Available for talks, discussion, and debates on the reasonableness of Christian faith, in relation to science and general evidence.
Postdoctoral Researcher, Evolutionary microbial genomics at Technical University of Munich.
Will Science Bury Atheism?
Arguing that the principles and findings of science support theism over atheism.
God, gods, or Nothing?
Examining the evidence for a single personal God in comparison to polytheism, deism, and atheism.
Why do Many Scientists Believe in God?
Presenting the personal stories of some leading scientists, and reasons why they believe in God.
Evolution and God
Explaining why biological evolution does not provide strong evidence for atheism.
Presented for groups in NZ including churches, Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship (IFES) campus groups, Christian highschools, ‘Thinking Matters’ apologetics conferences and small groups, and ‘Skeptics in the Pub’. Previous formal debates with sceptics are online.
- BA|BSc conjoint, Economics, Philosophy & Biology – University of Auckland (UoA)
- PGDipSci endorsed with Merit, in Biological Sciences, UoA
- PhD, Biological Sciences – theory and analysis in experimental evolution
- Previously Tutor for biology, critical thinking, and metaethics courses at UoA.
- Board member of New Zealand Christians in Science
Bruce is a Software Architect and technology evangelist by day; by night, a father of two preschoolers and husband to a Kiwi he met while volunteering with Wycliffe Associates in Kenya. He’s passionate about seeing people love God with their whole heart, mind, soul and strength, and loving others well, inside and outside the church.
He is a lay evangelist and apologist who got to spend several years fusing apologetics with evangelism alongside good friends Mike Licona, Nabeel Qureshi, David Wood and Mary Jo Sharp. He learned much about the arguments and demeanor necessary to communicate the Great News of Jesus to those hostile to Christianity, presenting the truth of Jesus in a way that respects their intellect, but loving them too much to let them suffer under their misconceptions about Jesus.
He’s available to speak in Christchurch, and elsewhere as needed.
Has Science Buried God?
Are science and faith natural enemies? Does naturalism provide sufficient grounding for the success of science? Does the evidence from science point away from or towards a creator God? Can you be a scientist and a Christian?
Does Life Have Meaning?
Is this life just a lucky accident? Do our lives have purpose or should we invent our own? Does having an answer to this question make any difference?
Is the New Testament Reliable?
Is the New Testament an unreliable translation of a translation of a translation, as Bart Ehrman claims? If we don’t have the originals, how do we know what we have a faithful copy? Do contradictions mean that we should reject the contents of these 2000 year old manuscripts?
Did Jesus Really Claim to be God?
Muslims and modern religious studies scholars tell us that Jesus never actually claimed to be God; that this was the creation of followers who later invented claims of Jesus’ deity. Since Jesus never said “I am God,” who should we believe?
Jesus: Man or Myth?
C. S. Lewis famously said that Jesus was either a Liar, a Lunatic or Lord. But some people have opted for a fourth option: Legend. Jesus never really existed, the stories of him were stolen from Pagan mystery religions. Was Jesus the first “Dying and rising” god? Nope. Osiris, Horus, Dionysius and Mithras all beat him to it. Or did they?
Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?
“Yes,” says the Christian. “It’s in the Bible, so it’s true.” The skeptic says, “Obviously not. People don’t rise from the dead. If that happened, we’d know about it.” If someone doesn’t start by assuming the Bible is true, is there evidence that would convince them Jesus rose from the dead?
Trevor earned his Master of Divinity under Dr Norman Geisler with an emphasis in classical Christian apologetics and understanding world religions at the Southern Evangelical Seminary in the United States.
He is involved in Christian education around New Zealand including teaching apologetics courses and world religions at many organisations, colleges, churches, camps, and home groups. Trevor teaches high school Physics and Science in Auckland and has a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) from Auckland University. He attends Greenlane Presbyterian Church in Auckland.
Trevor has an unique ability to communicate complex concepts making them easy to understand. Combining his enthusiasm and humor with a sprinkle of “absent minded professor”, Trevor keeps his audience engrossed with effortless learning.
He is available for speaking engagements of any length both within New Zealand and internationally.
