Reflections on the 2011 Apologetics Conference

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. Considering how long it’s been since I’ve got to write, I’m wondering if I should have begun with “I’m not dead yet!” No. We had a busy conference and I had to get caught up on my emails and then there’s work as well as getting ready for my parents coming by today and staying the weekend so we had to pick up the apartment, add in to that that our cat has developed fleas and that increases our need.

The wife and I both went to the conference the whole time for both days. We started off going to a session for her on the apologetics of horror. My wife happens to enjoy the horror genre. I can’t really get into it at all. Hence, we take turns deciding who will choose a movie on movie night. (Exception could be going to a movie theater)

The next talk we went to was on women celebrating being women. I suggested that my wife go to this one as I thought it would be directed towards her and something she’d enjoy more. I believe she did and I got to share some of my own thoughts afterwards with the presenter when it was finished.

We next went to a talk on addressing the homosexual agenda, which gave her the added benefit of getting to contribute, seeing as when my wife was in high school, she interacted with several people who were homosexual or bisexual. They knew her views on homosexuality and they respected her because she did treat them like human beings, an approach that the speaker liked.

After lunch, our next talk was listening to Gary Habermas. He’s always a favorite of us seeing as my wife grew up knowing him and refers to him as “Uncle Gary.” He was also the man who married us. His talk was on conquering emotional doubt. Yeah. We’ve heard it several times before but hey, it’s him and we wanted to hear it again.

After that, it was my talk on Jehovah’s Witnesses and “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” It wasn’t my finest performance as seeing as I had a powerpoint so I could do quotes, I ended up pretty much reading out everything. I’m not a speaker that’s used to using Powerpoint so I have more practice to do on that.

I believe after that we went to hear my wife’s Dad, Mike Licona, give a talk on Jesus’s resurrection and if it was physical or spiritual. Most amusing was in that talk when someone asked during the Q & A, “Yes. Concerning Matthew 27. Just kidding!” I’m not sure how many other people got the joke, but the Mrs. and I got a laugh out of it.

The highlight after the dinner for me that weekend was actually the talk by Josh McDowell. I’m not a fan of him really on many apologetics issues, but this talk was one that had me paying great attention as he spoke on pornography today and how prevalent it is in our society with even children 4-5 years old viewing internet pornography. His research is in a work called “The Bare Facts.” I highly recommend this. We simply must do something about this problem.

Greg Koukl gave a great talk then on bad arguments against religion. Koukl is an enjoyable presentable due to his more common sense approach. He’s not going into deep philosophy per se, although those issues are in there. He’s giving common parlay for the common man on the street.

The evening ended with Mike again as he gave a talk on if Jesus is the only way. Mike did an excellent job as he freely admits when he is still struggling with a topic and doesn’t go along with the party just for the sake of going along. On the essentials however, he’s a force to be reckoned with. We pray that this controversy that he’s been put through soon ends.

The next morning began with a talk by Dembski on theistic evolution. Now my thinking on the topic is that the evolution debate really doesn’t matter. It’s been a secondary debate we’ve allowed ourselves to be dragged into. Still, if someone like Dembski thinks that the case can be made using ID, more power to him. I do not doubt that Dembski is an extremely intelligent and educated man. While I do not agree with the approach, if he thinks he can do it, let him.

Our next talk we went to centered around the future of mankind with technology and was quite revealing as there was talk about trans-humans, cyborgs, and post-humans. Where are we going to be in the future? I wonder how a blog like this will be done ten years from now. Are we starting to push the envelope too far?

We then heard a talk about the uniqueness of Christianity to which it was not only a good talk, but there were some very amusing powerpoints throughout it.

After lunch, we returned to hear Frank Turek interviewing William Lane Craig on his recent U.K. Tour, a tour in which for some reason Richard Dawkins was conspicuously absent, but we know that this absolutely cannot be due to cowardice on the part of Dawkins. Surely not!

Craig then gave a talk on the problem of evil. It was a very good talk, although I do hope Craig will start saying more on the emotional problem of evil as well. It could be however that that would be for more personal one-on-one talks rather than a general talk to an audience.

Gary Habermas gave a great talk on the Shroud of Turin. Even if one does not think the Shroud is authentic, there is much about it that needs to be explained. A funny part in his talk was how he told about a Christian who gave a reason for thinking it was a fraud. He said that the Christian was a speaker and he wouldn’t give a name, but his initials were “Josh McDowell.” If you haven’t looked into the Shroud, it’s a fascinating topic.

Finally, Frank Turek wrapped us up with a talk on the existence of God. He’s the kind of guy one often has to prepare oneself for as his style is very much in your face with a lot of humor thrown in.

My overall impression was that this was a very good conference. My wife is not into apologetics like I am and she still enjoyed it. We also got stressed on the importance of bringing apologetics into the church more and more. I’m hopeful that next year I will get to speak again. It was a great honor to do so this year.

Okay. Next time I hope to be able to write on Inerrancy again. With my folks in town, that might not happen until Sunday or Monday.