Updates and information on the latest apologetic events near you.

Thinking Matters Tauranga Apologetics Conference 2012

An afternoon of training from three world class speakers from America

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 public speaking engagements.

Brett, Jay and Amy are warm and engaging speakers who travel the world equipping the Christian church to defend the faith. They have a special ability to communicate complex issues in easy to understand ways and will be in Tauranga for this special Thinking Matters event you won’t want to miss!

WHEN: SUNDAY 16th SEPTEMBER
TIME: 12:30pm – 6:00pm
WHERE: Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Tauranga
COST: $20 at door

Schedule

12:30pm Welcome
12:40pm Jay Watts
Back To The Cross – Apologetics and Evangelism
How the Gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses our full worldview while defining how we relate to the information and experience in our lives.
1:30pm Breakout Session 1 (Choose from one of the following)
Amy Hall: If God Is Good, Why Is There Evil? How can we reconcile the existence of evil with a good, powerful, omniscient God?
Brett Kunkle: Is Faith a Blind Leap? Does true faith have anything to do with knowledge, reason and evidence?
Jay Watts: Does Truth Matter? How to reach people who deny that absolute truth exists or can be known.
2:15pm Afternoon Tea
2:45pm Breakout Session 2 (A repeat of all breakout sessions)
3:45pm Brett Kunkle
Tactics In Defending Your Faith
Learn specific skills to help engage others in friendly conversation and present Christ in an intelligent yet gracious way.
4:45pm Q&A Panel with all speakers
6:00pm Close of conference

Event sponsored by Bethlehem Community Church, Stand to Reason and Life Training Institute.

Auckland Event Series: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?

Billions profess to believe in the historical existence, death, and supernatural resurrection of Jesus.  Should such claims be believed on “blind faith” or are there good reasons for believing the resurrection is the most fantastic fact of history?

In July and August, The Upper Room is organizing a series of events on the evidence for the resurrection. Christianity stands or falls on the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without it, our faith is merely one religion among many. If you’re someone who would like to get better acquainted with not just the reasons for why Christianity is rational, but why Christianity offers ultimate hope for the human condition, we’d encourage to attend.

Series Program:

– Concise Outline of Evidence for the Resurrection
Tuesday 24 July, 7.30pm

– The Case for Christ with Lee Strobel
(DVD screening followed by discussion)
Tuesday 31 July, 7.30pm

– Deeper Investigation of the Evidence (Part 1)
Tuesday 7 August, 7.30pm

– Deeper Investigation of the Evidence (Part 2)
Tuesday 14 August, 7.30pm

– Deeper Investigation of the Evidence (Part 3)
Tuesday 21 August, 7.30pm

– Debate: Did Jesus Rise from the dead? Dr Gerd Ludemann vs Dr William Lane Craig
(DVD screening followed by discussion)
Tuesday 28 August, 7.30pm

All events are without cost. The Upper Room is located at 10a Clayton Street, Newmarket. Visit their website here.

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Auckland Events with Jerram Barrs: ‘Is God a Misogynist?’ and Faith & Work Conference

Jerram Barrs will be visiting New Zealand next month and City Presbyterian Church is hosting him for several public events. Barrs is Professor of Christian Studies and Contemporary Culture and Resident Scholar of the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Before taking up his role at Covenant, Barrs helped found the English L’Abri where he worked for 17 years.  He has a passion for helping equip and encourage Christians to grow in their relationship with Christ and to learn how to glorify Him in all of life. Barrs is also the author of numerous books including The Heart of EvangelismLearning Evangelism from Jesus, The Heart of Prayer, and Through His Eyes: God’s Perspective on Women in the Bible.

Is God a Misogynist?

Popular understanding of the biblical view of women tends to suggest that the God of the Bible is misogynistic. But is this popular understanding an accurate one?

Join Jerram Barrs as he addresses the questions and issues surrounding God’s view of women. This is a free public talk and is open to anyone of all faiths and none (and both genders) who are wrestling with or have questions about this issue.

The talk will begin at 7:30pm. Light refreshments and a Q&A session will follow the presentation.