Course: The Logic behind the Love
Are you able to answer the common objections to Christianity? Are you ready to confront any nagging doubts you harbour? When witnessing can you quickly discern the world view of the person you are speaking with? Do you know how to best answer them? In this modern world Christians need to be able to give a clear reason for their faith.
The Logic Behind The Love is an introduction to Christian Apologetics. After the course you will have a broad understanding of all areas of apologetics. You will know where to go for further study and you will be a much stronger Christian.
Some of the subjects we cover include:
- Why ideas have consequences?
- What is apologetics?
- Why do apologetics?
- What is truth?
- Does God exist?
- What about evolution?
- What about cults?
- What about other religions?
- If God exists, why evil?
- Are miracles possible?
- Can we trust the New Testament?
- Is Jesus God?
- Did Jesus rise from the dead?
- Is the Bible the Word of God?
Testimonies and Comments
- I’ve learnt so many things I never fully understood and it has helped my my faith grow Immeasurably. (Michelle)
- This is a wonderful course, I would recommend this to anyone. (Grant)
- I found this course really helpful in learning to defend my faith. (Kimberley)
- Fantastic to help you reason with people you rub shoulders with everyday. (Trevor)
- I used what I learnt on the first night, the next day at work. (Roy)
- Marvelous!! Recommend it to anyone who wants a better understanding of Christianity, or wants to know what to say when someone asks you “who is God”. (Dave)
- Have enjoyed the relaxed laid back learning. Have learnt and all ready stared using stuff learnt; in work environment. (Shona)
- A great learning experience. Really opens your eyes to the Logic behind Christianity. (Michael)
Dr Matthew Flannagan
Dr Matthew Flannagan is a theologian with proficiency in contemporary analytic philosophy. He holds a PhD in Theology from the University of Otago, a Masters (with First Class Honours) and a Bachelors in Philosophy from the University of Waikato and a post-graduate diploma in secondary teaching from Bethlehem Tertiary Institute.
Matthew blogs on MandM – a Kiwi blog that addresses philosophy of religion, ethics, theology and social commentary.
Divine Command Meta-Ethics, Applied Ethics, Bio-Ethics, Old Testament Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Law, Critical Thinking and Apologetics
Rodney Lake is the National Director of Thinking Matters NZ Foundation, a national Christian apologetics ministry that encourages Christians to know the reasons why we believe what we believe. Rodney speaks at churches, youth groups, conferences and to non-believers at outreach events around the country on the reasons why Christianity is true. He teaches staff, parents and youth at various Christian schools, and is an adjunct apologetics lecturer at Faith Bible College and Bethlehem Tertiary Institute. He teaches regular ‘Introduction to Christianity’ courses to parents at Bethlehem College and serves on the board of Bethlehem College Limited.
He is passionate about seeing people loving and seeking God with all of their mind, developing a resilient faith that is supported with solid reasons to believe, while confidently and graciously sharing that faith with others.
“Rodney Lake is one of those rare individuals who can communicate the core truths of the Gospel to a lost world in a thoughtful way while still being accessible and fun. He’s certain to be a hit for any church service or youth event. I recommend him highly.” Lenny Esposito, President – Come Reason Ministries
“Rodney did a wonderful job, and the feedback from our church was excellent. He spoke clearly, and illustrated his points well.” David Dishroon, Senior Pastor – Changepoint Church Tauranga
“Rodney brings clarity to the role and need of apologetics in the church today, grounded in a passion for the gospel. His ability to communicate to youth and adults is evident and a major plus. I fully endorse Rodney in his speaking and ministry.” Rev Reece Frith – St Paul’s, Katikati
“Brilliant. Rodney was enthusiastic, very well informed and able to bring so much information to the class. Really got us thinking and helped us prepare answers for people who ask questions about God and Christianity.” Student (anonymous) – Faith Bible College
“Rodney was articulate, interesting and very informative with excellent content and delivery. Very sensitively handled.” Conference Feedback (anonymous) – Confident Christianity Conference
Feel free to contact any of the following pastors & ministry leaders who have hosted me as a speaker at their church, school or ministry event – for a reference:
- Ps David Dishroon – Changepoint Church, Tauranga
- Ps Alan Hood – City Church, Tauranga
- Dave Mann – Shining Lights Trust & The Hope Project
- Des Short – Principal, Faith Bible College
- Eoin Crosbie – Principal, Bethlehem College, Tauranga
- Rev Simon McLeay – St Peters in the City, Tauranga
- Rev Ian Pittendreigh – Bethlehem Community Church, Tauranga
- Ps Sam Bayly – O2 Church, Tauranga
- Rev Reece Frith – St Paul’s, Katikati
The following are talks Rodney has given as Sunday sermons at various churches around New Zealand:
Why Thinking Matters: the Importance of Apologetics in the Church
In this sermon, Rodney gives an introduction to apologetics and the growing need for Christians to be better prepared to give clear and gracious reasons for our faith. While sharing his testimony, he highlights the first great commandment and the need for us to seek God with our minds, as much as our heart, soul and strength.
