Updates and information on the latest apologetic events near you.

Auckland Conference: Ancient Truth for Modern Times with Dr C. John Collins

What is the Bible? What authority if any does the Bible have in the 21st Century? How should the Bible shape the life of the Church and individual believers?

Our approach to Scripture is fundamental to our ability to understand who God is and what he has to say to us. Come and hear Dr. C. John Collins explore the nature, authority, and purpose of the Bible in the 21st Century.

WHEN: Saturday, 13 July, 9:00am-4:30pm
WHERE: City Presbyterian Church, 283 Karangahape Road, Auckland
COST: $20 ($10 for Students).

Coffee and tea will be provided but please bring your own lunch. Payment can be made at the door or online (for online payments: City Presbyterian Church 12-3066-0402436-00. Please include your name and “ATMT”)


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9am Registration
9.30am Welcome and Introduction
9.45am Session 1: What is the Bible?
10.30pm Morning Tea
10.45am Session 2: What Can We Say About the Bible? The Attributes of Scripture
11.30am Break
11.45am Session 3: What Do We Mean When We Say the Bible is “True”?
12.30pm Lunch (please bring your own)
1.30pm Session 4: How Should We Read and Interpret the Bible?
2.15pm Session 5: How Should We Preach and Teach the Bible?
3pm Afternoon tea
3.15pm Q&A Session
4.30pm Wrap up


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Dr C. John Collins is Professor and Chair of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary. With degrees from MIT, Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary, and the University of Liverpool (PhD), Collins is one of the few scholars uniquely placed to address critical issues that arise in our understanding of the Bible and the world.

While Collins’ early studies focused on linguistics and biblical languages, his latest work on miracles (The God of Miracles: An Exegetical Examination of God’s Action in the World), the historicity of Adam and Eve (Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?: Who They Were and Why You Should Care), and the book of Genesis (Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary) have established him as a leading evangelical voice on the relationship between science and faith.

Professor Collins has served as Old Testament chair on the translation committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, and Old Testament Editor for the ESV Study Bible. He and his wife have been married since 1979 and have two children.

Tauranga Event: Why Thinking Matters Presentation & DVD Launch

Wednesday 22nd May 2013

Why Thinking Matters?  An introduction to Apologetics

SPEAKER: Rodney Lake
WHEN: 7:30pm Wednesday 22nd May 2013
WHERE: Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem, Tauranga.
COST: Free – so bring a friend!

In this live presentation Rodney introduces the idea of Apologetics and makes a case for why it matters in our Christian walk.  He makes both a scriptural and cultural defence for the use of apologetics in the Church today and looks at its outward-facing purpose (its role in evangelism) and its inward-facing purpose (its role in strengthening personal faith) and discusses the spiritual discipline of critical thinking.

He finishes up by looking at some of the reasons why our Christian youth are walking away from their faith – and the crucial role apologetics plays in preventing this disturbing trend in the Christian walk of our young people.


We will also be launching the Thinking Matters 2012 Speaking Tour DVD set and have special pricing on the night.  These DVD’s contain the best 8 presentations given by popular US apologists Brett KunkleJay Watts and Amy Hall as recorded last year while on tour in New Zealand.  These are excellent introductory presentations – and well worth showing at home groups or used in your personal study. The four disks include:

  • Evil & Suffering. If God is good, why is there evil & suffering?
  • Defending the Faith. Are you equipped to defend your faith?
  • Only One Way. Is Jesus the only way to God?
  • Truth Matters. What is the nature of Truth?

The DVD’s are available at this special launch event for just $15 each, or you can get all four for $40 (cash and cheque only please).  This is a very good price for such outstanding material so don’t miss out!

If you can’t make it to the event – these Speaking Tour DVD’s will be made available for purchase online shortly.

Auckland Event: Introduction to Apologetics with Stuart McEwing

Earlier this year, I ran an apologetics course for beginners. By popular demand, I will be running this again for the next school term, beginning on May 7. There are no course fees. Your only expense is the course textbook.

All are welcome, even those who are skeptical about Christianity. Each lesson can be understood on its own, so feel free to come to any night that interests you. Of course, to get the full benefit of the course and see the cumulative case for Christianity properly developed, I’d recommend attending all.

