Updates and information on the latest apologetic events near you.

William Lane Craig to debate Harris and Krauss Live

Christian philosopher William Lane Craig will be participating in two big debates at the end of March and the beginning of April, and both will be streamed live over the web. For the first debate (March 30), Craig will be defending the evidence for God against Lawrence Krauss, a distinguished professor of physics and director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University. For the second (April 7), Craig will be debating the foundation of morality in a much anticipated contest with Sam Harris, a neuroscientist and popular New Atheist.

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Seven Ways to Help Japan

Mashable has a list of online things we can do to help the disaster-struck nation.

And let’s continue to pray for the rebuilding and renewal of their great nation, and also for our brothers and sisters there who are serving as God’s healing and compassionate presence in the midst of the suffering. As the people of Japan struggle to comprehend and cope with their enormous losses, may they find hope and strength in Jesus, our sympathetic Priest and risen Saviour.

John Lennox coming to New Zealand (Updated)

Next month, John Lennox will be visiting New Zealand for a speaking tour. Here are the public events that have been confirmed:

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John Lennox coming to New Zealand

Next month, John Lennox will be visiting New Zealand for a speaking tour. Here are the public events that have been confirmed so far:

AUCKLAND (27 February – 2 March)

– Sunday 27 February:

9:30 – 11:00am Howick Baptist Church

1:00 – 3:00pm Q&A with John Lennox, at Salvation Army (East City Corps) 37-45 Wellington Street, Howick Auckland (hosted by Howick Baptist Church)

7pm Greenlane Christian Centre

Monday 28 February:

7:00 – 9:00pm “Christ Among the Philosophers”: An evening with John Lennox” at St. Paul’s (hosted by Compass). Facebook page here.

Tuesday 1 March:

12:00 – 1:00pm Lecture at Auckland University (Room TBA), “Has Science Buried God?” (organised by TSCF)

1:00-2:00pm Lecture at Auckland University (Room TBA), “Has Science Buried God?” (organised by TSCF)

3:00pm Meeting for Christian Academic Staff, “Faithfully Engaging with the Academy”

7:30-9:30pm “So you want to change the world?” Organised by TSCF for Christian students and young adults – 441 Queen Street, TSCF Offices

Wednesday 2 March:

8:30 Speaking at World Vision chapel

Afternoon: Lecturing for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme

WELLINGTON (2 – 4 March)

7pm Lecture: “Why God Loves Richard Dawkins?” or “God and Stephen Hawking) at St Michael’s, Kelburn

Thursday 3 March:

Lecturing for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme

Friday 4 March:

Lecturing for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme


Sunday 6 March:

Spreydon Baptist Church (9am, 11am and 7pm)

[Updated 15 Feb]

John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, a philosopher of science, and a seasoned Christian apologist.  Lennox has twice debated Richard Dawkins and is the author of the excellent book, Has Science Buried God?. We don’t often get apologists of his stature here in New Zealand and it will be exciting for Kiwis to have the opportunity to hear him.

I’ll update the blog as soon as the dates are finalized and available.  In the meantime, here are some of his lectures to whet your appetite:

• Engaging the New Atheism (Basics 2009 Conference) – Download Audio
• Engaging the Mind: The Defense of Christianity (Basics 2009 Conference) – Download Audio
• Using Scripture to Engage the Mind and Imagination (Basics 2009 Conference) – Download Audio

• In the beginning God (New Horizon 2008) – Download Audio or Video
•Reasons for Hope (New Horizon 2008) – Download Audio or Video

Auckland Event: Jeff Tallon on Creation and Christianity

This Sunday and the next, Jeff Tallon, former Professor of Physics at Victoria University, will be speaking at East City Wesleyan Church in a series on Christianity. Dr Tallon began the series last weekend with a discussion of God as Creator and this week he will be addressing the case for the Bible. Dr Tallon is both an internationally renown scientist and a Christian who is committed to thinking deeply about the integration of biblical and disciplinary knowledge-claims. We’ve enjoyed hearing from him at our Thinking Matters events and can’t recommend him enough. For more details, check out the Facebook page.

26 September – God and Scripture: the rational case for taking the Bible seriously

3 October – Jesus: a scientist’s personal view

Location: East City Wesleyan Church – 219 Burswood Drive, Auckland

Time: 7pm

More about the speaker: Dr Jeff Tallon is Distinguished Scientist at Industrial Research Ltd and a former Professor of Physics at Victoria University. He is internationally known for his research in high-temperature superconductors, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and in 2002 was awarded the Rutherford Medal, New Zealand’s highest science award.

Auckland Event: John Warwick Montgomery on the claims of Jesus

Just a head’s up for those in the Auckland or upper North Island regions. This Sunday, Dr John Warwick Montgomery will be speaking at the Auckland Baptist Tabernacle. This is his only New Zealand event, so if you’re free, you really won’t want to miss the chance to hear one of the world’s top international apologists.

