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Auckland Event: Why Defend Christianity? with Matt Flannagan

The Christian faith seems increasingly at odds with those in the world around us. From the media, to skeptical teachers and unbelieving peers, the gospel seems irrelevant and out of date. How do we talk to others about God and the Bible? Can we really argue people into the kingdom of God? Or should we just focus on compassion and loving others? Next Thursday, Thinking Matters is hosting Christian theologian Dr Matt Flannagan to speak on these questions and more. Matt will examine the Biblical and practical evidence for defending Christianity and show why it is vital to knowing and communicating our faith in the 21st Century.

What: Why Defend Christianity? with Matt Flannagan
When: Thursday April 4, 7.30pm
Where: Auckland Chinese Presbyterian Church, 105 Vincent Street, CBD
Cost: Free

Matt is a theologian and prominent New Zealand Christian commentator, debater, and blogger. He specialises in applied ethics and the interface between philosophy and theology. Currently, Matt works part-time as a teaching pastor and youth group leader for Takanini Church of Christ while he runs the popular blog MandM with his wife Madeleine.

Video: A Godless Public Square – Do ‘Private’ Christian Beliefs Have a Place in Public Life?

The video from our recent panel discussion with Matt Flannagan, Glenn Peoples, and Madeleine Flannagan on religion in the public square is now available.

Here’s Part 1 of 11 (or you can watch the created playlist here):

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Special thanks to Stuart for recording, editing, and uploading the video.

The event took place at Auckland University and was co-sponsored by the Evangelical Union. Patt Brittenden moderated the discussion.

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:

Defending the God of the Old Testament

Matt has posted his review of Paul Copan’s new book Is God a Moral Monster?:

“Overall, Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster? is a must read for anyone interested in Old Testament ethics. It brings together important material that is otherwise scattered and demonstrates how this material responds to a line of moral criticism that has, by and large, been neglected by Christian philosophers until now.  Read more

Matt Flannagan interviewed on Apologetics 315

Brian Auten, of the great apologetics resource website Apologetics 315, has just posted his interview with Christian philosopher and blogger Matt Flannagan. Brian regularly hosts prominent apologists from around the world to discuss their work and ministry(see this page for some of his recent guests) and it’s great to see Matt getting some exposure.

In this interview, Matt talks about how he got into philosophy of religion, the topic of Genocide and the Canaanites, his recent debate on morality with Raymond Bradley, the benefits of public debate, and much more.

Download the full audio file here.

Audio from the Bradley v Flannagan Debate: Is God the Source of Morality?

This last Monday we were pleased to have a great crowd of over 400 at the debate between atheist philosopher, Raymond Bradley, and Christian philosopher and blogger, Matt Flannagan.

If you weren’t able to make it but are interested in listening to the exchange, the audio is now available:

to stream the audio – click here,

to download the file – click here (it is about 45 mb).

You can also read the opening statements on Matt’s blog (Ray’s opening statement is here and Matt’s is here).

We’re hoping to get video from the debate up on YouTube within the next few weeks but until then, be sure to let us know what you think of the debate in the comments.

Auckland Debate: Is God the Source of Morality?

This August, Raymond Bradley and Matthew Flannagan will debate the topic “Is God the Source of Morality?

Is it rational to ground right and wrong in commands issued by God?”

The debate will be held at the University of Auckland on Monday 2 August at 7pm, in “The Centennial” 260 – 098 OGGB (the bottom level of the Business School) on 12 Grafton Rd, Auckland.

Bradley is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy with areas of specialty in Philosophical Logic, Metaphysics, Logical Atomism; he has previously debated William Lane Craig, Edward Blaiklock and many other Christian scholars and describes himself as an older generation “new atheist”.

Flannagan is an Auckland based Philosopher and Theologian with areas of specialty in Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and Theology; he has previously debated Bill Cooke, Zoe During and writes for the popular Christian blog MandM.

The format of the debate will be as follows:

Dr Bradley: Opening Comments [20 min]
Dr Flannagan: Opening Comments [20 min]
Dr Bradley: Reply to Dr Flannagan [10 min]
Dr Flannagan: Reply to Dr Bradley[10 min]
Dr Bradley: Closing Comments [7 min]
Dr Flannagan: Closing Comments [7 min]
Questions from the floor: [30 min]

The moderator for the debate will be Professor John Bishop.

Both Bradley and Flannagan are experienced and engaging public speakers who are practiced at pitching their topics to suit their audiences. So, invite all your friends, and block out the evening of Monday 2 August from 7-9 pm now and make sure you get to the debate early to locate parking and grab a good seat.

This debate is brought to you by the Evangelical Union and the Reason and Science Society as part of the University of Auckland’s Jesus week/Atheist week, with support from Thinking Matters.

The event will be videoed and will be published on this blog. Entry is free and any and all are welcome.

There is even a Facebook page you can rsvp on and use to invite your friends.

UPDATE: (7 August)

For the audio from the debate: Click here to stream the debate,  or click here to download the mp3.