Contending for the Truth
Stephen McGarveyStephen McGarvey's weblog
- 2007 Mar 13
MacArthur. Mohler. Piper. Sproul. Zacharias. Some of the greatest Christian thinkers of our time will be giving a conference in Florida this week aimed at equipping believers to defend their faith. But if you can't get to Florida, you can watch online for free.
Visit the conference website for details: Contending for the Truth
From Ligonier Ministries:
Nearly 3500 years ago, a large contingent of Hebrew slaves went forth from Egypt and began a long march toward a strip of land on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. Against all odds the faithful among these people established a nation, survived foreign exile, and bore witness to the existence of one good, powerful, and unchanging God, the Creator of heaven and earth. During the reign of Rome’s third Caesar, a humble carpenter from this people, Jesus of Nazareth, preached the coming kingdom of the one God in His life, death, and resurrection. For centuries men and women who shared all of these convictions advanced our knowledge of science, established cultures based on these sacred realities, and contributed to all that is true, good, and beautiful.
Ironically, the existence of the one unchanging God, who provides the only foundation of absolute truth necessary for all human advancement, is now denied by the very disciplines and cultures birthed long ago by men who were convinced of the Gospel. Under the guise of “science,” naturalism seeks to take God out of the public discourse altogether. God’s unalterable character and purposes are explicitly denied in today’s relativistic society. Our culture is slowly removing meaning from the lives of many people, asserting that there is no ultimate truth, only personal preference.
Christians cannot remain silent in the face of such attacks. The apostle Peter tells us we must be ready to make a defense to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that lies within us (1 Peter 3:15–16). There are solid evidences for the existence of God and the truths of Christianity, and all believers must be prepared to offer them in the midst of their conversations with unbelievers.
On March 15–17, Ligonier Ministries will host its 20th annual national conference, Contending for the Truth, in Orlando, Florida, to exhort believers to become articulate defenders of the Christian faith. The lectures and question-and-answer sessions provided in this conference will present a thorough overview of the most significant assaults on Christianity in our day and help Christians understand and uncover the faulty reasoning lying behind such attacks. Various speakers will look at the current hot-button issues of science and naturalism, as well as the age-old debate over the relationship of faith and reason. Today, many use postmodern philosophy to threaten the absolute truth of the Gospel. This conference will help believers critique their assumptions and intelligently affirm the reality of objective, eternal, non-negotiable truth to a society that denies its very existence. Presenters will look for points of dialogue with non-believers and bring the unchanging truths of Scripture to bear on the false assumptions of ethical and intellectual relativism. Popular books and movies have recently tried to persuade men and women that the Bible is unreliable, and so the accuracy and dependability of this holy book will be presented in order to refute any who deny the historicity of Scripture.
In addition to these issues, which are prevalent in today’s society, the lecturers taking part in our conference will look at objections to the Christian faith that have been raised again and again in the history of the church. As the proofs for the existence of God are presented, speakers will remind us that the Creator has given us the ability to reason, which serves faith — not opposes it. The question of how a good, omnipotent God could allow tragedies to occur, otherwise known as the problem of evil, is the greatest challenge for the church to answer, and our speakers will not shy away from addressing this common stumbling-block for the non-believer. Christians know that the problem of evil finds its answer in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. This resurrection is central to Christianity and the speakers will also demonstrate the many historical proofs that Jesus was raised bodily to life after His death on the cross.
Contending for the Truth will feature several internationally known Christian leaders and scholars. R.C. Sproul, the chairman of Ligonier Ministries and long-time Christian theologian and apologist, will host many others as they present the case for biblical, orthodox Christianity. Joining us again this year is John MacArthur, the pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and author of several books that defend the Christian worldview. Two highly regarded Baptist leaders and teachers, Albert Mohler, a frequent national media commentator and president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota will also be present to give reasons for the Christian faith. Ravi Zacharias, the chairman of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and one of the foremost Christian apologists of our day will also be a featured speaker. Finally, R.C. Sproul Jr. will take part in a special pre-conference seminar on postmodernism, along with Albert Mohler and Ravi Zacharias.
For over thirty-five years, Ligonier Ministries has labored to awaken as many people as possible to the holiness of God by proclaiming, teaching, and defending God’s holiness in all its fullness. The 2007 national conference Contending for the Truth will strive to further this mission by reminding Christians of the evidence for the existence of a holy God, the necessity of a Creator as the foundation for all knowledge, the reliability of the Bible, and the historical proofs for the resurrection of Christ. It is our hope that attendees will be equipped to articulate and defend their faith and help bring our culture back to the goodness, truth, and beauty of Jesus Christ.