Live streaming: Jay Richards debates Jim Wallis tonight at 8 PM Eastern time

UPDATE: The audio, video and summary of the debate are posted here.

Looking for something good to watch tonight? How about a debate?


Jay Richards (Discovery Institute) and Jim Wallis (Sojourners) will address the question of Christian social engagement through the subject of the Common Good. Each will present a proposal (and response) on the question, “What is the common good? And how should the Church and Christians pursue it?”

The debate will take place Tuesday April 23 at 7:00 p.m., in the chapel at Trinity International University. If you cannot make it here, you will be able to watch the event live at

Note that Trinity International University is in the Central time zone, so the debate will go from 8 PM to 10 PM Eastern.

I asked Dr. Richards about the format of the debate, and he said it will be a formal debate, with 20-minute opening speeches, timed rebuttals, and possibly timed counter-rebuttals. There will also be a time of Q&A with the audience. So this is not going to be a free for all.

Dr. Richards is one of a handful of scholars I really admire. Although Ron Nash got me started on investigating Christianity and economics, it was Jay Richards who pointed me towards F. A. Hayek and Thomas Sowell. He also did quality work inventing a new argument for design in his work with Guillermo Gonzalez in the book “The Privileged Planet“. He also took on theistic evolution by editing a collection of essays on that topic, entitled “God and Evolution“. So he’s studied economics and intelligent design, and written on both. This will not be Richards’ first debate – he’s debated Christopher Hitchens before (audio, video).

My understanding is that Wallis is an Obama-supporter who just came out in favor of gay marriage.  He is a registered Democrat, so that gives you an idea of what he thinks about abortion, as well. It will be interesting to see whether he is able to find in Biblical support for the idea of forced redistribution of wealth by a powerful central government in the Scriptures. I’m betting that he can’t. In addition, it’s worth pointing out that Jim Wallis has admitted that he takes funding from the prominent atheist and socialist George Soros.

Debate preparation

To get you prepared for tonight’s debate, why not check out this 51-minute lecture on Christianity and economics by Jay Richards?

For those who can’t see the debate, here is an MP3 that covers the same material, hosted by the Acton Institute.

If you like what you see, I recommend the books “Indivisible” and “Money, Greed and God” which both discuss Christianity and economics.

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