I took some time this week to read over the written debates between the late, renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens and Christian pastor Douglas Wilson that were published on Christianity Today back in 2007. The aim of the discussion was to answer the questions “Is Christianity Good For the World?” and the discussion is very thought-provoking and helpful for Christians as we engage atheists around the world. There are 6 parts to the entire debate, but the conclusion was given by pastor Wilson and is so saturated with grace and care, not to mention beautiful imagery of comparing Christ and Adam, that I thought it would be worth it to reproduce it here:
Jesus was not just one more character in history, however important—rather, he was and is the founder of a new history, a new humanity, a new way of being human. He was the last and true Adam. But before this new humanity in Christ could be established and begin its task of filling the earth, the old way of being human had to die. Before the meek could inherit the earth, the proud had to be evicted and sent away empty. That is the meaning of the Cross, the whole point of it. The Cross is God’s merciful provision that executes autonomous pride and exalts humility. The first Adam received the fruit of death and disobedience from Eve in a garden of life; the true Adam bestowed the fruit of his life and resurrection on Mary Magdalene in a garden of death, a cemetery. The first Adam was put into the death of deep sleep and his wife was taken from his side; the true Adam died on the cross, a spear was thrust into his side, and his bride came forth in blood and water. The first Adam disobeyed at a tree; the true Adam obeyed on a tree. And everything is necessarily different.
Christ told His followers to tell everybody about this—about how the world is being moved from the old humanity to the new way of being human. Not only has the world been born again, so must we be born again. The Lord told us specifically to preach this Good News to every creature. He has established his great but welcoming household, and there is room enough for you. Nothing you have ever said or done will be held against you. Everything will be washed and forgiven. There is simple food—bread and wine—on the table. The door is open, and we’ll leave the light on for you.