Title: Can We Trust the Claims of Jesus Christ about Himself in the New Testament?
Time: 2.15pm -4.30pm, Sunday 26 September
Location: Level 3, Baptist Tabernacle, 429 Queen Street, Auckland CBD.
Cost: $10 for adult workers, $5 students.
For more info, email drstevekumar@gmail.com.

About the speaker: Dr John Warwick Montgomery is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Christian Thought at the Patrick Henry College and Emeritus Professor of Law and Humanities at the University of Luton. He has earned eleven degrees in multiple disciplines, including philosophy, librarianship, theology, and law. Internationally regarded for both his work as a lawyer and as a Christian apologist, Dr Montgomery has debated many scholars – notably Thomas Altizer and situation-ethicist Joseph Fletcher. He is the author of over one hundred scholarly journal articles and more than fifty books, including Christianity for the Tough Minded and Human Rights and Human Dignity. Currently,  Dr Montgomery serves as the director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism, & Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

Auckland Event: The New Atheism, Science, and Morality

Thinking Matters is pleased to announce that we’ll be hosting Dr Glenn Peoples at Auckland University next month. Glenn will be speaking on morality and the New Atheist’s endeavour to anchor morality outside of God.

If you’ve read Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, or Richard Dawkins, one thing you’ll notice is that they take pains to point out that they are not relativists. They believe quite strongly that there are objective moral truths. Indeed, many of their most colourful arguments against religion and Christianity depend on this. But if they disagree with the tradition of other atheists, such as Nietzsche (who argued that morality “stands or falls with faith in God”1), how do they account for moral realism, in a naturalistic universe? Despite Richard Dawkins admission that science has no methods for deciding what is ethical, Sam Harris has recently contended that we should think of moral facts as being scientific facts. With neuroscience opening up the world of the human brain to us, Harris suggests we can now understand moral facts in terms of facts that describe the human brain and its experience of happiness and suffering.

In his talk, Glenn will examine the arguments for this view, explore their success, and show why the New Atheists are unable to preserve genuine moral truths in a world without God.

If you’re interested in the topic of morality and New Atheism, this will be a great event for you. It will also be a great opportunity for those who might have read Glenn’s blog and listened to his podcast to finally meet him!

Here are the full details:

New Atheism, Science, and Morality: Is there a naturalistic basis of moral truth?

TIME: Monday, September 6 · 7:00pm – 9:00pm

LOCATION: The University of Auckland, Library Basement Room 15, 5 Alfred St, Auckland

COST: Free

Can the natural world tell us what is right and wrong, without need for God? Can moral facts be grounded scientifically? Thinking Matters, in association with the Evangelical Union, is proud to host Christian philosopher Dr Glenn Peoples at the University of Auckland this September. Dr Peoples will be examining the arguments of popular atheist and best-selling author, Sam Harris, and argue that the attempt to ground morality outside of God ultimately fails.

Dr Glenn Peoples is a graduate in theology (BD) from the Bible College of NZ 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, both in New Zealand and abroad, 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. He lives in Dunedin with his wife Ruth and their four children.

The Facebook page for the event is here.

1. Nietzsche, F. (1968) Twilight of the Idols and the Anti-Christ. New York. Penguin Books.

Auckland Event: Christ in the Workplace

The Tertiary Student Christian Fellowship’s graduate ministry is organizing their National Conference this year on Christ and the workplace. With a vision to seeing godly people who are willing to bring their faith and professional lives together, Catalyst are hosting a compelling program of speakers, worship and workshops to nurture and encourage Christians to be better disciples of Christ in the workplace.

The conference will be held at Laidlaw College in Henderson, Auckland, beginning on the 3rd of September and ending on the 5th. Catalyst have organized some amazing speakers from a broad range of specialized fields and working environments, from architecture, health care, law, business, farming, town planning and more. Speakers include Andrew Thorburn (CEO of the BNZ bank), Andrew Becroft (Principal Youth Court Judge), Chris Clarke (CEO of World Vision NZ), Peter Thirkell (professor of Marketing at Victoria University), and Paul Windsor (associate director of Langham Preaching).

The conference will offer a unique opportunity to develop networks with colleagues gathered from around New Zealand and deepen professional, intellectual, and spiritual relationships. Catalyst hopes that participants will be able to leave able to:

• communicate the gospel in word and deed
• translate the Bible’s story into their profession
• live for Christ on Monday as much as Sunday
• are participants with God in his global mission

You can download the brochure here or visit the Catalyst site for more details.

Event Details:

What: Christ in the Workplace: National Catalyst Conference 2010
When: 3 – 5 September 2010
Where: Laidlaw College, 80A Central Park Drive Henderson, West Auckland

Auckland Event: Exploring Biblical Spirituality

This Friday, Rev Dr Peter Adam will be speaking at St Margaret’s Anglican Church in Auckland on the topic of Christian spirituality. Adam is the Principal of Ridley College in Melbourne and the author of several books, including Written For Us (read Paul Windsor’s review here) and Speaking God’s words: A Practical Theology of Preaching. His latest book, Hearing God’s words: Exploring biblical spirituality is a part of the New Studies in Biblical Theology, edited by D. A. Carson.  With the concept of spirituality today becoming increasingly fuzzy – both outside and within the church – Adam is passionate about calling Christians to be confident in the model of spirituality taught in the Bible.

