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4 Stars Out Of 5
May 29, 2012
"Collision" is an interesting documentary of two contrarians debating the issue, "Is Christianity Good for the World?" The late Christopher Hitchens (former contributing journalist to "Vanity Fair") was the author of "god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" and "the Portable Atheist." Douglas Wilson (Pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho) is author of "Letter from a Christian Citizen" and "Reforming Marriage." This film is based on the book "Is Christianity Good for the World?" which both Hitchens and Wilson co-authored. The film takes the audience on the road to various venues where Hitchens and Wilson battle over God's existence, the source of morality, and other related arguements. Who will win the battle between the two colliding world views, when two great minds of atheism (Hitchens) and of Christianity (Wilson) battle it out on this entertaining yet controversial film of 2009?
I suspect that many of us have engaged in faith debates. I can recall several passionate conversations that I had with friends about the difficult tenets of my faith. As I reflect I am confident that the mental sparring I engaged in would be a pillow fight compared to the battle engaged by Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson in the documentary Collision.Christopher Hitchens is a famous intellectual, renowned author, and atheist. Douglas Wilson is a conservative evangelical theologian, pastor, and author.In 2007 Hitchens challenged the world to a debate following the release of God is not Great. Wilson met the challenge and Christianity Today published a series of written debate between the two. The series became the book Is Christianity Good for the World?.The two were sent out on a book tour and Filmmaker Darren Doane recorded the results. We see the men engaging in debate in large forms, small pubs, and over dinner with their traveling companions. Both men are sharp, insightful, and make compelling arguments. They pull from years of study and you get the sense that this is the battle they have been preparing for their entire lives.What I enjoy the most is that both men clearly respect the other. Hitchens is impressed with Wilsons genuine faith; and Wilson is humbly aware of the great mind that he is up against in Hitchens. One of my favorite moments in the film is where both men are reciting lines from author P.G. Wodehouse, giddy with appreciation for the word play.Hitchens is perhaps the most persuasive atheist in our time, and Wilson is a worthy opponent. We can learn a lot simply by observing Wilsons demeanor in debate; his arguments are an added bonus. I encourage you to watch this film, and consider using it in your ministry. If your ministry has a student or two who enjoy debating faith; this could be a movie that really engages them.