What is The Forge?
The Forge is a monthly Thinking Matters Auckland gathering held at Greenlane Christian Centre which seeks to deepen people’s understanding and awareness of various Christian issues and culturally relevant topics discussed from a biblical worldview.
Each month we have a guest speaker present on a given topic, while inviting you to dialogue during intermittent discussion breaks both with the speaker and those at your table. The objective is to allow you to soak up the information through interaction with others, to apply what you’ve learned and perhaps challenge yourself and others with a different point of view.
A FORGE is a place where we “make or shape an object by heating it in a fire or furnace and hammering it to create something strong, enduring and successful”. This definition perfectly encapsulate our vision to have these interactive events be a place where messy and difficult topics are re-shaped and merged with deep biblical truths. Our desire is to see hard questions and honest discussions uncover God’s beautiful truth to create something strong, enduring and successful.
WHEN: Whenever possible we aim to have this on the first Wednesday of each month
TIME: 7pm – 9pm
WHERE: Greenlane Christian Centre, 17 Marewa Rd, Greenlane, Auckland
COST: Free – but a Koha for the speaker is encouraged
RSVP: None needed – just turn up and bring a friend!
Next Event – Thursday 31st August
(Note this months event is on a Thursday due to speaker availability)
The Unholy Alliance: Islam & Secularism
Presented by Larry Taunton – Fixed Point Foundation
The secular elites of the West seemingly could not be further from the ideologies of radical Islam, yet the two are inextricably linked. In the Western world, many secular elites see Christianity, not Islam, as their main enemy – and seek to render it irrelevant and backward. Why? Because it is Christians, more than any other element of the population, who stand in the way of their progressive social agenda. As the saying goes: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Join us, as writer, speaker, & cultural commentator Larry Taunton explains this dangerous partnership and we unpack together what it could mean for the future of our culture.
Larry Alex Taunton is a columnist, cultural commentator, and author of The Grace Effect and The Faith of Christopher Hitchens. Mr. Taunton is also the founder and executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation. His work has been featured in CNN, The Atlantic, The New York Times, TIME, USA Today, NPR, Vanity Fair, Fox, BBC, Al Jazeera America, The Wall Street Journal, The Spectator, and more.
Wednesday 27th September
A Fortunate Universe: A look at Life in a Finely-Tuned Cosmos
Dr Luke Barnes – University of Sydney
The planets, stars and galaxies that fill the night sky obey elegant mathematical patterns that we call the laws of nature. But why does our Universe obey these particular laws?
As a clue to answering this question, scientists have asked a related question: What if the laws were slightly different? What if it had begun with more matter, had heavier particles, or space had four dimensions? In the last 30 years, scientists have discovered something astounding: the vast majority of these changes are disastrous. We end up with a universe containing no galaxies, no stars, no planets, no atoms, no molecules, and most importantly, no intelligent life-forms wondering what went wrong.
This is called the fine-tuning of the universe for life – and is the subject of his book A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos. After Luke explains the science of what happens when you change the way our universe works, we will ask: What does all this mean?
Dr Luke Barnes is a postdoctoral researcher at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, the University of Sydney. After undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney, Luke earned a scholarship to complete a PhD at the University of Cambridge. He worked as a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), before returning to Sydney in 2011. He has published papers on galaxy formation and cosmology.
His book “A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos” will be available for sale at the event.
Wednesday 1st November
Good and Evil – Who Decides? Are Ethical Principles Real and How Do We Know Them?
Mark Powell – Carey College
What is good and evil? What’s fairness/unfairness, justice/injustice and right/wrong? Are these real things, real entities, objective realities or are they just societal constructions? If societal constructions why ought or should we have to follow them? If objectively real, what are they and how can we know them?
In this months FORGE Mark will interactively address each of these questions at an existential, philosophical and theological level , but also at a simple and intensely practical level.
Mark Powell is a lecturer at Carey College, a Professional Company Director and ‘CEO in Residence’ at Massey Business School, but is perhaps best known for his time as CEO of The Warehouse Group (which includes The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and Torpedo7). However, Mark also has a degree in Theology and a passion for wanting to help Christians have a confident faith, where they know not just what they believe, but why they believe it. Mark is an adviser and supporter of the Thinking Matters ministry and has just completed a Masters in Christian apologetics from Biola University.
Wednesday 6th December
Todd Funk – Harbourside Church
Topic to be announced
Please ensure you are signed up to our email list here (with Auckland ticked) to be notified of these events as they come up.
Also please contact us here if you want to help us run these events on the night.