This Wednesday and Thursday he will be in Hamilton (see more details here) and Friday’s message will be from Isaiah 55, continuing his discussion of what we can learn from the Bible about spirituality and what spirituality results from using the Bible. For more resources by Peter, go to www.ridley.edu.au

WHAT: Hearing God’s Words: Exploring Biblical Spirituality with Peter Adam

WHEN: Friday June 25, 7.30pm

WHERE: St Margaret’s Anglican Church,  102 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough, Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland Event: Postgrad Study for the Glory of God

This weekend, the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship is hosting a seminar in Auckland to consider the issues involved with postgraduate life, whether in further academic study or in the workplace. One of the biggest challenges Christians often face is in integrating their faith with vocational or academic work. This Saturday (the 29th of May) Catalyst, TSCF’s ministry to graduates, postgraduates and academics, will be running a one day seminary led by Dr Bev Norsworthy.  Norsworthy, one of New Zealand’s leading educators, will be exploring three crucial questions:

• What is the gospel and how does it impact your postgraduate study?
• In what ways can the gospel be applied to research and teaching?
• How can postgraduate research be done for the glory of God?

The seminar completes a national tour that has been running throughout the country in 2010. The day will run from 9am until 5pm, with morning and afternoon tea provided.

When: Saturday 29th May 9am-5pm

Where: Carey College Christian School, Domain Road, Panmure, Auckland

Cost: $20

For more information and registration visit www.catalyst.ac.nz/events/2010/postgraduate-seminars or email principal@carey.school.nz

Auckland Event: God in the Light of the Critics

On Saturday the 29th of May, TANSA (Theology and the Natural Sciences in Aotearoa), in conjunction with the Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre, will be holding a seminar on God and the new wave of  atheism. The event brings together speakers from a variety of theological and confessional commitments to interact with the new cultural movement of skepticism.

When: Saturday May 29, 9am – 3.30pm

Where: Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre, 1043 Beach Road, Long Bay (ph 473 2600)

Cost: $20 / $15 students and unwaged


9.00  Registration

9.30  Welcome: Nicola Hoggard Creegan (Chair of TANSA, and lecturer at Laidlaw) and John Fairbrother (Director of Vaughan Park)

9.45 Tim Meadowcroft (Senior Lecturer at Laidlaw) Pascal’s Bus: A Conversation between Blaise Pascal and the British Humanist Association Buse.s

10.30 Morning Tea

11.00 Judith Brown (Adjunct lecturer, Laidlaw) Tracing the way Home: the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

11.45  John Bishop (Professor of philosophy, Uni of Auckland)  Some Thoughts on an Alternative to a ‘Personal omniGod’ Theism.

12.30 LUNCH

1.30  Peter Lineham (Professor of History, Massey) A History of Atheism: from Paine to Dawkins

2.15  Nicola Hoggard Creegan  Deeper than Darwin

2.35  John Fairbrother Thank God for Atheists

For more details phone Nicola @ 021 376 045 or check out the TANSA website.

Together for the Gospel (T4G) Conference (Day Two)

Here are the videos from the main sessions on day two of the conference (Chris Gatihi at Pilgrim in Conflict has helpfully posted notes on each of the sessions as well).

Session 4: Thabiti Anyabwile — ‘Fine-Sounding Arguments’ — How Wrongly ‘Engaging the Culture’ Adjusts the Gospel

Colossians 1:24-3:4

  • Paul’s Purpose (1:24 – 2:5)
  • Paul’s Philosophy (2:6-2:15)
  • Paul’s Practices (2:16-2:23)
  • Paul’s Perspective (3:1-4)

Session 5: John MacArthur — The Theology of Sleep! (Mark 4)

Mark 4

How do we approach evangelism?:

  • Humility
  • Obedience (Mark 4:21-22)
  • Diligently (Mark 4:23-25)
  • Confidence (Mark 4:30-32)

Session 6: John Piper — Did Jesus Preach the Gospel of Evangelicalism?

Video to come.

Full manuscript available on the Desiring God website here.

Luke 18: 9-14

– Did Paul Get Jesus Right?

– Aspects of the Pharisee’s Righteousness in Luke 18: 9-14

  • Moral
  • Religious
  • A Gift from God

– Only One Thing Missing:

– Jesus: God’s Righteous One

– Implications:

Implication 1: Jesus’ Gospel Is Also Paul’s
Implication 2: Nothing We Do Is Basis for God’s Acceptance
Implication 3: Our Standing with God Is Based on Jesus, Not Us
Implication 4: Transformation Is the Fruit, Not Root, of Justification
Implication 5: All Our Goodness Is Evidence and Confirmation, Not Grounds
Implication 6: The Gospel Is for Every Person and Every People
Implication 7: Jesus Gets the Full Glory