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Auckland Event: Advance 2013

We are excited to be hosting Dr Glenn Peoples in a couple of locations around the upper North Island this month. We’ll be posting more details about the full tour soon but for now here’s some info on an Auckland conference he’ll be speaking at.

Advance 2013: Exploring the Tough Questions about Christianity with Glenn Peoples

Are faith and reason enemies? Should we take Christianity seriously in the world of ideas? Are there any good reasons to believe in the Christian God? Join us this April as we explore these questions and more with Christian philosopher and popular speaker Dr Glenn People. The conference will also include other incredible speakers such as Dr Chris Tucker (Auckland University), Dr Shawn Means (Auckland University), Sean du Toit (Alphacrucis College), Jacqui Lloyd (Laidlaw College), and theologian Dr Matthew Flannagan. If you’ve ever wanted to dig deeper into the evidence for Christianity or confront serious questions about God and the Bible, this conference is for you.

When: Friday April 26, 9am-4pm
Where: 17A Powell St, Avondale
Cost: $15


9-10am: SESSION 1: Glenn Peoples: Why does it matter?

10-11am Workshops Round 1:

-Chris Tucker: Why Does God allow Evil?
-Shawn Means: The Universe, Mathematics, and God

11-12pm SESSION 2: Glenn Peoples: Do we need God to be good?

12-12.30pm Lunch

12.30-1.30pm SESSION 3: Glenn Peoples: Can we have equality without God?

1.30-2.30pm Workshops Round 2:

-Sean du Toit: Can we trust the authenticity of the New Testament Letters?
-Matt Flannagan: How should we read difficult Old Testament Passages?

2.30-3.30pm SESSION 4: Q&A Panel with Glenn Peoples, Matt Flannagan, and Jacqui Lloyd

Dr Glenn Peoples is a graduate in theology (BD) from the Bible College of NZ (now Laidlaw College) and has a Masters degree (MTHeol) and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Otago. For over ten years he has been writing and speaking on intellectual issues that Christians face, including the place of faith in the public square, justice and human rights, and the reasons for Christian belief. Glenn runs a popular podcast and blog, Say Hello to My Little Friend, and lives in Wellington with his wife Ruth and their four children.

Auckland Event: Why Defend Christianity? with Matt Flannagan

The Christian faith seems increasingly at odds with those in the world around us. From the media, to skeptical teachers and unbelieving peers, the gospel seems irrelevant and out of date. How do we talk to others about God and the Bible? Can we really argue people into the kingdom of God? Or should we just focus on compassion and loving others? Next Thursday, Thinking Matters is hosting Christian theologian Dr Matt Flannagan to speak on these questions and more. Matt will examine the Biblical and practical evidence for defending Christianity and show why it is vital to knowing and communicating our faith in the 21st Century.

What: Why Defend Christianity? with Matt Flannagan
When: Thursday April 4, 7.30pm
Where: Auckland Chinese Presbyterian Church, 105 Vincent Street, CBD
Cost: Free

Matt is a theologian and prominent New Zealand Christian commentator, debater, and blogger. He specialises in applied ethics and the interface between philosophy and theology. Currently, Matt works part-time as a teaching pastor and youth group leader for Takanini Church of Christ while he runs the popular blog MandM with his wife Madeleine.

Amy Hall

Amy Hall – If God is good, why is there evil and suffering?

If God is good, why is there evil and suffering?  How can we reconcile the existence of evil with a good, powerful and omniscient God?   In this clear and enlightening presentation Amy discusses the various reasons why it is reasonable to believe that God has morally sufficient reasons for allowing the evil we see in the world.

Amy works for Stand to Reason (http://www.str.org) by contributing to their online content, blogging and responding to apologetics questions sent to Stand to Reason.  She has an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University.

This presentation was recorded at Thinking Matters Tauranga (New Zealand) as part of a 10 day speaking tour of New Zealand with Brett Kunkle (Stand to Reason) and Jay Watts (Life Training Institute) in September 2012.  This presentation comes from the full NZ Tour DVD set (includes 9 sessions by Brett, Amy and Jay) which will be available shortly from Thinking Matters for NZ$60 (freight free in NZ).  Keep an eye on the blog for news of its availability.

