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Free Church challenges Dawkins to debate

August 08, 2012

The Free Church of Scotland has challenged Richard Dawkins, the world-famous atheist, to a debate on his next visit to the Outer Hebrides.

Professor Dawkins is headlining Faclan, the Hebridean Book Festival, on the Isle of Lewis where he is scheduled to promote his book the God Delusion on Friday 2 November.

Despite calls of a boycott from a member of the Lord’s Day Observance Society, Stornoway Free Church minister Reverend Iver Martin (pictured below), who is minister of one of the biggest congregations on the island, said he welcomed the visit as an opportunity for debate. 

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Mr Martin said: “As a minister in the Free Church into whose ‘Heartland’ Professor Dawkins is being invited I’d like to strenuously reject suggestions that there be a boycott of his visit.

“John Roberts, who has been quoted from the Lord’s Day Observance Society, while entitled to his views, hardly represents the Lewis Christian community.

“The Free Church of Scotland endorses freedom of discussion and the exchange of argument.

“However, with Richard Dawkins presenting a particularly one-sided narrative, I would hope that there would be opportunity for fair, even handed, reasoned debate at which both sides of the theistic argument can be heard.”

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