When: Wednesday 20th June from 7:30-9pm

Where: City Presbyterian Church, 283 Karangahape Road, Auckland

Cost: Free

Faith and Work Conference

What does it mean to profess faith in Christ while pursuing our various professions? What does it mean to follow Christ in the 9-5 of life?  How does our relationship to Christ bring deeper joy and meaning to our career?  Join Jerram Barrs as he explores the Bible’s teaching on these and other questions related to the relationship between faith and work.

When:  22nd & 23rd June (7p-9:30p Friday, 9:30a-2p Saturday)

Where: City Presbyterian Church, 283 Karangahape Road, Auckland

Cost: $50 ($25 for Uni Students) Attendees can register and pay the day of the conference or email tscott@citypres.org.nz for details on how to pay and register online.

For more details visit the City Presbyterian Church website or email tscott@citypres.org.nz.

Thinking Matters Tauranga: Is the Bible Reliable?

Next week Thinking Matters Tauranga is starting a new series titled Is the Bible Reliable? Building the Historic Case.

Is the Bible a book of myths and fairy tales, or is it a book of history and truth?  This DVD series provides a thorough overview of major archaeological and historical discoveries that demonstrate the veracity and accuracy of the Bible.  This series will help you to respond to critical arguments against the historicity of the Bible with solid evidence, and gain a better understanding of the geography, culture, and history of events in the Bible.

This is a fascinating look at the latest historical and archaeological evidences for the reliability of the Bible.  Those in the Tauranga area should put it in your calendars now so you don’t miss it!

View the trailer and get more information here.

WHEN:  All the Tuesdays in May:
Tuesday 1 May The Patriarchal Narratives and the Documentary Hypothesis.  The Exodus: From Egypt to Canaan.
Tuesday 8 May The Israelite Conquest. The United Kingdom of David and Solomon.
Tuesday 15 May A Tale of Two Conquests: Hezekiah versus Sennacherib.  The Babylonian Conquest of Judah.
Tuesday 22 May The New Testament: Canons of Historicity. The Early Composition of Luke and Acts.
Tuesday 29 May External Corroboration of the New Testament. The Trial of Jesus.

TIME: 7:30pm – 9:00pm

WHERE: Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem, Tauranga, New Zealand.

FORMAT: 60 minute DVD lessons followed by discussions.  This is the second set of DVD’s from Focus on the Family’s True U series and is presented by Dr Stephen Meyer (author of Signature in the Cell).

COST: Free

Auckland Event: The Authenticity of the Gospels with Dirk Jongkind

Next month, Laidlaw College will be hosting Biblical Scholar, Dr Dirk Jongkind (Research Fellow in New Testament Text and Language at Tyndale House, Cambridge) for two lectures on the accuracy of the New Testament manuscripts and the make-up of the New Testament canon. Dr Jongkind is an international expert on New Testament manuscripts and both events should be well worth your time.

‘Original’ Text of the New Testament: A Comedy of Errors?
Tuesday 20 March | 7.30 – 9.00 pm | Followed by a light supper

Before the time of printed books, the New Testament was copied by hand. Errors are easily made and may even undermine the reliability of a text. What sort of things did go wrong in the copying of the Bible? How much deliberate editing was going on? And are the conspiracy theories right this time? We will think about the earliest evidence, look at some of the arguments made by every side, and get an overview of what sort of discussions are currently going on regarding the Greek text of the New Testament. No need to know any Greek.

The Gospels: Which Ones?
Thursday 22 March | 7:30 – 9.00 pm | Followed by a light supper

We have not only the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we have also some other gospels, which are not part of the Christian New Testament. Among these are the Gospel of Thomas, of Mary, and even the Gospel of Judas. The last one was only re-discovered a few years back. What is there in these gospels, and why do they not form a part of the books the church uses?

Attendance is free but for catering purposes, please RSVP to Anne Segedin (asegedin@laidlaw.ac.nz) by Monday 19 March 2012.

For more info about about Dirk Jongkind, go here.

HT: Stuart

 

The William Lane Craig UK Tour

Here’s the promotional trailer for Craig’s upcoming tour of the UK:

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The final details of the tour are still being arranged, but here’s the schedule as it presently stands:

Monday 17th October 2011
7.30pm, Debate: “Does God Exist?
Public Debate with Stephen Law (lecturer in Philosophy at Heythrop College, London and Editor of the magazine of the Royal Institute of Philosophy THINK). Arranged by Premier Radio.
Westminster Central Hall, London

Tuesday 18th October 2011
12.45pm, Lecture: “The Evidence for God”
Imperial College London, London
Get the live feed here.

