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Alan Shlemon – New Zealand 2016 Tour Schedule

We are excited that Alan Shlemon – our keynote speaker at our Confident Christianity Conference – is arriving in just a few days.

Alan ShlemonAlan is a dynamic and entertaining speaker who speaks to thousands of adults and students around the world at churches, conferences and on university campuses on some of the most difficult challenges of our day.  He has dedicated his life to training Christians – both young and old – to thoughtfully articulate their faith and values, as he knows that when people are properly equipped, they’re more confident talking to others about what they believe and why they believe it.  Check out a video on his work here.

Here is his full public speaking schedule:

HAMILTON

Thursday 28th April

The Power of a Question: How to have conversations about God without losing friends

Alan will equip you with two simple questions you can use in your conversations with friends and colleagues. You’ll come away more confident to engage others in friendly conversation and be better prepared to present Christ in an intelligent, yet gracious way.
7:00-9:00pm at Hamilton South Baptist Church, 131 Ohaupo Rd, Melville
A free event.  Click here for details.

AUCKLAND

Friday 29th April

The Power of a Question: How to have conversations about God without losing friends

This is our Auckland Confident Christianity Conference opening night – which is free for everyone – so bring a friend!
Alan will equip you with two simple questions you can use in your conversations with friends and colleagues. You’ll come away more confident to engage others in friendly conversation and be better prepared to present Christ in an intelligent, yet gracious way.
7:00-9:30pm at Windsor Park Baptist Church, 550 East Coast Rd, Mairangi Bay
A free event.  Click here for details.

Saturday 30th April

Confident Christianity Conference

Our all-day conference will equip you to give both intellectually and emotionally satisfying answers to some hard questions and learn how to defend the Christian faith in a reasonable and compassionate way.  We have a line-up of top speakers who will sensitively and skilfully respond to some of the biggest objections that Christians encounter today – to help you live out a confident, yet gracious faith in your everyday life.  At the conference Alan is giving two talks on Islam, to give you a better understanding of Muslims and their faith.
8:30am-6:30pm at Windsor Park Baptist Church, 550 East Coast Rd, Mairangi Bay
Cost $40 Students and Youth and $69 Adults.  Click here for more information and to register.

Thursday 5th May

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: A full day apologetics and Christian worldview training workshop at Kingsway School

For Parents, Pastors, Youth Leaders and Christian Educators.  Topics include:

  • Who’s Waiting for Our Kids? Why Our Students Need Christian Apologetics
  • The Power of a Question: Engaging Our Culture with Conversations That Count
  • Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: Why Truth Matters More Than Ever
  • Addressing Homosexuality with Compassion: What Can I Say to my Gay Friend?

9:00am-3:30pm at Kingsway School, 100 Jelas Road, Red Beach, Auckland
Cost $45.  Click here for more information and to register.

TAURANGA

Sunday 1st May

If God Is Good, Why Is There Evil?

The problem of evil is the most common objection to God. If God is good and all-powerful, how can he exist if he allows evil to continue? Though this sounds persuasive, this challenge is riddled with difficulties. Alan will walk you through the solutions to this challenge and explain how, far from undermining God’s existence, the presence of evil turns out to be a powerful evidence that God is real.
Bethlehem Baptist Church morning services at 9:00am and again at 10:45am – At 90 Bethlehem Rd, Bethlehem

A Closer Look at Islam

Islam is gaining more attention every day, but popular beliefs about Islam seem to be missing the true nature of Muslim beliefs and practices. Alan will demystify what Islam really teaches and examine how it stacks up to Christianity, giving you a better understanding of Muslims and their faith.
City Church evening service at 6:00pm – At 252 Otumoetai Road, Otumoetai.

Monday 2nd May

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: A full day apologetics and Christian worldview training workshop at Bethlehem College

For Parents, Pastors, Youth Leaders and Christian Educators.  Topics include:

  • Who’s Waiting for Our Kids? Why Our Students Need Christian Apologetics
  • The Power of a Question: Engaging Our Culture with Conversations That Count
  • Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: Why Truth Matters More Than Ever
  • Addressing Homosexuality with Compassion: What Can I Say to my Gay Friend?

10:00am – 3:15pm at Bethlehem College Performing Arts Centre, 24 Elder Lane, Tauranga
Cost $45.  Click here for more information and to register.

CHRISTCHURCH

Friday 6th May

The Power of a Question: How to have conversations about God without losing friends

This is our Christchurch Confident Christianity Conference opening night – which is free for everyone – so bring a friend!
Alan will equip you with two simple questions you can use in your conversations with friends and colleagues. You’ll come away more confident to engage others in friendly conversation and be better prepared to present Christ in an intelligent, yet gracious way.
7:00-9:30pm at Rutland Street Church, 12 Rutland St, St Albans
A free event.  Click here for details.

Saturday 7th May

Confident Christianity Conference

Our all-day conference will equip you to give both intellectually and emotionally satisfying answers to some hard questions and learn how to defend the Christian faith in a reasonable and compassionate way.  We have a line-up of top speakers who will sensitively and skilfully respond to some of the biggest objections that Christians encounter today – to help you live out a confident, yet gracious faith in your everyday life.  At the conference Alan is giving two talks on Islam, to give you a better understanding of Muslims and their faith.
8:30am-6:30pm at Rutland Street Church, 12 Rutland St, St Albans
Cost $40 Students and Youth and $69 Adults.  Click here for more information and to register.

