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Christian/atheist debate/discussion, "Does Life have Meaning?" (Canby location)

Note: After the debate, you can discuss it online, here: 

Go here to view some of the handouts and presentations:

Topic:  "Does Life have Meaning? 

Two Christians:
 1. Ben Clifton
 2. Dr. Jeremy Wallace

Two Atheists (Secular Humanists):
 1. Bernie Dehler 
 2. Tom Gebhardt 

 Dr. Jim Dodge 

Overall: 6-8:30 pm.   Ample time for audience Q&A will be provided, after short speaker presentations.

Oregonian article:

More info on the people involved:

Dr. Jim Dodge
Canby Bible College Provost, 2008; Instructor, 2006

Education: B.A., Northwest Nazarene College, 1972; Graduate Studies, Portland State University, 1983; Graduate Studies, Western Seminary, 1983; Graduate Studies, George Fox University, 1994; D.W.S., Robert E. Webber Institute of Worship Studies, 2008

Ministry Experience: Youth Pastor, Bend Nazarene,[masked]; Instructor, New Hope Community, 1990 - 1992; Instructor, Portland First Church of the Nazarene, 1993 - 2001

Other: Associations - Board of Directors, Speaker at 2008 annual gathering of the North American Association for the Catechumenate, Alumni Representative for Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies; Publications - Five articles "Studying the Lectionary" for Homily Service, a journal of the Liturgical Conference, Two Articles "Epiphany 4&6, Year B", "Epiphany of the Lord, Year C", "Baptism of the Lord, Year C", "Transfiguration of the Lord, Year C"; Published Paper "The Catechumenate Ancient and Future: Can Ancient Traditions Guide Us Today?" published by the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies

Dr. Jeremy Wallace 

Canby Bible College, Dean of the College, 2005; Instructor, 2001

Education: B.A., Oral Roberts University, 1998; Graduate Studies, Jerusalem University College, 2000; M.Div., Oral Roberts University, 2001; D.Min., 2009, Western Seminary

Ministry Experience: Student Chaplain, Oral Roberts University,[masked]; Assistant Youth Pastor, Believers Church, Tulsa, OK.,[masked]; Spiritual Life Dorm Director, Oral Roberts University,[masked]; Staff, Missions Department, Oral Roberts University,[masked]; Assisting Pastor, Canby Foursquare Church, 2001 - ; Spiritual Life Director, Canby Bible College, 2003 - 2005; Adjunct Professor of Biblical Interpretation, Life Pacific College, 2008 -

Other: Published - Serving God and Man (self-published), Measuring Change: The Need to Quantify Transformation in the Context of Christian Education (D.Min. Dissertation published through TREN); Presentations - "The Lord's Prayer: An Exegesis of Matthew 6:9-13"; Memberships - The Evangelical Theological Society, The Society for Pentecostal Studies, The Association of Practical Theology

Ben Clifton

Canby Bible College Instructor, 2009 

Education:  B.S.E.E., Washington State University, 1985 

Ministry Experience:  Chapter President, Reasons to Believe, Present; V.P. of Technology, Planar Systems, Inc., Present

Bernie Dehler (former Christian, now Secular Humanist (atheist))
Organizer for three community groups: Westside Science and Religion Discussion Group,  Vancouver Science and Religion Discussion Group, and Natural Spirituality

Education:  B.S.E.E.T., Oregon Institute of Technology 1984; Masters in Ministry, Luther Rice University, 2007 

Experience:  Computer chip designer at Intel.  A born-again evangelical Christian for over 20 years, and left belief in God in 2009.  Moderator and atheist presenter at many local religious debates and discussions.  See Bernie's YouTube channel for these free debate videos:

Tom Gebhardt

Experience:  A member of various local atheist meetup groups, and a former evangelical Christian.

Join or login to comment.

  • Laura

    Great presentations as well as questions from the audience.

    September 24, 2011

  • Bernie D.

    There were lots of Christians there with lots of questions about Secular Humanism, so I was appreciative of the outreach opportunity. Canby Bible College was also an excellent host. It was also nice debating against a Christian friend, Ben Clifton. It was like our private discussions, with a larger audience listening in. I very much appreciate all the planning Justin and Jeremy did, and all the helpers that volunteered from the Bible college/church.

    September 24, 2011

  • Bernie D.

    My slides are now posted:

    Yes- there's a structured format for the debate- just not posted since it was determined kind of late.

    September 23, 2011

  • Bernie D.

    Note: The starting time was changed to 6 pm.

    September 21, 2011

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