Eric Metaxes to Host SITC Debate with Dinesh D'Souza, Bart Ehrman, 3/5


This Monday, March 5th at 7 PM, Socrates in the City will present a very special debate featuring noted author and Christian apologist Dinesh D'Souza and self-proclaimed agnostic Bart D. Ehrman at The New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street (at Central Park West). Titled GOD, SUFFERING & EVIL, the event will be hosted by bestselling author and Founder of Socrates in the City, Eric Metaxas. Just last month, Metaxas was the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast for President Obama and the First Lady. Past speakers at that annual event have included such varied and distinguished luminaries as Mother Teresa, Bono and Tony Blair. Among the VIPs set to attend GOD, SUFFERING & EVIL include legendary TV talk show host Dick Cavett, and Mark St. Germain with Carolyn Rossi Copeland, author and producer respectively for Off-Broadway's smash hit play Freud's Last Session. 

In GOD, SUFFERING & EVIL, D'Souza and Ehrman will face off in a clash of ideas regarding the age old question, "If God is omnipotent and all good, why does he permit evil and suffering in the world?" 

The World Affairs Council lists Dinesh D'Souza as one of the nation's 500 leading authorities on international issues. Newsweek cited him as one of the country's most prominent Asian Americans. A former policy analyst in the Reagan White House, D'Souza's books include Godforsaken, The Roots of Obama's Rage, Life After Death: The Evidence, What's So Great about Christianity, The Enemy at Home, Letters to a Young Conservative, The Virtue of Prosperity: Finding Values in an Age of Techno-Affluence, Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader, The End Of Racism, and Illiberal Education. D'Souza's articles on culture and politics have appeared in Vanity Fair, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. He has been featured on numerous TV programs including "This Week with David Brinkley," "Nightline," "Crossfire," "Firing Line," "Good Morning America," and "Politically Incorrect." He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1983.

Bart D. Ehrman is an American New Testament scholar and textual critic of early Christianity. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written about how the original New Testament texts were frequently altered by scribes for a variety of reasons, and argues that these alterations affect the interpretation of the texts. Author of over 20 books, Ehrman has appeared on "The Colbert Report" as well as "The Daily Show" to promote his New York Times bestsellers Misquoting Jesus and Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know About Them). He has also made several guest appearances on NPR to discuss his books God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We Suffer and Jesus, Interrupted. Ehrman's most recent books include Forged: Writing in the Name of God-Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are and The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. Awards include the Students' Undergraduate Teaching Award, The Ruth and Philip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and The Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Eric Metaxas is the author of two New York Times bestselling biographies: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery. He is also the author of the Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask) apologetics trilogy, which has been praised by Dick Cavett ("Stylish and entertaining...Metaxas deserves a prize") and Pastor Tim Keller ("The difficulty is not to gush.") Metaxas is the Founder of Socrates in the City, a Manhattan speakers series on "Life, God, and other small topics" featuring such speakers as Dinesh D'Souza, Os Guinness, Sir John Polkinghorne, Baroness Caroline Cox, and Francis Collins. He has authored over 30 children's books including Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. His work for Rabbit Ears Radio has won three Grammy nominations for Best Children's Recording. He edited the Yale humor magazine and his humorous essays and cultural commentary have appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Metaxas has debaTed Christopher Hitchens about Jerry Falwell on CNN and has debated at the Oxford Union on the subject of American Christianity. His newest bestselling book Socrates in the City was recently published by Dutton.

Socrates in the City: The Greek philosopher Socrates famously said that "the unexamined life is not worth living." Taking this as a starting point, Eric Metaxas thought it would be valuable to create a forum that might encourage busy and successful professionals in thinking about the bigger questions in life. Thus Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life was born. Every month or so, Socrates in the City sponsors an event in which people can begin a dialogue on "Life, God, and other small topics" by hearing a notable thinker and writer such as Dr. Francis Collins, Sir John Polkinghorne, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, N.T. Wright, Os Guinness, Peter Kreeft, or George Weigel. Topics have included "Making Sense Out of Suffering," "The Concept of Evil after 9-11" and "Can a Scientist Pray?" No question is too big-in fact, the bigger the better. These events are meant to be both thought-provoking and entertaining, because nowhere is it written that finding answers to life's biggest questions shouldn't be exciting and even, perhaps, fun. 

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