The Forge Christchurch

The Forge is a monthly Thinking Matters gathering in Christchurch which seeks to deepen people’s understanding and awareness of various Christian issues and culturally relevant topics – as seen from a biblical worldview.

Each month we host a guest speaker who presents an apologetics talk on a given topic.  Those attending are invited to dialogue with the speaker during a Q&A time after the main presentation.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

The Real Story of the Crusades:

Bloodthirst land-grab? Glorious defensive war? What really happened?

PLEASE NOTE: This event will now be held on Thursday, 7th October, 2021


Speaker: Dean Mischewski

In a culture where ‘tolerance’ seems to be the ultimate virtue, Christians are often accused of intolerance, narrow-mindedness, even fanaticism, and the Crusades of the Middle Ages are cited as examples of what happens when Christians have their way. The Crusades are seen as wars of unprovoked aggression against a peaceful Muslim world, with the Crusaders themselves being bloodthirsty villains, hungry for money, power, and land. Certainly not a group to inspire the name of your favourite rugby franchise! But is this a fair description? What can we say when the Crusades are brought up as the classic case of Christian intolerance? What was really going on back in the 11th century when the Crusades started? And who even ‘won’ the Crusades anyway?

Join us as we dig into the real story of the Crusades: heroes and villains, warts and all. There is a lot we can learn once we separate fact from myth in this vital period of Christian history.

Legacy Community Church, 58 Bassett Street, Burwood, Christchurch 8083

Thursday, 7th October, 7 PM – 9 PM

ABOUT DEAN MISCHEWSKI

Dean Mischewski lives near Christchurch and works in the local electronics industry. He has a Bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering, and an MA in Theology. He enjoys studying the intersection of Christian apologetics, church history, science, and philosophy, and has a ministry role in his local church in apologetics and evangelisation. Dean has been married to Julie for more than 25 years, and is the father of nine children. His sporting interests include canoe polo, Olympic weightlifting, and historical European martial arts.

PAST EVENTS

Jesus and the Religions

Speaker: Dr. Bob Robinson

As more of the world’s religions arrive in New Zealand, is it time for Kiwi Christians to move beyond suspicion of them? Or beyond indifference or romanticized naivety? Or any implication that because we are right, they are wrong … And what would a re-think look like? How would it affect central and cherished Christian beliefs – for example, about the uniqueness of Christ and the authority of the Bible? Dr Bob Robinson wants to suggest an answer that begins with the challenge: “How might we get ‘Christ’ and ‘religion’ into the same sentence?”

Bob spent a number of years living and working in multi-religious south-east Asia. He is the author of the books Christians Meeting Hindus (based on his London PhD thesis) and Jesus and the Religions. He believes the actual example and teaching of Jesus opens up often-overlooked perspectives that both preserve uniqueness and rule out suspicion, indifference and naivety.

Legacy Community Church, 58 Bassett Street, Burwood, Christchurch 8083

Thursday, 5th August, 7 PM – 9 PM

ABOUT DR. BOB ROBINSON

Ronnie Ellis has practised as a nurse and midwife in the UK and New Zealand for some decades. She was on the Nursing Board of Pegasus Health, taught on some of the nursing modules there, and also taught on empathy in primary schools. Now retired from that, she enjoys a role in pastoral care within her church, and light relief with handbell ringing, tennis and reading. She’s been married for many years to Nigel, and they enjoy their growing family.

Covid Vaccines – Brave New World or The Only Way Out?

Speaker: Ronnie Ellis

How does our worldview as Christians impact our decision-making as we make a personal decision about the Covid vaccine, knowing it will inevitably have an effect on those within our circle of influence? Our wider duty of care lies beyond ourselves, so what might we consider when looking for the truth about this vaccine?

Legacy Community Church, 54 Bassett Street, Burwood, Christchurch 8083

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 7 PM – 9 PM

ABOUT RONNIE ELLIS

Ronnie Ellis has practised as a nurse and midwife in the UK and New Zealand for some decades. She was on the Nursing Board of Pegasus Health, taught on some of the nursing modules there, and also taught on empathy in primary schools. Now retired from that, she enjoys a role in pastoral care within her church, and light relief with handbell ringing, tennis and reading. She’s been married for many years to Nigel, and they enjoy their growing family.

Conspirituality – When faith and facts collide

Speaker: Bruce Fraser

From the beginning of the Christian faith followers of Jesus have contended with conspiracies both real and fabricated. Some of these are now disrupting our churches as people become more polarised and less likely to listen to one another. As pursuers of truth, most Christians want to share truth, but we need help discerning fact from fiction. We will explore tools to help us understand the appeal of conspiracies and to help us figure out how to analyse them and make more informed decisions.

In this talk, Bruce will present a plan that offers biblical hope for a better way forward in our fractured world.

Legacy Community Church, 54 Bassett Street, Burwood, Christchurch 8083

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 7 PM – 9 PM

ABOUT BRUCE FRASER

Bruce Fraser is the Christchurch Director for Thinking Matters, a member of the Canterbury Evangelism Network, a local church leader, and an apprentice of King Jesus.  He has a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a keen interest in the intersection of faith and science. He works as a Software Architect to pay the bills. He is married to Lee Fraser with two boys: Liam and Julian.

Free Speech, Hate Speech, and the Suppression of Truth: Why our right to hear both sides matters

Speaker: Brendan Malone

Free speech is becoming an increasingly contentious issue – from cancel culture, to hate speech laws, to comedians and Christian preachers facing criminal sanctions simply for expressing themselves. This presentation will attempt to cut through the superficial soundbites to shed Christian light on questions such as: Is sunlight really the best disinfectant for bad or evil ideas? Why is freedom of speech so essential to freedom of conscience? Should the government police speech? And most importantly of all: what does all of this mean for Christian evangelism in the West?

