Bible Debates

Baptism
Baptizing People in Unscriptural Marriages
Proposition: The scriptures teach that the apostles refused to baptize a person in a second marriage whose divorce was not for the cause of fornication.
Participants: Patrick Donahue (affirm) and Floyd Chappelear (deny)
Place: Chappelear’s Sentry Magazine

Is Water Baptism Necessary?
Proposition: The Bible teaches that water baptism is essential to salvation.
Participants: David P. Brown (affirm) and Gene Cook Jr. (deny)
Place: Chula Vista Church of Christ, California

Church Autonomy
Sponsoring Church Arrangements
First Proposition: The Bible authorizes the local church to receive an evangelist’s funds from other congregations and send those funds to an evangelist who is laboring in a mission field. This arrangement is referred to as a sponsoring church arrangement.
Second Proposition: The Bible teaches that the sponsoring church arrangement is a violation of local autonomy and without Biblical authority.
Participants: Darrell Broking (affirm/deny) and Carey Scott (deny/affirm)
Place: Internet, six rounds of written debate (July 22-Oct. 19, 1999)

Holy Spirit
Direct Operation of the Holy Spirit
First proposition: The scriptures teach that a direct operation of the Spirit of God is necessary and sufficient for conviction, conversion and sanctification of man.
Second proposition: “The scriptures teach that the Word of God is necessary and sufficient for the conviction, conversion, and sanctification of man.”
Participants: Gene Cook Jr. (affirm) and Don Underwood (deny)
Place: Chula Vista church of Christ, California (March 26-30, 2001)

Personal Indwelling Of The Holy Spirit
First Proposition: The Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit personally dwells in the faithful Christian and not just through the Word of God.
Second Proposition: The Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit dwells in the faithful Christian only through the Word of God.
Participants: Patrick Donahue (affirm/deny) and Tom Bright (deny/affirm)
Place: Oak Mountain and Montevallo churches of Christ in Birmingham, Ala. (June 25-29, 2001)

Judgment
Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?
Proposition: A loving God can send people to hell.
Participants: William Craig (affirm), Ray Bradley (deny), Don Reddick (moderator)
Place: Simon Frasier University, British Columbia, Canada

Marriage & Divorce
A Critical Review and Defense of Down, But Not Out
Proposition: The teachings on marriage, divorce and remarriage in Al Maxey’s book Down, But Not Out are inconsistent with the Bible’s teaching on the subject.
Participants: Darrell Broking (affirm) and Al Maxey (deny)
Place: Internet, 22 rounds of written debate (April 7-Dec. 27, 2000)

An Examination of a Proposition Relating to Divorce and Remarriage
Proposition: A married person who divorces his or her spouse for any reason other than fornication, and marries another, is a person who keeps on committing adultery.
Participants: Ron Thomas (affirm) and Al Maxey (deny)
Place: Internet, 11 rounds of written debate (Jan. 4-March 28, 2001)

The Right to Remarry
Proposition: The Bible teaches that both the guilty and not guilty persons in scriptural divorces have God’s right to marry.
Participants: Max Burgin (affirm) and John Cripps (deny)
Place: Internet, two rounds of written debate

Miracles
Duration of Miracles
First proposition: The scriptures teach that all miraculous manifestations of the Holy Spirit ceased in the 1st century.
Second proposition: The scriptures teach that miracles, mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God, are for the church today.
Participants: Tom L. Bright (affirm/deny) and Richard F. Jackson (deny/affirm)
Forum: United Pentecostal Church, Chelsea, Okla. (April 18-22, 1994)

Women
What Roles Can Women Fill in the Church and Society?
Proposition: I Timothy 2:11-12 applies to secular activities also.
Participants: Patrick Donahue (Affirm) and Oscar C. Miles (deny)
Place: Internet, written debate in 2001
(Go to these pages to read the back-and-forth: first affirmative, first negative, second affirmative, second negative, first rejoinder, second rejoinder)

Collections
BibleDebates.info
Patrick Donahue, an evangelist in Alabama, regularly debates fellow preachers in churches of Christ and in denominations on various topics. His website serves as a clearinghouse his debates and those involving other speakers. Debate audio and transcripts are available, with the list of debates by date running from 1987 to the present.

BibleTalk
While working as a full-time evangelist, Jeff Asher participated in debates on various topics, including baptism, church-sponsored recreation and social meals, homosexuality, the humanity of Jesus, and the relevance of the Sabbath today.

The Encyclopedia of Religious Debates
Thomas N. Thrasher Sr. compiled a comprehensive list of religious debates (and occasional secular debates about religion-related topics like creation versus evolution) that dates back to the 1800s. The list is organized alphabetically by the name of the debater, followed by a list of his opponents and the dates and locations of the debates.

David Padfield
A preacher at the church of Christ in Zion, Ill., Padfield held multiple debates on baptism in the 1980s and 1990s. This page also includes his debates on premillennialism, benevolence and the Book of Mormon, as well as a handful of debates between others.

Marriage & Divorce
In 2011, Robert Waters debated J.T. Smith about the rights of Christians and non-Christians to remarry after being divorced. Their debate addressed four propositions and encompassed 24 articles on those topics. All of them are available at this website published by Waters. The site has a section on marriage, divorce and remarriage, which includes a collection of debates on the topic.

Disclaimer: A listing on this website is not an endorsement of the content as containing truth. Readers should always compare the words of men to the scriptures.

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