SMU community ponders, ‘Does God Exist?’ with guest speaker Blake Guinta

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For Blake Guinta, science is a way to get to know God.

Founder of Beliefmap.org, Guinta hosted, “Does God Exist? Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” at SMU Hughes-Trigg Student Center March 28. The presentation invited students, faculty, staff, and guests of all kind to come together and explore their beliefs about God’s existence and Jesus’ resurrection over complimentary pizza. Beliefmap.org, an online encyclopedia for exploring all arguments and counter-arguments when debating ‘big questions’ about Christianity, was created by Guinta after 15 years of cataloging these challenging discussions and gathering information.

“College students are influencers,” Guinta said, “They’re going to raise families and make a difference in the world and I want them to make a difference for Christianity.”

A young Christian philosopher, Guinta has taught at churches, academic campuses, and apologetics conferences. He has also been featured on UK’s Premier Christian Radio, Dogma Debate radio, and a guest on several podcasts.

Upon entrance to the open-aired atrium of Hughes-Trigg, guests were greeted by an acoustic guitarist and encouraged to mingle and socialize. Sponsors included C3 Trinity Church, Antioch College Ministry, and Fellowship of Christian University Students, each with a booth for guests to learn more about their organizations. After an opening prayer, the presentation operated more as a theological debate rather than a sermon, as Guinta discussed why he believes in God’s existence and Jesus’ resurrection backed by numerous philosophical theories and scientific laws from memory.

Ilya Manzyuk, College Ministry Director at SMU, produced the event and was excited to have Guinta as a guest speaker on campus.

“The vision behind this event is to reach students with the gospel. Our goal is to have fewer, but bigger events each year so we can combine resources and make them fantastic,” Manzyuk said.

Considering the fact that SMU is a university that was built upon the religious backbone of the Methodist denomination, Manzyuk said he hopes to incorporate more opportunity for students to learn about the Christian faith.

“SMU is a religious university but there’s not a lot of religious connectivity,” Manzyuk said. “Let’s come together, work on one event, and see what the impact is on campus.”

From discussing the infiniteness of the universe to contemplating the theory of hallucination, the event left a lot of listeners like Lily Anderson picking their brains to produce a line of questions behind the microphone for the Q&A.

Anderson was in Dallas with her friend Anthie Poon for her spring break from Western Washington University. They were performing community service around the city with Campus Christian Fellowship.

“We’ve had a great week of making a difference around Dallas. It’s also fun to visit another college campus and hear from such an impressive speaker,” Poon said.

After learning about Guinta’s perspective of the Christian religion through the lens of science and philosophy, guests left with new considerations to ponder for their own belief systems.

“I think it’s important to ask difficult questions and not just go blindly into things – it’s always interesting to hear others’ points of view,” Anderson said.

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