Worldviews in Conflict: The Cosmic Battle for Our Minds
In this sermon, Rodney highlights the importance of the concept of truth and the great cosmic battle between the truth-claims of God, and the lies and deceptions of the world. He introduces the concept of ‘Worldview’ and contrasts the two major worldviews in our culture today: Materialism/Naturalism and Bibilical Christianity – showing that while the first is unlivable, the second gives answers to all the deepest questions of life.
Other Teaching Topics
The following are talks Rodney has given to youth groups, Christian schools, conferences and at outreach events to non-believers. Rodney can deliver a single talk, or teach a series that builds a cumulative case for Christianity that includes a mix and match of any of the following talks:
The Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God
Everything that begins to exist has a cause – including the universe itself. Is there any scientific or philosophical evidence for a creator as a cause of the Big Bang? In this presentation we examine the nature of the Big Bang and look at the evidence a divine supernatural cause was at work. We’ll also examine how the original purpose of science as a way of understanding the natural world around us has become distorted, resulting in biased outcomes in scientific enquiry that unnecessarily exclude the possibility of God.
True for You, But Not for Me: Are Religious Truths True for Everyone?
In this talk Rodney examines the nature of truth and highlights two different kinds of claims: Universal Truth that is true for everyone, and Personal Truth based on your own preferences and personal beliefs. Then we examine religions claims about God and Jesus and ask: are such claims Universal or Personal; are they just true for me, or; is there something much deeper going on?
Is Jesus the Only Way? What About All the Other Religions in the World?
Jesus claimed to be the only way – but how can only one religion be true when there are so many beliefs out there? What about those who are truly sincere in their religious beliefs – are they going to hell? Isn’t it intolerant to think others are wrong? Don’t all paths lead to God? In this talk, we dismantle twelve of the most common claims we hear that suggest all religions are equally true – and show just how important the question of truth really is.
True for You But Not for Me. How Can There be Only One Way?
NOTE: This is a shorter combined version of the two above talks
Jesus Christ claimed to be the only way to God – yet we live in a society where multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance are highly esteemed and necessary for a peaceful civilisation. So, is it possible for one religion to be true? Are there really many paths to God? What does it mean to be tolerant of other religions? In this presentation, we examine the difference between subjective and objective truth, while looking deeper at the nature of religious truth claims – in particular the claim that Jesus is the only path.
Other talks under development
The following talks will be available soon. Please talk with Rodney if any of these interest you:
Planned talks yet to be started:
Right and Wrong: What is moral relativism? Who gets to decide what’s right and wrong?
God among us: The historical evidence for the miraculous life and claims of Jesus.
Naturalism: How bias has distorted science to avoid the inescapable God conclusion.
Post-modernism: An empty philosophy according to the traditions of man.
Where did life come from? An introduction to the theory of Intelligent Design.
Copyright 2018 | Thinking Matters New Zealand Foundation
Thinking Matters is a ministry that encourages New Zealand Christians to think more deeply about what they believe and why they believe it, so they can present the Christian faith as both rational and true.
PO Box 16399, Bethlehem,
Tauranga 3147, Tauranga