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 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
“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
The following are talks Rodney has given to youth groups, churches, 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:
Why Thinking Matters: the Importance of Apologetics in the Church
In this talk 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. 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.
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 look deeper at the nature of religious truth claims – in particular the claim that Jesus is the only path.
Science and God: Is There 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.
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