TrueU 3 – Who is Jesus of Nazareth Trailer

Here is the trailer for some new material coming out from Focus on the Family from the TrueU team:

TrueU 3 – Who is Jesus of Nazareth? – Trailer

Due out October this year.  Make sure you are subscribed to our mailing list here so we can let you know about any screenings as they are organised.

Auckland Event: Introduction to Apologetics Course with Stuart McEwing

This month, I’ll be running an introductory apologetics course at my church. The course will begin tonight and run for ten weeks. It’s open to anyone. Here are the details:

[pk_info_box width=”0″] What: Introduction to Apologetics: defending the faith with reason and evidence

When: Tuesdays, 7pm (beginning on Feb 12)

Where: Encounter Christian Centre 495 Rosebank Road Avondale New Zealand [/pk_info_box]

Introduction to Apologetics: defending the faith with reason and evidence

The apostle Paul, writing about the necessary qualifications for a minister of the gospel, says “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9). It’s not enough to merely explain what Christianity is, Paul argues that it must also be defended. Apologetics is exactly this – providing a rational defense for the Christian truth-claims.

This course is for everyone who wants to dig deeper into the evidence for Christianity, confront honest questions about God and the Bible, and develop tools to talk effectively and meaningfully about the Gospel. Over ten weeks, we’ll examine topics like the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, why God allows suffering, and how to declare the Gospel in a world that doesn’t believe in objective truth anymore. If you have ever wanted to connect your head with your heart or sharpen your evangelistic witness, this course can help you.

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Intelligent Design Scholar-Historian Dr. Thomas Woodward in Tauranga in December

Dr. Tom Woodward
Intelligent Design scholar Dr. Thomas Woodward (Wikipedia) will be visiting Tauranga for a few days in the second week of December 2012.


Dr. Woodward is Research Professor at Trinity College of Florida in Tampa Bay, where he has taught for 23 years. He has spoken on the topic of evolution, Intelligent Design and the existence of God at over 80 colleges and universities in 25 countries. His campus presentations include a lecture series at Princeton University and Dartmouth College, and an Intelligent Design seminar at Cambridge University (UK) hosted by Ranald Macauley, son-in-law of L’Abri founder Francis Schaeffer.

A graduate of Princeton University (in History), he received a Th.M. from Dallas Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of South Florida. His doctoral specialty was in the “Rhetoric of Science,” and his research focus has been the history of the scientific controversy over Intelligent Design and neo-Darwinism.

Dr. Woodward is the author of Darwinism Under the Microscope (co-edited with Dr. James Gills) and two other books which trace the debate between Darwinism and Intelligent Design. The first, Doubts about Darwin (Baker 2003), won a national book award from Christianity Today. His second book on the “design controversy” is Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design.  His latest book, also coauthored with Dr. James Gills, is The Mysterious Epigenome: What Lies Beyond DNA (2012).

CS Lewis Society

Tom Woodward is also the founder and director of the C. S. Lewis Society, which hosts lectures, conferences and debates on university campuses and in heavily secular countries.

Radio debate

You can listen here to his friendly debate / discussion with Peter Hearty on the Unbelievableradio program from the UK.

Well known USA Intelligent Design advocate Tom Woodward takes on the National Secular Society’s science representative Pete Hearty.  Does the new evidence in biological science point towards an ultimate creator?  Other guests also join the fray…


New Zealand Events

Dr Woodward will be delivering the following four presentations in Tauranga while visiting New Zealand:

1. Does God Exist?  Old Questions and New Ideas

This talk explores the theism/atheism debate from both philosophy and science.  The explosion of the “New Atheism” is traced, and major responses are touched on.  Special attention is given to the recent discoveries in the origin of the universe and the origin of life.
WHAT: A special Thinking Matters event – live presentation followed by Q&A
WHEN: Friday 7th December
TIME: 7:30pm – 9:30pm
WHERE: Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem, Tauranga

2. Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design: What’s the Fuss All About?

