Erwin Lutzer, Other Apologists, to Defend Truth in America
- Janet Chismar Senior Editor, News & Culture
- 2004 19 Oct
Truth. A loaded word these days. Does truth really exist? Will future generations still believe in absolute truth? “Yes,” says Erwin Lutzer, author and senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago, “but only if we fight for it now.”
Lutzer, along with notable apologists Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, Phillip Johnson, Emir Caner and Frank Peretti, will tackle the topic of truth at a one-day conference at the Moody Church. Slated for Saturday, Oct. 23, ”The Future of Truth” will explore Biblical realities, expose theological heresies, and present a more convincing picture of truth in today’s postmodern society.
According to Lutzer, such a conference is necessary because “truth today, in the minds of many, does not exist. We live in a day of relativism when what’s true for me is not necessarily true for you. And the problem is that relativism is self-defeating; it is self-contradictory. It’s like a spider trying to build a web on the moving hands of a clock.”
On the other hand, says Lutzer, the worldview of Christianity “makes very good sense.” In fact, he adds, “it makes better sense than any of the other worldviews out there.”
The goal of The Future of Truth is to equip people to be able to defend their faith. As Christians talk to friends and relatives, and issues are confronted, they will then have the resources to answer those objections.
A secondary goal, says Lutzer, is to reach beyond committed Christians and challenge unbelievers to seriously look at the claims of Christianity. “Our purpose in a day in which truth is often misunderstood is to establish the rational credibility for Christianity,” he adds.
Some of the best apologists in America will participate in the conference. Ravi Zacharias is known around the world for his defense of the faith. Dr. William Laine Craig received his Ph.D. in studies pertaining to the resurrection. Dr. Phil Johnson is leading the charge against evolution and showing the rationality and necessity of God as Creator. Emir Caner, who converted from the Muslim faith, reads the Koran just as easily as he reads the New Testament, and will help the audience understand crucial differences. Frank Peretti will serve as chair and deliver a humorous monologue designed to show what happens when you don’t have a fixed reference point.
Lutzer will speak on the topic of “Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?” because, as he says, “there are so many other versions of Jesus out there.”
Throughout history, he explains, many misconceptions about Jesus have existed. “For example, you have the Jesus of the Jesus seminar. He’s a mere man. You have the Jesus of many televangelists today. He’s the Santa Claus in the sky. He’s there to give you health and wealth, whether you repent of your sins or not. You have some people like Albert Schweitzer who believed that Jesus was essentially insane – that only a man who was mentally unstable could possibly say such things. So Schweitzer had his own Jesus. The Mormons have their own Jesus – a Jesus who is the brother of Lucifer. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a Jesus but he’s less than God. And that kind of a Jesus is not qualified to save us.”
What we need to do, says Lutzer, is make sure we have the right Jesus.
“The bottom line,” he continues, “is that we want people to leave the conference with knowledge of the Christian worldview. Secondly, enthusiasm in being able to present that worldview with love and courage. And third, we want them to come with their own doubts and questions and have those answered so that the impact of the conference will go well beyond the walls of our church.”
Lutzer feels the conference is coming at a very critical hour for American history, “because we are in a time where everyone has his own god. Everyone is into his own form of spirituality. We are in a spiritual and moral freefall.”
He adds, “I have often said that the best news in this country will not come from Washington, D.C., or from anywhere else. The best news will come from the lives and lips of believers who witness to their faith wherever God has planted them.” And this conference is designed to help them to do it better.
Apologetics helps Christians to answer objections that may be a stumbling block, Lutzer points out. “But, at the end of the day, we do agree that there’s always room for faith. In fact there has to be, because faith is part of the Christian experience. Without faith it is impossible to please God. But the question is, does our faith have good rational supports? That’s what the apologetics conference hopes to show.”
About The Moody Church: The Moody Church was founded in 1864 by Dwight Lyman Moody, a renowned evangelist and former president of the YMCA. Today, it is one of the most respected non-denominational, evangelical churches in the country, with Dr. Erwin Lutzer serving as senior pastor. The church is located in Chicago with outreach programs that span the world. Tickets for The Future of Truth can be purchased at www.moodychurch.org/future or by calling 800-215-5001.