‘Does God Exist?’ debate set for Feb. 26

ARLINGTON — The Atonement Free Lutheran Church of Arlington will host a unique public debate near the end of the month, as a retired nuclear physicist and a local historian ask on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 26, "Does the God of the Bible Exist?"

Rick Long, senior pastor of the Atonement Free Lutheran Church in Arlington, has agreed to moderate the debate between retired nuclear physicist Dr. Heinz Lycklama, an internationally recognized and self-described Christian apologist, and local historian Francis X. Barden, who considers himself a skeptic.

"Heinz and I have been carrying on a dialogue for several years, and we decided to bring our discussions before a live audience," Barden said.

Lycklama spent more than 40 years in the high-tech industry, and has delivered lectures on creation versus evolution, Christian apologetics and the Biblical worldview at various venues in a number of countries throughout North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Many of those lectures can be found online at

Just as Lycklama will be arguing that the God of the Bible does exist, so will Barden — a retired business owner who's spent the past 40 years studying the histories of various civilizations and religious beliefs — be addressing this question from a historical and archaeological perspective, rather than a theological one.

"I consider myself a skeptic who believes there is much we do not know about the history of our religious beliefs, the knowing of which could dramatically change how we view ourselves and others," Barden said. "We're not necessarily going to go so far as a formal advertising campaign for this event, but I believe news of it might bring out a few who would be curious to witness this debate between a dedicated Christian fundamentalist and a skeptic."

The debate will commence at 7 p.m. at the Atonement Free Lutheran Church, located at 6905 172nd St. NE in Arlington.

Refreshments will be available during a break in the debate, and members of the public are invited not only to attend, but also to take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions of the debaters. Admission is free.

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