it was over was that this is the first time I think I’ve ever heard or even seen this kind of debate on national television. Exactly what you said. So, I think even though it wasn’t the best debate, it sure was a good start. You’ve got to start somewhere.

      Matt Slick has a radio show in Boise where he invites atheists on his show and they have great debates. The last atheist on his show was very intelligent and had good questions. But Matt, being prepared for his type of reasoning was ready with quick and thoughtful responses.

      Anyway, I said that because I’ve heard really great dialog between Christians and atheists who know their stuff. And if I had seen that on tv it would have been very provocative, yet insightful.

    • C Michael Patton

      Yes, I agree Nate. Maybe in the future, there will be some better representation.

    • Samson

      My wife and I watched this “debate” last night. Now, I’m a fan of the Way of
      the Master program and radio show. So, I knew this was comming. But, I
      didn’t know it was going to be as bad as it was. Kirk and Ray got their butts
      handed to them. Both sides were mocking each others beliefs. If i was
      someone on the fence in my spirituality and I saw this, hands down I would
      be writing as an athiest.

      First, I knew this would be bad because Kirk and Ray are not apologists. They
      are street preachers. Here’s a little insite on the mentality of street preaching.
      Use somebody to draw a crowd then give the gospel to the crowd. The
      person you’ve been talking to is second priority. Ray and Kirk did this by
      getting on a national network. Reasons being (IMHO) is that “Growing Pains”
      was a huge hit for ABC in the 80’s and I think Kirk pulled some strings for this.
      That may be why it was them and not someone else defending christianity.
      So, they didn’t even want to debate, just give the gospel. And that’s what
      they did. In an interview right after the debate Ray said, “After I gave the
      gospel I looked at kirk and thought ‘let’s go home’.” If you want to hear the
      pre and post debate interviews on both sides go to
      and download the 2nd hour of the show. it’s the last 20 min or so.

      Second, here is another example of typical, dumb, blind faith christianity,
      try to get you to “feel” why you need a savior. And Michael, I agree with you
      the fact they didn’t know the Kalam (sp) argument was shameful. (my words
      not yours) The Way of the Master is simply ‘you believe and witness this way
      or your wrong’. If they get knocked off their “track” then they can’t respond
      and just walk away from the person.

      I was stopping the video after every point and my wife and I discussed the
      problems on both sides. This debate was truly sad but in all honesty, it
      did accuratly represent what and how the average athiest and christian
      think and act. Pot shots, straw men, and bigotry.


    • tnahas


      I have been following Ray and then Kirk since I got saved 6 years ago and I know that they are not apologists but that is the point. They are evangelists and they preach the gospel not on blind dumb faith but on law, sin and grace. In my humble opinion, Christian evidences are for the Church not the unbeliever. They will never recognize the gospel let alone the evidences until the Holy Spirit works in them. Like you and I, we have been tremendously affected by TTP and what we have learned but it wasn’t because we had blind, dumb or even shallow faith but we hadn’t been introduced to the theological aspects of the faith. I have done street preaching in my home town and in America and no one will listen to evidences because our task is to give them the gospel and if they reject it, they, the atheists, sleep in the bed they laid. I agree that once saved we should be vigilant in knowing and studying our faith but their faith is not dumb and blind, more folk theology than anything else which as we know is not necessarily wrong.

      Kirk and Ray are doing more for the Kingdom of God then most seminary students and theologians but that is because the ministries are different. They are evangelists and others are theologians.

      Sam, here is a test. Ask a theologian what the gospel is and if they don’t dance around it for a while, they will give you a one hour response, but by then you would have given up or fallen asleep.

      Each one is given a task or ministry in the Church. Let’s praise each one. Spurgeon has said if we don’t evangelize we are probably not saved. I don’t know if I would go that far but that is because he was a great evangelist.

      Just some thoughts.

    • Chad Winters

      I have great respect for Kirk and Ray and they give a great Gospel presentation. Unfortunately, they billed this as a debate that would prove the existence of God (and more specifically the God of the Bible) from General Revelation and not from Special Revelation.

      Unfortunately, they have little background in that and new little of the scientific arguments on both sides as well as the classic philosphical argument. I cringed when there first argument used the 10 Commandments and an exhortation to repent. Not that that is bad, but it was exactly what they said they were not going to do and they therefore lost the debate.

      The limitations of the debate meant they lost before they started, the most you can argue for from general revelation is that there is a Creator and some of his aspects are eternality, etc. You have to bring in Scripture to show that the God of the Bible is the only one who fits the bill.

      There are great ID arguments like the irreducible complexity of cellular machinery like bacterial flagellae. How does something evolve when it is non functional until in its final form and is made up of hundreds of specific parts.

      Ray and Kirk were totally stumped when the atheists asserted that scientists all believe the Universe was eternal.
      The truth nearly all cosmologists believe that the universe began 14 billion years ago at the Big Bang. This theory was refused for a long time by atheist scientists because it fit the biblical account too well, until they had to because it was the only theory that fit the data. Both sides used a lot of strawman arguments, the worst were the photoshopped pics of sheep-dogs etc. from Kirk. The atheists used a poor argument for why there are no transitional forms because all individuals of a species are slowly evolving (this is more of a New Age argument than a biological one) and easily refuted by all the species that are exactly the same as they were millions of years ago

      If they wanted a scientific debate (which apparently they did, and not a religous or philosophical one) they should have asked the christian cosmologists and biologists at they do a good job of showing how the Bible and science agree, of course from an Old Earth perspective which is a problem for some Christians, but for me the only way GR and SR agree is in the Old Earth view.

    • Samson


      I’m not knocking them for being street preachers. What they do is very good.
      I’ve learned alot from their ministry. But, this was a debate and I was
      looking at it through the eyes of an unbeliever as well as a believer. For the
      same reason you don’t show up to a gun fight with a knife, is the same
      reason you don’t use the Word of God as an authoritative document to
      people who don’t view it as such. You have to use the principles that are
      taught. As soon as you say, “Thus saith the Lord…”, it’s instantly discredited.

      For example, you don’t say, “Romans 1:20 says; For since the creation of the
      world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have
      been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been
      made. So people are without excuse.”

      You use the cosmological argument that this verse speaks of. You could say
      that accourding to the bible man has to breath to stay alive, and they would
      say “that’s not true” simply because you said it came from the bible.

      When I said “here is another example of typical, dumb, blind faith christianity”
      I was speaking from the unbelieving standpoint. The crockaduck is an insult
      to their understanding of evolution. that may be a great gimmik for street
      preaching to get an evolutionist to make a sceen, but, there was no reason
      to use it during the debate.

      My point is best summed up in the 80’s theme song “diffren’t strokes”

      “now the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum, what might be
      right for you might not be right for some.”

      I wouldn’t use a debate forum in street preaching just like I wouldn’t use
      street preaching methods in a debate.

      differen’t strokes for differen’t folks. One size dosen’t always fit all.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sam, I agree. We must put our best foot forward in whatever circumstance that God has placed us in. Not all are equally qualified to every task. You don’t send a orthopedic surgeon to treat skin cancer.

    • sgmen31

      Chad, I concur that you must be prepared to answer the scientific questions
      as too many people just take for granted that what scientists say must be true.

      I think we’ll see more of these debates in the future but I’m hoping they are
      led by stronger apologists.

      Col 1:26 “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations,
      but is now disclosed to the saints” I’m not sure a non-believer will necessarily
      “get it” from a TV dialogue but we must be careful how we plant seeds and
      be prepared.

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