So what do I conclude after a week in New Orleans? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
At the start, one word that comes to mind to describe the conference is “intense.” As I was telling a friend on the phone about it just now, we pretty much got up at around 7 A.M. every morning and stayed at the conference and got back around 9 P.M. and then just wanted to go to bed. I have no idea how I managed to get a blog in. I did not get in as much reading this week, but I think that’s acceptable.
I think it’s wonderful that this is going on and I thank Rhyne Putman and Bob Stewart, who are largely the two that I understand are arranging everything, but I do want to say something about a week long conference of intense learning in New Orleans for a week that I am sure they’d be some of the first to agree with.
It’s not enough.
In fact, Dr. Stewart and I talked about this on the air some. What would make this so excellent is if other people saw the model taking place in New Orleans and said “Let’s take this elsewhere.” Perhaps other seminaries might want to hold similar conferences as well. It would be wonderful if every Christian seminary out there was dedicated to helping our church defend the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.
Let me suggest an even better idea, and I know this could be a pipe dream.
It would be better to see area churches doing it.
Here in Knoxville, we do have a chapter of Reasonable Faith and if a local church wants us to have a “God’s Not Dead” meeting, we do it. We might not have a lot of people show up, but we are thankful for those who do. The sad reality is that too often churches are some of the most opposed to this kind of thing. It would be like saying we want you to feel safe while you walk down the street in a dangerous part of town, but we’re not going to bother teaching you martial arts or give you a gun and show you how to use it or anything like that.
In the past, we heard about Christians being thrown to the lions to be devoured.
Today, Christians are throwing one another to the lions.
New Orleans should not be an isolated event, but it should be a model to follow. So you might be thinking “Our church is small! We can’t get William Lane Craig or Mike Licona or Paul Copan or Gary Habermas to come!”
When we hold a “God’s Not Dead” conference, we don’t have any big names. We just have us. We just have some local guys who have studied apologetics and know how to make a case for what we believe. In fact, that can be something better since it shows the person in the pew that it’s not beyond them. I honestly suspect most people if given the chance to learn this would want to do so and would benefit greatly from it.
I’m thankful for Defend The Faith 2015 and the work of Stewart and Putman. My prayer is that it doesn’t stay there. If you were at this conference and liked it, try to do likewise in your area. It starts out small, but working together, we can all make a difference.