Updates and information on the latest apologetic events near you.

Ben Witherington in New Zealand

Ben Witherington III, one of the leading evangelical scholars alive today, will be visiting New Zealand for a conference at East City Wesleyan Church next weekend. Dr Witherington will be speaking on “The Johannine Literature: The Legacy of the Beloved Disciple” in two parts and also “Personal Observations about the Church around the Globe”. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear him.

If you’ve not encountered him before, Dr Witherington is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. He has authored over thirty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies by Christianity Today. Dr Witherington was one of the NT experts consulted by Lee Strobel for The Case for Christ and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a soceity dedicated to New Testament studies. Here’s an interview with Witherington and skeptic, Michael Shermer, on Strobel’s Faith Under Fire program.

His lectures will be apart of a conference on the Wesleyan Theological Tradition. On the Sunday he will be preaching at the morning service for East City and at cession|community in the evening. Download the conference brochure here.

Where: East City Wesleyan Church Centre 219 Burswood Drive, Botany, Auckland

Registration Fee: $20, not including the Saturday night event.

Conference Programme :

Friday 31 July

7.30pm  The Johnannine Literature: Legacy of the Beloved Disciple: Part 1

Saturday 1 August

1.30pm The Johnannine Literature: Legacy of the Beloved Disciple: Part 2

7pm Personal Observations about the Church around the Globe. Ticket price for this is $20 (it includes dinner).

Sunday Church Services

10am Morning service at East City Church (219 Burswood Drive, Botany, Auckland)

5.45pm cession|community (The Depot, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga)

Is the New Atheism Reasonable?

Last night I presented the talk ‘Is the New Atheism Reasonable?’ at Thinking Matters Tauranga.  It was split into two parts – the first was a bit of worldview and epistemology and the second more social commentary and history to refute the New Atheist claim that Christianity is somehow bloodthirsty.

To start my presentation, I looked at the question of Agnosticism and identified the two types: Soft Agnosticism and Hard Agnosticism. Read more

Tauranga Event: 26 May – Dr Jeff Tallon: Astronomy and the Bible

Last night at Thinking Matters Tauranga we had Dr Jeff Tallon present on Astronomy and the Bible.  This was the last event in our “Faith & Science” series and we had 111 people turn up – a very good turn out.

The feedback after this event (and his presentation from 8 weeks ago) has been very positive, so I hope to get Dr Tallon back next year to present again.  It sounds like Thinking Matters Auckland may also ask him to speak up there.

So what did you think of his presentation?

Please place your comments and feedback below and I’ll ask Jeff to respond to any questions – although naturally he is busy, so he may not be able to  to respond right away.

Tauranga Event: 12th May – Dr Graeme Finlay: Evolution and Faith

On the 12th May, Thinking Matters Tauranga had Dr Graeme Finlay present on Evolution and Faith.  This was a presentation on Theistic Evolution which certainly got people thinking, and challenged many of us with some evidence for evolution from the field of Gene Science (Graeme holds a PhD in Cell Biology, and a Bachelor of Theology).

The feedback thus-far has been wide and varied.  There have been so many emails back and forth on this that I thought I would take advantage of the “Thinking Matters Talk” site to give you an opportunity to discuss your feedback online.

So what did you think of his presentation?

I will invite Graeme to keep an eye on this post, so you can ask him any questions you have directly in the comments below – although naturally he is busy, so please don’t be disappointed if he is unable to respond right away.

NZ Preaching Conference

Towards a Kiwi-Made Preaching

I heard today that there has recently been a large preaching conference held in Auckland, NZ. I am informed that about 200 people attended.

Here is the guy who I think may have organized it:

Check out a picture of the brochure here.

The registration form is at this address (MS Word format).

Here is some info from their website:

So Langham Partnership New Zealand is sponsoring a forum on April 18th which we’ve called Towards a Kiwi-made Preaching. More than 25 experienced and emerging preachers will provoke us with questions from their own wrestling with preaching in this NZ context. We are so grateful for the commitment of people like Mark Strom (Laidlaw), Murray Robertson (Spreydon Baptist), Lynne Baab (University of Otago), Nigel Pollock (TSCF), and Bishop Winston Halapua (Anglican). But there are a whole bunch of up-and-comers as well. It will be a fabulous and unashamed talkfest. Then at the end of the day there will be an optional session where we will ask ‘what is the Spirit saying?’ about some sort of ongoing focus on preaching in NZ.

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Event: DVD Screening of Dr JP Moreland on Faith and Reason

Bring your popcorn for movie night!

