Sunday, June 12, 2016

How to Succeed at Debating an Agnostic

In 1876, during a train journey, a former general and failed attorney named Lew Wallace was humiliated.
While debating religion with the famed agnostic author Robert G. Ingersoll, Wallace realized that he knew next to nothing about his own Christian faith.
Wallace devoted three years to studying the Bible and researching Christianity, and the result was an adventure novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, which eventually outsold every book in the United States except the Bible.
I was fascinated to learn that the first dramatic adaptation of the story was not the silent film version, but a six-act, three-and-a-half-hour 1899 Broadway play which boasted spectacular lighting, large onstage crowds and, as biographer Andre Soares noted, “…two horse-drawn chariots darting at full speed on parallel treadmills, with a Circus Maximus backdrop revolving behind them.” Half a million people saw the play on Broadway, and more than 20 million saw it on tour throughout the world.

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