6.30pm, Lecture “A Moral Argument for the Existence of God ; can we be good without God?”
University of London Union, Malet Street, London

Wednesday 19th October 2011
7.30pm, Public lecture on Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design followed by a panel response
St. Andrew the Great, Cambridge

Thursday 20th October 2011
7.30pm, Debate at the Cambridge Union: “This House Believes that God is not a Delusion” (Not open to the public)
Proposing the motion: William Lane Craig and Peter S. Williams
Opposing the motion: Arif Ahmed and Andrew Copson
The Cambridge Union, Cambridge

Friday 21st October 2011
7.30pm, Debate: “Does God Exist?
Debate with Professor Peter Millican (Gilbert Ryle Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford University).
The Great Hall, Birmingham University, Edgbaston

Saturday 22nd October 2011
9.30am – 5.30pm Bethinking National Apologetics Day Conference
William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, John Lennox, and Peter J. Williams
Westminster Chapel, London

Monday 24th October 2011
7.30pm, Lecture: “The Historicity of Jesus’ Resurrection”
Southampton Guildhall, Southampton

Tuesday 25th October 2011
7.30pm, Lecture – “Is God a Delusion?” A Critique of Dawkins’ The God Delusion
[or a debate with Richard Dawkins if he should accept the invitation]
Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Wednesday 26th October 2011
7.30pm, Debate: “Does God Exist?
Debate with Dr Peter Atkins (former Professor of Chemistry at Oxford University).
University Place Lecture Theatre, Manchester University, Oxford Road, Manchester

Some of the events will be webcast (access the stream at www.livestream.com/reasonablefaithtour2011), so those of us outside the UK will still get a chance to watch or listen in. We’ll live tweet the debates, if they’re available, so make sure you’re following us on twitter.

Thinking Matters Youth

Thinking Matters Youth Logo

Thinking Matters Tauranga and Holy Trinity Tauranga have partnered together to produce a new fortnightly apologetics series for young people called “Thinking Matters in a Whatever World”. The series runs from August to December and is hosted at Holy Trinity, Cnr 3rd Ave and Cameron Rd, Tauranga (New Zealand).

For more info see here.

To be kept up to date with events, speakers and special announcements – like us on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/thinkingmattersyouth

John Hare in Auckland

British classicist, ethicist, and Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School, John Hare will be participating at several public events next week (along with the God and Ethics panel on Tuesday). Hare is a widely acclaimed philosopher, best known for developing an account of the need for God’s assistance in meeting the demands of objective morality. If you’re looking for a discussion on religion and morality with a bit more intellectual bite, I’d encourage you to go along.

Here are the details:

Read more

Auckland Event: Do ‘Private’ Christian Beliefs Have a Place in Public Life?

Every year the Christian campus groups at Auckland University host a week-long series of outreach events that focus on Jesus and Christianity. This year we’re pleased to be involved in an event examining the role of religious beliefs in the public arena. The event is open to the public, so if you’re in the Auckland area, you’re welcome to join us.

Here are the details:

A Godless Public Square: Do ‘Private’ Christian Beliefs Have a Place in Public Life?
A Jesus Week Panel Discussion
WHEN: 7-9pm Wednesday 3 August
WHERE: Lib B28

Christian theological convictions ought to impact the whole of life both in the private and public spheres; this is what the idea of an “undivided life” means, Jesus is Lord of all aspects of our lives.

Yet this consequence of Christian faith conflicts with a pervasive contemporary attitude: the view that that religion is fundamentally a private matter. It is accepted that a Christian is free to utilise theological convictions when they make decisions about their own life but in a pluralistic society it is increasingly deemed inappropriate to bring such convictions into public discussions about morality, law, politics, economics, education, scholarship and so on. The desire to influence society with Christian ideals or to convert others to the faith is viewed by many as an intolerant desire to impose one’s private views onto others.