This is an overview of the last 30 years of controversy over origins, especially as the ID movement roared to life in the late 1980s and began spreading after Behe’s book “Darwin’s Black Box” was published in 1996.  Recent developments in the period 2000-2012 are covered.
WHAT: A special Thinking Matters event – live presentation followed by Q&A
WHEN: Saturday 8th December
TIME: 7:30pm – 9:30pm
WHERE: Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem, Tauranga

3. Passionate Apologetics: Five Keys to Confident Sharing the Truth of Christ

Apologetics has a primary key:  the “Foundation of Scripture” that is the main engine/fuel of presenting Christ.  Building on top of this “concrete slab” of scripture are four strong pillars: Science (Evidence of Design), History (Evidence of Biblical Reality), Philosophy (Clear, Logical Thinking), and Transformation (Changed Lives of Christ’s Disciples).  Through these five keys, we can have confidence when explaining and defending the truth of Christ.
WHAT: Lifezone Sunday morning service
WHEN: Sunday 9th December
TIME: 10:00am – 11:30am
WHERE: Lifezone Church, 19 Amber Crescent, Judea, Tauranga

4. C.S. Lewis: Pointer to God and Christ

Non-Christians, even atheists, have a high opinion of C. S. Lewis as a scholar and writer.  Yet few know about his transformation into one of the greatest modern apostles of Christ.  We quickly trace his conversion to Christ from atheism, and shows four ways that Lewis presented Christ – and the truth of God and salvation – to a skeptical world.
WHAT: Bethlehem Baptist Sunday night service
WHEN: Sunday 9th December
TIME: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
WHERE: Bethlehem Baptist Church, 90 Bethlehem Rd, Tauranga



Online Videos

Dr. Woodward and Dr. James P. Gills M.D. on The Mysterious Epigenome. What lies beyond DNA.

Dr. Woodward interviews Princeton Chemistry Professor Dr. Andrew Bocarsly

Stand to Reason New Zealand Speaking Tour 2012

Stand to Reason / Life Training Institute

Apologetics Speaker Tour

September 2012

Brett Kunkle, Amy Hall, Jay Watts

Brett, Jay and Amy are three dynamic and experienced communicators who engage both the heart and mind, leaving audiences challenged and inspired and we are proud to be hosting them for a 10 day tour in September.

Brett and Jay speak to thousands of adults and students at churches, conferences, and university campuses across the US each year, while Amy writes for the Stand to Reason blog (roughly 32,000 unique visit per month) and speaks at churches and women’s retreats.

Schedule of Public Events while in New Zealand:

AUCKLAND – Friday 14th September – 5:00pm
Are ‘Christian Values’ Intolerant?
Evangelical Union – Auckland University
Venue: Arts 1, room 220 (lecture room 4) – Auckland University

In today’s culture, the Bible is politically incorrect. Its views on issues such as sexuality are considered outdated and intolerant. In this talk Brett will demonstrate how the accusation of intolerance is flawed in three important ways. We’ll examine the true nature of tolerance and raise the most important issue in this discussion: What is true? Will be followed by a panel discussion where any question is welcome. Brett will be joined by Jay Watts and Matt Flannagan.

AUCKLAND – Saturday 15th September
Venue & Times: To be confirmed.
Brett, Jay & Amy: Advanced Prolife Training Workshop

HAMILTON – Saturday 15th September – 7pm
Gateway Hamilton – 950 Victoria Street, Hamilton
Brett: Why I am a Christian – followed by Q&A panel with all three speakers

In this presentation Brett will examine the most common reasons Christians give for why they embrace Christianity, then we’ll examine the primary reason why we ought to embrace Christianity:  because Christianity is true.  We’ll clarify this controversial claim and show how the truth of religious claims must be grounded in reality.  Naturally, such a claim is followed by questions of how we can know Christianity is true, so we’ll set out a cumulative case approach that takes into account the wealth of evidence for the Christian worldview.

TAURANGA – Sunday 16th September – 9:30am
Bethlehem Community Church morning service – 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem, Tauranga
Brett Kunkle – Topic to be decided

TAURANGA – Sunday 16th September – 12:30-6:00pm
Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Tauranga
Door charge $20
Jay Watts: Apologetics and Evangelism
Amy Hall: If God Is Good, Why Is There Evil?
Brett Kunkle: Is Faith a Blind Leap?
Jay Watts: Does Truth Matter?
Brett Kunkle: Tactics In Defending Your Faith
For more information see here.

