Jason Knapp

Jason Knapp

Jason Knapp


National Youth Director, Thinking Matters


Auckland



About

Jason is the National Youth Director for Thinking Matters and is passionate about seeing young people equipped to navigate culture and persuasively share their faith with others. He is a student of Psychology and Philosophy, and is a dynamic communicator who speaks to students across the country at youth ministries, churches, and university campuses.

Talk Descriptions

If God is Good, Why is There Evil & Suffering?

Sooner or later we are confronted by the the reality of suffering and as a result many pose the question: if God is loving and all-powerful why is our world filled with heartache, disaster, and tragedy. Within this talk we explore this question, it’s implications, and the many answers that can be found when we look more deeply into this issue. You will find answers that are both intellectually compelling and emotionally satisfying.

Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality

According to the Biblical story every singe human being is born with inherent dignity and is designed to function as God intended. Yet, in modern society human dignity, value, and sexuality is under assault. Culture is rewriting the script and people are left more confused, broken, and off-track than ever.. In this talk you will learn about the underlying ideas driving much of this cultural change and learn how to respond to these issues both lovingly and truthfully.

The Truth About Freedom: How Limits Help Liberate Us

What does it truly mean to be free? Our answer to this question has huge implications on all areas of our life. With culture offering a vision of freedom that casts off all restraint many seek to find freedom in the pursuit of pleasure and gratification at all costs. However, upon closer investigation we see that this definition of freedom almost always leads to heartache, unfulfillment, and destruction. In this talk, you will discover how God’s vision of freedom is the most compelling of all – ultimately paving the way for us to live healthy and fulfilled lives.

The Intolerance of the New Tolerance

In today’s culture, tolerance is held up as a virtue. Yet, when someone disagrees with some of the common assumptions of culture there are branded with labels such as, hateful and intolerant. Interestingly, those who sound the siren song of tolerance are sometimes the most intolerant of all. In this presentation you will discover what it truly means to be tolerant and will be equipped with practical strategies for navigating this tricky area of culture with love, wisdom, and grace.

Breaking the Patterns of Porn Addiction

Pornography is more accessible, accepted, and aggressive than ever before. It is a HUGE problem facing all Christians, including Christian teens. Studies show that viewing porn affects how we view ourselves, other people, and God. It even physically alters the structure of the brain and hurts our ability to develop loving, lasting relationships. In this talk, I unpack scriptural, psychological, and practical strategies to escape the trap of pornography addiction.

Jason Knapp

Contact Jason

Email:
jason.knapp@thinkingmatters.org.nz

Phone:
0211147846

Trevor Mander

Trevor Mander

Trevor ManderTrevor Mander

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)
Email Website
Mark Powell

Mark Powell

Mark Powell


Former CEO, The Warehouse Group



About

Mark is a well known business person in New Zealand having formerly been CEO of the Warehouse Group, one of New Zealand’s largest companies. He is also a qualified pastor, with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Theology from Carey Theological College. He can speak on a range of apologetics topics having an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University in the USA. Mark speaks regularly in churches and conferences throughout New Zealand and he has designed and taught a credited course in Apologetics as part of the Theology Degree at Carey Theological College. He can engage with audiences from a variety of backgrounds and age and can tailor his presentation to suit. He is also very comfortable with two way question and answer dialogue.

Talk Topics
  • General Apologetics
  • Reality and How We Know It
  • Wrestling with Difficult Issues
  • Science and Faith
  • Philosophical Naturalism and it’s Problems
  • Historical Evidence for the Resurrection
  • Ethics and Moral Principles
  • Postmodern Relativism and it’s Problems
  • The Problem of Evil

Mark Powell

Contact Mark

Email:
mark@markpowell.co.nz

Rodney Lake

Rodney Lake

Rodney Lake

Rodney Lake

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.

Testimonials

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

Rodney Speaking

References

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

Church Sermons

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.

The Power of a Question: Creating Conversations that Matter

Do you sometimes find yourself intimidated in conversations about your Christian faith and values? Do you let opportunities slip by because you don’t know what to say? In this sermon, Rodney will equip you with two simple questions you can use in your conversations about God and faith with others. You’ll come away more confident to engage others in friendly conversation and be better prepared to present Christ in an intelligent, yet gracious way.

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 ten 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.

A Misunderstood Theory: Understanding the limitations and implications of the theory of Evolution

In this talk Rodney outlines the misconceptions about what evolution is and the power it has to create new organisms. He attempts to bring some clarity to a theory that is often wrongly used to explain things it’s not capable of explaining. He then highlights some of the problems in the theory of evolution and examines the very disturbing consequences that must be accepted if the theory is actually true.

What is Christianity? An introduction to the basic beliefs of the Christian Faith

This presentation is for those who want to learn about who Jesus Christ is and just what Christians’ believe.  We cover some of the central beliefs of the faith and why we believe them – including topics such as God, Jesus, Heaven, Hell, Sin & Salvation.  We finish by explaining what the Bible and the Church is and why we need them.  Come and learn the basics and ask your deepest questions about the Christian faith.

Why Thinking Matters to our Kids: A practical four-part strategy to get our kids engaging with worldview and apologetics

Why is apologetics so important in the discipleship of our kids?  Why are so many of our young Christians not sharing their faith with others – or even walking away altogether?  In this talk Rodney will examine the role apologetics and worldview training has in preparing our kids for adulthood and presents a practical four part strategy for getting them intellectually engaged in their faith and culture.  This talk is suitable for parents, youth leaders, Christian educators and homeschoolers.

Other talks under development

The following talks will be available soon.  Please talk with Rodney if any of these interest you:

Is God Good?  Why would a loving God allow so much suffering in the world?
If God is perfectly good – he would want to stop all evil.  If God is all powerful – he would be able to stop all evil.  Yet we still see and experience horrific evil in our lives and the world around us.  Could God have reasons for allowing evil and suffering?  Do those reasons make any sense in the midst of our own suffering?
Can the Bible be trusted?  What is the Bible and where did it come from?
What is the Christian Bible?  Who wrote it and who decided what should be in it?  The Christian Scriptures have been used for several thousand years by Christians all over the world to inform and guide them in all matters of life.  But what evidence is there that these ancient writings are reliable, true and should be taken seriously?
The not so new Atheists: Christianity under attack
An introduction to some of the anti-Christian ideas that are gaining in popularity through the emergence of the New Atheist movement; where we are no longer merely mistaken in our beliefs, but rather are now accused of being dangerous.  Rodney counters this claim by highlighting Christianity’s real record of goodness and influence throughout history.

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.


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