Five Debates I Want To See

Was I the only one who thought the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye was a joke the first time I heard about it? Seriously, I checked the link to see if it was from The Onion.

Thoughts on the Ken Ham Bill Nye Debate

Here are a few match-ups that I would be more excited than that one (although most of them actually couldn’t actually happen).

Susan Pevensie vs. Lucy Pevensie (as adults)

Topic: Magic, imagination, and how we determine our beliefs.

Why: Was I surprised when Susan didn’t show up in The Last Battle? No. Would I just love to listen in to a conversation between the two sisters about faith and doubt? Oh yes, a hundred times yes. Susan, I think, is smarter than we give her credit for. It’s entirely possible Lucy might start crying a few times, but bringing in the boys might turn it into more of a debate. People would get mad. No one would change their minds. Someone might get challenged to a duel. Let’s just keep it to the girls. (If it has to be Susan vs. a character from another book, I’d like to see her chat with Meg Murry from A Wrinkle in Time.)

Javert vs. Paul

Topic: Justice and mercy

Why: I feel like these two would have a lot in common, personality-wise. And someone, someone needs to explain to Javert (and maybe, actually, most Christians) that it has never been justice vs. mercy, as if they were pulling in two opposite, conflicting directions. Justice often takes the form of punishment in a fallen world, but it is, I believe, meant to be restorative, not punitive—to fix a relationship. Which is the same goal as mercy, and why God can be both merciful and just. If our good inspector understood this, maybe Javert’s story wouldn’t have ended the way it did.

Martin Luther King Jr. (Man of the Year 1963) and Mark Zuckerberg (Man of the Year 2010)

Martin Facebook

Topic: Cultural change, who we admire, and what it says about each generation.

Why: Haha. Ha. Oh wow. (For anyone who thinks this is a sucker punch, I totally could have pitted MLK Jr. against Justin Bieber. )

Caleb from the Bible vs. Caleb the Amishman

Topic: Pacifism

Why: So, in the spring, Bethany House has a book coming out about the story of Caleb and the conquest of Canaan. It’s apparently pretty gritty and violent. And, of course, we also publish Amish novels, one of which has a character named (of course) Caleb Yoder. I would just love to see what these two folks from different worldviews would have to say to each other defending their beliefs.

Burger King Pride Whopper vs. Chick-Fil-A sandwich


Topic: Why fast food is the perfect arena for a nuanced discussion of sexual ethics and the political ramifications of our country’s opinion on homosexuality.

Why: It might be just ridiculous enough to make us remember that these are extremely odd players in what should be a much more serious discussion. The uproar over both the Chick-Fil-A stance on gay marriage (the owners are entitled to their opinions, especially when voiced respectfully), and the rainbow-wrapped Whopper (nice publicity stunt, guys) may be great for eye-catching headlines, but they don’t add that much to the conversation.


Okay, your turn! Who would you like to see in a match-up? Real people, fictional people, dead people, living people, people you know, random strangers. I mean, I used anthropomorphic sandwiches. Anything goes.


  1. I would love to pit Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones) against King David on the matter of how to rule a country and how wars should be fought.

  2. I’ve been reading the Mistborn trilogy, and for some reason I keep comparing Elend Venture and Captain America–go figure. But I want to hear their conversation about how to follow your conscience when the ends might justify the means.

    1. I LOVE THIS. Mostly because I love Elend and Captain America. But also because that would be a great topic to hear them weigh in on. You could throw in Vin and Batman if you wanted more pragmatism to balance out the idealism.

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