PALMERSTON NORTH – Wednesday 19th September – 7:30pm
Gateway Christian Fellowship
Brett Kunkle – Topic to be decided

TAURANGA – Wednesday 19th September – 7:00pm
W.I.R.E.D. Youth – Bethlehem Baptist Church, 90 Bethlehem Rd
Jay Watts – Ideas have Consequences

Jay will be talking about how ideas have consequences, and bad ideas lead to destructive life choices. As Christians we not only need to understand our faith for our own sake but also to help others find the truth.

TAURANGA – Thursday 20th September – 6:45pm
Vital Student Ministries – Changepoint Church, 131 Poike Rd, Ohauiti
Brett Kunkle – Truth Never Gets Old

In his talk Brett discusses how there is deep confusion in our culture over the nature of truth. He will examine this confusion and test your knowledge of truth, looking at the objections to truth – and discovers why the truth really matters.

TAURANGA – Friday 21st September – 7:15pm
Highlife Youth – Lifezone Church, 19 Amber Crescent, Judea
Brett Kunkle – Why I Am a Christian

Brett will be examining the reasons why we can be confident that Christianity is true and why the truth of religious claims must be grounded in reality. Then he will set out a case that shows the clear evidence for the truthfulness of Christianity.

AUCKLAND – Saturday 22nd September – 10am-4:00pm
St Paul’s Church, 28 Symonds Street, Auckland
Door charge $10 (includes lunch)
Jay Watts: Does Truth Matter?
Brett Kunkle: Is One Way the Only Way?
Jay Watts: How to discuss your faith with others.
Amy Hall: If God Is Good, Why Is There Evil?
Brett Kunkle: Is Christianity Intolerant?
Zach Ardern: Are Science and Faith compatible?
For more information see here.

AUCKLAND – Sunday 23rd September – 10:15am
Northcote Baptist Church morning service
67 Eban Avenue, Hillcrest, North Shore City
Brett Kunkle: If God is Good, Why is there Evil?

AUCKLAND – Sunday 23rd September – 2:00pm
The Upper Room Church
10a Clayton St, Newmarket
Jay Watts: Back to the Cross: Apologetics and Evangelism – followed by a Q&A panel featuring all our speakers

They are also speaking at a range of private events at schools, churches and bible colleges. If you want more information please email us.


Thinking Matters Auckland Youth Conference 2012

Exploring CHRISTIANITY and TRUTH in a “whatever” world

This conference is part of a series of events where Brett Kunkle and Amy Watts from Stand to Reason, and Jay Watts from Life Training Institute are speaking in New Zealand. See here for a list of all their speaking engagements.

Can we still know what is true? How does truth matter to my life, today? And is it worth believing in Christianity in a world filled with reasons for doubt? Come and wrestle with these questions and more from our collection of engaging and entertaining speakers from America and New Zealand.

TIME: 10:00am – 4:00pm
WHERE: St Paul’s Church, 28 Symonds Street, Auckland CDB
COST: $10 at door – includes lunch


10:00am Registration and Welcome
10:30am Jay Watts – Life Training Institute
Does Truth Matter?
What is Truth? Are there things we can know for sure? Jay discusses common objections to truth and shows why it is important to faith and our search for God.
11:30am Brett Kunkle – Stand to Reason
Is One Way the Only Way?
Brett examines some common objections to Christianity’s claim to be the only true religion then builds a careful case showing how Jesus is the only way to God.
12:30pm Lunch (pizza provided)
1:00pm Breakout Session 1
(choose from one of the following)
Jay Watts: How to discuss your faith with others.
Amy Hall: If God Is Good, Why Is There Evil?
Brett Kunkle: Is Christianity Intolerant?
Zach Ardern: Are Science and Faith compatible?
2:00pm Breakout Session 2
(A repeat of all breakout sessions)
3:00pm Q&A Panel with all speakers
4:00pm Close of conference

Event sponsored by Evangelical Union, St Pauls, Stand to Reason and Life Training Institute.