Legacy Community Centre, 54 Bassett Street, Burwood, Christchurch 8083

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 7 PM – 9 PM

ABOUT BRENDAN MALONE

Brendan Malone is the Director of The LifeNET Charitable Trust. He has been working full-time in pro-life, marriage, and family ministry for the last 16 years. He speaks at churches, universities, high schools, and conferences on bioethics and sexuality issues throughout New Zealand and Australia. He is married to Katie and they have five children. Brendan also has a background in communications and media training, and he regularly connects with people in the online space via his YouTube channel which has approximately 32,000 subscribers, and his new Monday Night Live interview show. You can follow Brendan at: www.watchlfm.com or www.facebook.com/MondayNightLiveShow

The Fantastic Ferrari Factory: Has science buried God? 

Speaker: Bruce Fraser

Where did this Universe come from? Some prominent scientists have argued that it is the product of a Universe generating factory and therefore God is not required. Is this a testable truth claim? We will investigate two of the most powerful evidences for God and see how science strongly points to the existence of God. We will also seek to understand whether we can respect the scientists who make these claims while still rejecting their conclusions.

Beckenham Baptist Church, 146 Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch 8023

Sunday, 6th December, 7 PM – 9 PM

ABOUT BRUCE FRASER

Bruce Fraser is the Christchurch Director for Thinking Matters, a member of the Canterbury Evangelism Network, a local church leader, and an apprentice of King Jesus.  He has a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a keen interest in the intersection of faith and science. He works as a Software Architect to pay the bills. He is married to Lee Fraser with two boys: Liam and Julian.

The Courage to be Counter-Cultural 

Speaker: Brendan Malone

This presentation explores some of the philosophical roots of the current ideological confusion and brokenness that plagues Western society, as well as equipping participants with the practical skills and the hope they need to effectively live out a life-giving counter-culture of self-giving love.

Beckenham Baptist Church, 146 Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch 8023

Sunday, 1st November 2020, 7 PM – 9 PM

ABOUT BRENDAN MALONE

Brendan Malone is the Director of LifeNET NZ. He has been working full-time in pro-life, marriage, and family ministry for the last 14 years where he speaks at churches, universities, high schools, and conferences on bioethics and sexuality issues throughout New Zealand and Australia.  During that time he has delivered over 500 presentations, and spoken to more than 30,000 people. He is one of the founders of ACTIV8 Pro-Life Training Week – an annual philosophy, apologetics, and media/social-media training event for young adults which has been running for 10 years in New Zealand and over 7 years in Australia. He is married to Katie and they have five children. Brendan also has a background in communications and media training, and he regularly connects with people in the online space via his YouTube channel which has more than 33,000 subscribers.

Religion – More Harm Than Good? 

Speaker: Dr Bob Robinson

As Christians we long to talk to our friends about Jesus and share the Gospel with them, but often all our friends hear from us is, “They’re trying to talk me into religion – and we all know religion does more harm than good …” And many of our friends use that as an excuse to block their ears to the Good News. Is there a helpful way to respond?

In this presentation, Dr Bob Robinson will outline a workable plan for helping you work through those hard questions your friends and family have. He then uses those insights to deconstruct the ‘harmful religion’ generalisation, while acknowledging this is sometimes true, with an aim to turn an apparent barrier to the Gospel into a bridge over which Jesus can walk into people’s lives.

Beckenham Baptist Church, 146 Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch 8023

Sunday, 6th September 2020, 7 PM – 9 PM

ABOUT DR BOB ROBINSON

Dr. Bob Robinson was a missionary in SE Asia and then taught a degree-level apologetics course (‘Faith has its reasons’) for 22 years at Laidlaw College. His Ph.D. is from the University of London with a thesis on the gospel and Hinduism – part of Bob’s ongoing research, publishing and passionate presenting about the truth of the gospel, and the uniqueness, finality, and universality of Christ, in our world of many religions.

Why Thinking Matters

Speaker: Bruce Fraser

1 Peter 3:15 reminds Christians to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have. To do that, we carefully study God’s message, as recorded by the Biblical authors, understand the original audience and context, and wrestle with how that interacts with the culture around us today. Finally, we grapple with the application of those words for the person right in front of us who is asking questions.

We will do that with this passage and in the process, discover that it contains so much more than a clever tag line for people interested in apologetics. It is a recipe for every Christian in every culture to live a compelling apologetic lifestyle that demonstrates the reality of God’s kingdom.

Beckenham Baptist Church, 146 Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch 8023

Sunday, 2 August 2020 7 PM – 9 PM

Bruce Fraser

ABOUT BRUCE FRASER

Bruce Fraser is the Christchurch Director for Thinking Matters, a member of the Canterbury Evangelism Network, a local church leader, and an apprentice of King Jesus.  He has a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a keen interest in the intersection of faith and science. He works as a Software Architect to pay the bills. He is married to Lee Fraser with two boys: Liam and Julian.

DETAILS:

WHEN: Thursday, 7th October, 2021

TIME: 7pm – 9pm

WHERE: Legacy Community Centre, 58 Bassett Street, Burwood, Christchurch 8083

COST: Free – but a Koha for the speaker is encouraged

RSVP: None needed – just turn up and bring a friend!

LOCAL CONTACT:

Bruce Fraser

EMAIL: bruce.fraser@thinkingmatters.org.nz

PHONE: 021-056-7358

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