It is widely accepted that theological convictions can govern churches and the private lives of believers yet we are told that the public square – government, public policy, the courts, the academy, education, business, arts, media, etc – should be secular only.

This event looks at this issue. The conversation will span Theology, Philosophy and Law led by a panel made up of Christian representatives from each discipline along with you the audience.

Up for discussion are issues like:

– Is it wrong for Christians to impose their ‘private’ religious beliefs onto others?
– Is secularism the neutral perspective it is claimed to be?
– Are public expressions of religion regulated by law?

Bring your own questions and ask them at the Q & A session.

This event is brought to you by the Evangelical Union and Thinking Matters as part of Jesus Week.

Panel:

Ethics: What Does God have to do with it?

This July, those of us in Auckland will have the opportunity to hear some of the worlds leading Christian thinkers discuss the relationship between religion and morality.

This issue is one that has long been the subject of debate in western culture. Some philosophers and social commentators argue that morality is entirely independent of religion and that faith is in fact responsible for much evil and immorality in the world. Other theologians contend the opposite: without God, we cannot explain the existence and nature of moral obligations or ground motivation to live a moral life. Other questions have been raised as to whether secularism can account for ideas such as atonement, forgiveness and grace, or whether we need religion to provide these concepts in morality.

The forum will be discussing these issues and others, including:

– Why do we have to do what is right?
– Can someone be a ‘good’ person without belief in God?
– What role do grace and forgiveness play in morality?

On the panel will be Prof John Hare from Yale Divinity School, Prof Mark Murphy from Georgetown University, and Dr Glenn Pettigrove from the University of Auckland. The panel will be moderated by Dr Matthew Flannagan.

Here are the full details:

Ethics: What Does God have to do with it?
A Conversation with Three Christian Philosophers
WHEN: 7pm Tuesday 26 July
WHERE: Room OGGB4/260-073 (Owen Glenn Building, University of Auckland)
A free event.

This event is brought to you by the University of Auckland Philosophy Department and Thinking Matters.

The Facebook page is here.

Tauranga Event: Faith & Reason in a Broken World

This weekend, Christian Philosopher Trent Dougherty will be in Tauranga to speak at two events on the problem of evil and suffering.

Here are the details:

SATURDAY 9th July – 7pm: Faith & Reason in the face of Evil and Suffering
Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem, Tauranga
What reasons can the Christian Faith give when faced with the horrendous evil we see in the world around us?  In this lecture Trent will give guidelines for the integration of faith and reason and how they apply to the problem of evil and suffering.

SUNDAY 10th July – 7pm: Exposing Atheistic Naturalism’s Answer to Evil
Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem, Tauranga
Atheists claim that naturalism (the view that only matter, energy and time exist – with no God intervening from the outside) gives a better explanation of suffering in the world.  But in this lecture Trent will show that at every turn, naturalism’s attempt to answer the problem of evil and suffering backfires.

Both events are free, but donations are welcome.

Trent Dougherty is the Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University in the US.  He has a PhD in Philosophy of Religion, Epistemology and Probability Theory from the University of Rochester and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He has published articles and book reviews in many journals including Religious Studies Review, Notre Dame Philosophical Review, Philosophia Christi and many others.

 

Our Eternal Destiny: A Discussion about Universalism

Next month in Tauranga, Joe Fleener and Bryan Winters will be discussing universalism and the Christian understanding of salvation. Both will be offering different perspectives, with Bryan defending universalism and Joe defending the traditional Christian approach.

With the recent controversy surrounding Rob Bell’s defense of universalism and its place in evangelical orthodoxy, it should be an interesting event.

Our Eternal Destiny.  Who goes to heaven and who goes to hell?
Saturday 2nd July
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem, Tauranga

About the speakers:

Bryan Winters has an Honours degree in Geography and Economics and has been a school teacher in New Zealand, West Africa and London. He now works in IT sales and consulting where he has worked in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.

Joe Fleener holds a Masters of Divinity and has served as a fulltime Bible College lecturer in New Zealand in the areas of Old Testament, Church History, Apologetics, Christian Worldview and Ethics before entering his current role as Associate Pastor of Howick Baptist Church in Auckland. He blogs at the Kiwifruit Blog and you can follow him on twitter at @jfleener5.