Updates and information on the latest apologetic events near you.

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.

Thinking Matters Auckland 003

tm_video_night

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/

Thinking Matters Auckland 001

 

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

logo_auckland_b


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.

asset_frank_stootman_2002_medium
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.

God and the limits of science: Auckland Lecture this week

This Tuesday, the 21st of October, Dr Neil Broom will be giving a lecture addressing the debate about science and design. He will examine the explanatory limits of science and the case for the existence of God.

Topic: Science and the ‘God vs No-God’ Dilemma
Date: Tuesday, 21st October 08
Time: 6-7pm
Where: Lecture theatre 4.304 Engineering faculty

Neil Broom is a professor and the deputy head of the department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at Auckland University. He was trained as a materials scientist has been involved in over 77 published articles in international journals . Dr Broom initially spent time in research investigating crystalline structures before he switched focus to explore the world of living materials over the last two decades. With abundant exposure to nonliving and lving systems, Broom is convinced that the data of science paints a different story than the increasingly dominant view that we are merely biological artifacts of a cold, unfriendly universe.

His book, “How Blind is the Watchmaker?” from InterVarsity Press (it can also be previewed on Google Books),  challenges the “filmsily crafted but persuasively packaged myth of scientific materialism” and argues that the living world functions “in the presence of a transcendent, nonmaterial dimension – a dimension that both nourishes and imparts meaning to the processes of life”.

Two Movies soon to hit New Zealand screens

HOUSE
Christian novelists Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker combine with director Robby Henson to create a horror/thriller called House. The trailer was released on www.apple.com today and it promises to be a cut above the average Christian film. To those who are looking for the allegory it is obvious enough and could prove to be a useful tool in evangelism. The question is though, will Christians have to fortitude to see it?Peretti’s books are frightening enough without them being visualised on screen. The scheduled release date is 7 November, 2008 in the USA and if it makes it to the movie screen and doesn’t go straight to DVD the release date in NZ is anybody’s guess

Synopsis from IMDB
In rural Alabama, two couples find themselves in a fight for survival. Running from a maniac (The Tin Man) bent on killing them, they flee deep into the woods and seek refuge in a house. They soon realize the killer has purposely lured them to this house and that they are now trapped. As they huddle around an old fireplace, a tin can falls through the chimney. Scrawled on its side is a message from the killer, establishing his House Rules. The rules call for their deaths unless they kill at least one of the four. They have less than 12 hours to find a way to survive. At sunrise the game is over and everyone dies if the killer’s demands aren’t met. What they quickly learn is that the only way out… is in. But going further into this house–where unknown challenges await them–is equally deadly. Written by Anonymous

NIGHTS IN RODANTHE

Another Movie that will make it to the silver screen in NZ on October 30th is Nights in Rodanthe staring Richard Gere and Diane Lane and directed by George C. Wolfe. This film is a Drama / Romance by the same Christian author Nicholas Sparks that bought us Angels in the Outfield, A Walk to Remember, Message in a Bottle and The Notebook. From the Synopsis it looks as if this film is more in line with his latter work with questionable ethical standards, rather than his earlier work where strong Christian values were prominent. There is little question the film will be a success with the star power of Lane and Gere and Sparks story-telling ability but it remains to be seen if it can be utilised in any effective way for evangelism or apologetics like House.

Synopsis from IMDB
Adrienne Willis, a woman with her life in chaos, retreats to the tiny coastal town of Rodanthe, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, to tend to a friend’s inn for the weekend. Here she hopes to find the tranquility she so desperately needs to rethink the conflicts surrounding her — a wayward husband who has asked to come home, and a teen-aged daughter who resents her every decision. Almost as soon as Adrienne gets to Rodanthe, a major storm is forecast and a guest named Dr. Paul Flanner arrive. The only guest at the inn, Flanner is not on a weekend escape but rather is there to face his own crisis of conscience. Now, with the storm closing in, the two turn to each other for comfort and, in one magical weekend, set in motion a life-changing romance that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives. Written by Drew ToLoweJarrBar

Apologetic events in Tauranga and Auckland this week

Tauranga

Tonight the Tauranga Thinking Matters study group will be kicking off its series on Relativism. Dr Matthew Flannagan will be speaking. Matthew currently teaches part time at the Bible College of New Zealand. He holds a Masters degree in Philosophy from the University of Waikato and a PhD in Theology from the University of Otago. He has debated notable New Zealand skeptics including Bill Cooke.

Relativism remains an attractive position in our society today. Moreover, it is often suggested that relativism promotes tolerance and safeguards us from dogmatism and authoritarianism. But even if we recognise that there are a wide range of moral viewpoints – that something may be wrong for me but seem perfectly acceptable to someone else, or another society – is this all we can say on the matter? For any moral belief you have, should the mere fact that you believe it alone justify its truthfulness? Matt will consider the implications of this view, it’s ultimate incoherence and how a Christian can formulate a response.

If you’re in the region, it is free to attend. And there will be time for questions and answers.

When: 7-9pm
Where: Bethlehem Community Church Center – 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem

Download the brochure or for more information and for the rest of the Tauranga events this month (including a lecture by Mark Mullins on religious pluralism) check out the Tauranga website.

Auckland

Tonight, Dr Steve Kumar is continuing a week-long apologetics training course at the Baptist Tabernacle. The sessions have been organised for those interested in university campus ministry but anyone is welcome. The subjects will be broadly accessible for those wanting to deepen their appreciation of the intellectual credibility of Christianity and in widening their resources for the articulation and defense of their faith. There is no cost to attend.

Steve has been involved in apologetic ministry in New Zealand for almost thirty years and is a regular speaker at universities, conferences and churches throughout Australasia, Europe and the US. He has debated several notable skeptics and philosophy HoDs and is the author of several books including Christianity for Skeptics, Think Why You Believe, and Answering the Counterfeit.

The Baptist Tabernacle is on 429 Queen Street in the CBD (at the very top of Queen Street) with parking available at the church.

Timetable:

Tuesday. Examining atheistic worldviews: normativity and meaning under a secularist outlook.

7.30- 9.30. On Level 3.

Wednesday. The evidence for God and assessing common objections to the Christian worldview

7.30-9.30. On Level 1 Room 4

Thursday: Understanding the basic beliefs of the major world religions in comparison to Christianity.

7.30-9.30 Lounge

Friday: Christianity and the cults: the ambit of orthodoxy

7.30-9.30 Library

We welcome any news of apologetic events around New Zealand, email us and we’ll be happy to post the details.