Sunday 8th May

If God is Good, Why is there Evil?

The problem of evil is the most common objection to God. If God is good and all-powerful, how can he exist if he allows evil to continue? Though this sounds persuasive, this challenge is riddled with difficulties. Alan will walk you through the solutions to this challenge and explain how, far from undermining God’s existence, the presence of evil turns out to be a powerful evidence that God is real.
Rutland St Church morning service at 10:00 am – At 12 Rutland St, St. Albans

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: Why Truth Matters More Than Ever

Relativism has taken hold in our culture and the result is a deep confusion over our Christian understanding of truth, tolerance, faith, and the Bible. Alan will examine some specific challenges we face in our hostile culture and provide you with some tools to help strengthen our understanding of biblical truth.
Cornerstone Campus Church evening service at 5:00 pm – At The Foundry (UCSA Events Centre) 90 Ilam Road, Upper Riccarton

Monday 9th May

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: A full day apologetics and Christian worldview training workshop at Middleton Grange School

For Parents, Pastors, Youth Leaders and Christian Educators.  Topics include:

  • Who’s Waiting for Our Kids? Why Our Students Need Christian Apologetics
  • The Power of a Question: Engaging Our Culture with Conversations That Count
  • Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World: Why Truth Matters More Than Ever
  • Addressing Homosexuality with Compassion: What Can I Say to my Gay Friend?

3:00pm-7:30pm at Middleton Grange School, The Grange Theatre (Preforming Arts Centre), 30 Acacia Ave, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch
Cost $45.  Click here for more information and to register.

 

Is Exodus 21:22 pro-life or pro-abortion?

Exodus is a book in the Bible that describes the laws God issued to the nation of Israel as a part of his covenant with them. It was intended to regulate the lives of a people living in a distinctive geographical and redemptive-historical context and does not apply in the same sense to those who follow Christ and are bound by his law (1 Cor 9:20-21; Heb 8:18; etc). Yet it does reveal many important things about God and His moral vision for humanity and has a place in contemporary ethical discussions.

Frequently in abortion debates, Exodus 21:22-25 is used against the pro-life position and the traditional Christian understanding of the equal moral status of the unborn.

The passage:

“And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no [further] injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any [further] injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” [Exodus 21:22-25 NASB]

The passage seems to imply that if the mother dies in the clash, the penalty is “life for life” but if a miscarriage takes place and the child is lost, then the only penalty that is imposed is a fine. Therefore, the Bible does not consider the unborn to be fully human.

This months issue of Solid Ground, from the ministry of Stand to Reason, tackles this question:

At issue is the phrase translated “she has a miscarriage.” There is an assumption made about this word that is crucial. In English, the word “miscarriage” implies the death of the child. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines miscarriage as, “The expulsion of the fetus from the womb before it is sufficiently developed to survive.” In the struggle, the child is aborted, and so a fine is levied.

Here’s the crux of the issue: Does the Hebrew word carry the same meaning? Is it correct to presume that the miscarriage of Exodus 21:22 produces a dead child, just like an abortion? This is the single most important question that needs to be answered here. If it does, the English word “miscarriage” is the right choice. If it does not, then the picture changes dramatically.

Are we justified in assuming that the child is dead?

Read the whole thing.

Are Faith and knowledge functionally opposite?

Greg Koukl of apologetics ministry Stand to Reason writes,

In an odd sort of way, Christians have abetted atheists in their efforts to cast doubt and even derision on believers. Here’s how.

Atheists have tremendous confidence that science will continue its record of silencing superstition. As knowledge waxes, foolishness wanes. Consequently, there’s no need for sticking God in the so-called “gaps.” Science will fill them soon enough.

Atheists are buoyed in their confidence by what they consider an inverse relationship between knowledge and faith. The more you have of the first, the less you need of the second.

Faith is merely a filler for ignorance. As knowledge increases, silly superstitious beliefs are discarded. As science marches forward, ignorance will eventually disappear and faith will simply dry up.

Simply put, faith and knowledge are functional opposites. The only place for faith, then, is in the shadows of ignorance.

Ironically, this same perspective has been promoted by Christians themselves. “If I know that God exists,” they challenge, “or that Jesus rose from the dead, or that Heaven is real, then where is room for faith?” Note the same inverse relationship between knowledge and faith held by atheists: Faith and knowledge are functional opposites.

This view is obviously false if you pause to think about it. The opposite of knowledge is not faith, but ignorance. And the opposite of faith is not knowledge, but unbelief. It’s certainly possible to have knowledgeable faith and ignorant unbelief.

More importantly, the knowledge vs. faith equation is not what the Bible teaches. In fact, Scripture affirms just the opposite. In this month’s Solid Ground, I lay out the case that biblical faith is based on knowledge, not contrary to it. Once you see the textual evidence, I think you’ll agree that faith and knowledge are compatible, shoring up our confidence in the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

With confidence in Christ,

Greg Koukl

(Greg recently has recently interviewed author David Berlinski about his book, The Devil’s Delusion that has just been released on paperback. This was very interesting discussion and recommended. Listen Here.)