What: Dr JP Moreland on Faith and Reason
When: Tuesday 28 April – 7:00pm
Where: Lecture Room 2, Laidlaw College, 80 Central Park Drive, Henderson, West Auckland
Format: DVD followed by discussion, (Dr Matthew Flannagan will be available for questions)
Cost: Free!

Dr Moreland is distinguished professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in California. In this DVD, he will talk about the importance of truth in religion, the evidence for monotheism and his own personal experience in coming to the Christian faith.

With degrees in philosophy, theology and chemistry, Dr Moreland has taught at several universities throughout the USA. He has authored and co-authored books including Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview; Christianity and the Nature of Science; Scaling the Secular City; Does God Exist?; Immortality: The Other Side of Death; The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues of Our Times.

He is co-editor of Christian Perspectives on Being Human and Jesus under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus. His work appears in journals such as Christianity Today, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and The American Philosophical Quarterly.

He is a very good, clear and easy to follow speaker.

http://auckland.thinkingmatters.org.nz/

Dr Matthew Flannagan on Belief without Proof

What: Dr Matthew Flannagan speaking on Belief without Proof

When: Tuesday 31th March – 7:00pm

Where: Lecture Room 2, Laidlaw College, 80 Central Park Drive, Henderson, West Auckland

Format: Talk followed by questions, answers and discussion.

Cost:  Free!  (Donation appreciated)

 

Dr Flannagan will address the objection that Christianity is irrational in the absence of proof. He will unpack this claim and offer an alternative method of looking at faith and reason demonstrating that lack of evidence does not make faith in God irrational.

Dr Flannagan holds a PhD in Theology, a Masters degree in Philosophy. His area of expertise is the interface between Philosophy and Theology, Applied Ethics and Worldviews. He is an adjunct lecturer in Philosophy for Laidlaw College, writes for the MandM blog and has nearly 15 years experience engaging and challenging secular culture both in New Zealand and internationally.

He is a former student President at the University of Waikato, has formally debated the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ’s Dr Zoe During and the NZ Association of Rationalist Humanist’s Dr Bill Cooke; he has been published in several international journals of philosophy and has a personal reference from the then President of the Evangelical Theological Society in his resume.

He is used to speaking to a wide range of audiences so you will not need a PhD to understand him.

Thinking Matters – Auckland

 

Thinking Matters is a community of professional and lay apologists dedicated to offering credible reasons to believe and rationally answering objections to the Christian faith.

 Thinking Matters Auckland hold regular Apologetics seminars, showcasing New Zealand’s best Apologetic talents and screen DVDs of the world’s top Apologists defending the Christian Faith. Opportunity for analysis, discussion and questions follow each event.

 The seminars are held in Lecture Room 2 of West Auckland’s Laidlaw College, fortnightly on Tuesdays, from 7-9pm; there is no charge although donations are welcome. The seminars are accessible to all with an interest in Apologetics, suitable for teenagers through to adults and open to anyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.

 

For further information contact:

Madeleine Flannagan

09 835 1554

021 026 94751

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Thinking Matters is proud to present the very first of Thinking Matters Auckland. The details of what this is and how this event will be run follows. Big thanks go to Madeline Flannagan for orchestrating and managing the event. Make sure you mark this in your calendar.
What: Dr Steve Kumar speaking on Faith and Reason
When: Tuesday, 17th March 7-9pm
Where: Lecture Room 2, Laidlaw College, 221 Lincoln Rd, Henderson, West Auckland
Format: Talk followed by questions, answers and discussion.
Cost: Free!
Dont miss hearing New Zealands most prominent Christian Apologist.

For almost thirty years Dr Kumar has been actively involved in speaking and writing about apologetics, philosophy and faith. As a New Zealand Christian apologist, he is a sought-after speaker in academic and church settings around the world. He is a frequent guest on television, radio, and news media programs and is an influential voice on issues that relate to the credibility of the Christian truth claims.

Mark it in your calendar now and forward this email to your friends

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Media Release:
Following on from the interest Dr William Lane Craig generated when he visited New Zealand last year, Thinking Matters Auckland (TMA) announce the launch of their Apologetics seminars.

At the seminars, TMA will showcase New Zealands best Apologetic talents and screen DVDs of the worlds top Apologists defending the Christian Faith.
Opportunity for analysis, discussion and questions will follow each event.
Thinking Matters is a community of professional and lay apologists dedicated to offering credible reasons to believe and rationally answering objections to the Christian faith.

Seminars will be held at West Aucklands Laidlaw College in LR2 fortnightly on Tuesdays from 7-9pm.
TMA seminars are free events, accessible to all and open to anyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.
For further information contact:
Dr Matthew Flannagan
09 835 1554
021 256 7174

Public Lecture on Global Warming: a Christian response

Auckland University school of theology is hosting a public lecture on Global Warming: a Christian response with Professor Robert White, Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences at University of Cambridge.

Professor Robert White is Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge (since 1989) and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1994. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society, and a member of the American Geophysical Union. He leads a research group investigating the Earth’s dynamic crust. His scientific work is published in over 300 articles. Bob is Associate Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, and a director of the John Ray Initiative, an educational charity that works to develop and communicate a Christian understanding of the environment.

Thursday 12 March 2009, 6-7 pm

Theatre OGGB4, Business School, corner of Symonds Street and Grafton Road, The University of Auckland

Parking under Owen G Glenn building,
$5 flat rate

See Poster

Symposium on science and religion in the 21st Century

Auckland University School of Theology is hosting a symposium on Science and religion in the 21st Century: faith in science, science in faith with Professor Robert White FRS, Professor of Geophysics, University of Cambridge. Saturday 14 March 2009, 8.30am-6pm.

Programme;

Prof Jeff Tallon FRSNZ

Truth or true? – faith and science rubbing shoulders
 

Prof Bob White FRS

Natural disasters: acts of God or results of human folly?
 

Dr Graeme Finlay

The story in our genes
 

Rev Dr Graham O’Brien

Evolving evolution

 
Prof Gareth Jones CNZM

Manufacturing humans: the borderlands between human and divine control
 

Prof John McClure

Psychology and religion: is there a ghost in the machine?

 
Dr Stephen Garner/ Dr Nicola Hoggard-Creegan

The view from theology

 

Saturday 14 March 2009, 8.30am-6pm

Theatre 401-439, ‘Neon Foyer’, Engineering School, Symonds Street, The University of

Auckland

 

Registration is required for the symposium by Wednesday 11 March, with p.medhora@auckland.ac.nz

Cost $20, non-waged people $10 (refreshments and lunch provided)

Parking can be found under Owen G Glenn building, $5 flat rate

Science and Faith: Some Auckland events with Dr Frank Stootman

Dr Frank Stootman will be visiting New Zealand for two evening meetings and an afternoon/evening seminar in late March. Dr Stootman is an astrophysicist and an associate professor at the University of Western Sydney, and head of the Australian L’Abri community. I was able to hear him last year at a seminar he gave and found him particularly good in his discussion of the current debates in the science related to the mind. He is passionate about the integration of science and faith and in continuing the apologetic legacy of Francis Schaeffer. Some of the venues are still to be finalised, and I will update the post when the details become available. Anyone is welcome, but please contact Peter at psbowden@vodafone.co.nz first, as numbers will be limited by the size of the venues.

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Saturday 21 March – 7pm: The life and impact of Francis Schaeffer
Venue; Drs Bryan and Susan Parry’s house, 17 Empire Rd Epsom.

A discussion of the life and writings of Francis Schaeffer who with his wife Edith founded the Christian community of L’Abri in Switzerland in the 1950’s. His evaluation of culture in all its variety; art, science, literature, and ideas from a Christian perspective and in the context of community has been a profound influence for good in the lives of generations of people. His work continues in L’Abri communities around the world.

Saturday 28 March – 2pm – 9pm. Comprehending Life, the Universe, and God

Dinner catered for at 6pm.
Venue – the home of Dr Peter and Sarah Bowden
68 Esplanade Rd., Mt Eden.

Topics to be presented and discussed:
1. The Grandeur of the Universe: Dimensioning the Majesty of God
2. Is there other life out there? What are the implications? A look at modern SETI (Search for extra-terrestial intelligence)
3. Is the universe too good to be true? A look at the extraordinarily finely tuned universe we inhabit that has allowed the world and universe we know to exist and human life to flourish.

$10 fee for students. $25 for non students.

Answering Objections to the Christian Faith: An Auckland Event

Apologetics: Answering Objections to the Christian Faith
Dr Matthew Flannagan BSocSci, MSocSci (Hons), PhD

In this presentation, Dr Flannagan will speak on the nature of Apologetics and will examine some common objections to the faith such as: Why does God allow evil? Isn’t it arrogant to believe your religion is the only true one? Isn’t faith in God irrational? Dr Flannagan is an adjunct lecturer in Philosophy for Laidlaw College, he works with Thinking Matters and writes for the MandM blog.

When: Sunday 8 March
Time: 6.30 pm

Where: Massey Presbyterian Church – 510 Don Bucks Rd, Massey, West Auckland
Cost: Free

Event Format: Presentation followed by Q&A

It’s open to Christian and non-Christian alike; anyone interested in apologetics, theology and Christian philosophy. It is lay-person friendly, you won’t need a philosophy or a theology degree to be able to follow the talk.