Religious documentaries are an interesting thing. It’s hard to find one that isn’t loaded with bias and sensationalism. The point of most documentaries is to stir up, motivate, and entertain those within a particular camp, which makes it surprisingly hard to find one that presents an issue from an unbiased perspective. One documentary that manages to succeed in this area is called “Collision” which is a series of debates and conversations between Doug Wilson, a prominent evangelical pastor, theologian and blogger, and Christopher Hitchens, a well known antitheist and writer. Both men are brilliant, and it is surprisingly fun to watch their world views collide.
The documentary succeeds because it doesn’t edit in a winner. The arguments get to do all the talking and the audience gets to sit back and enjoy the presentation. The best arguments, on both sides, are put forward. Sure, I’ll admit that I think Wilson did a better job defending his position, but that isn’t because they edited out Hitchen’s best moments. It was encouraging to hear Hitchens say in a Slate article written after the filming of the debates, “I haven’t yet run into an argument that has made me want to change my mind… However, I have discovered that the so-called Christian right is much less monolithic, and very much more polite and hospitable, than I would once have thought, or than most liberals believe.”
The 90 minute documentary is well worth your time. YouTube has the entire thing up in a series of 9 low-quality clips and you can purchase the DVD or digital version from Amazon here. It’s worth buying, both for personal edification and to loan to any religiously curious friends you might have. Here is a short trailer to pique your interest: