Dr. Alex McFarland, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary and the Veritas Graduate School of Apologetics, in his enthusiastic welcome said, “I encourage you to be sensitive to God’s voice and to be open to how He may lead you. Whoever you are, God can use your life to count for eternity.” He called attention to Charles Colson, Norman Geisler, John Ankerberg, Mark Mittelberg, Gary Habermas and Lee Strobel who would be speaking on Saturday.
Speaking in the opening plenary were such stalwarts of the faith as Erwin Lutzer, Sean McDowell and his father, Josh McDowell. It was a Friday evening all in attendance will remember for a long time. These speakers are widely known for their numerous books, skills as university and seminary teachers and their ability in defending the Christian faith on the public platform and in the market place of ideas. Their sense of commitment and profound scholarship enables them to deal with the toughest questions being asked in today’s world concerning the Christian worldview.
There are a variety of ways of looking at the world in which we live. For the Christian the correct worldview is patterned after the Word of God and all that it teaches concerning proper conduct for those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ.
In his keynote address, Erwin Lutzer reminded us all of what God requires of us. This one statement got my attention: “God the Father demands perfection.” Quickly he added, “Jesus supplies all God demands.”
Josh McDowell, at the forefront of Christian Apologetics for many years, was introduced by his son, Sean, who had spoken earlier. McDowell said, “It is relationships that engender beliefs.” He underscored this assertion; “Teens need to know they are loved by their parents.” He drilled it home with these words; “A true Biblical worldview presents the truth in love. We cannot hope to share truth if our lives do not demonstrate truth.”
At an early plenary session on Saturday morning, John Ankerberg, author of many books, in a scholarly manner outlined for his large audience the mounting evidence for the authority and authenticity of Jesus Christ. He showed us how historically correct Jesus really is.
Charles Colson, perhaps more than any other person, speaks and writes in his many books, columns and radio programs about the Christian worldview. He said, “Christianity is an explanation of all truth. Christianity is understanding all of life. It is the glue that holds civilization together.” As he concluded his presentation he emphasized, “We are to engage our culture in winsome and loving ways.”
Apologetics conferences may be the next major emphasis in the world of evangelism. People are asking the difficult questions that demand pragmatic answers. If you have concern for a conference in your area, write to: Dr. Alex McFarland, Southern Evangelical Seminary, 3000 Tilley Morris Road, Matthews, NC 28105. You may also check the school’s website at www.ses.edu.
Christian apologetics is concerned with understanding the Word of God as fully as possible and being able to give a rational and sensible explanation of the Christian faith. It is related to the words of the brilliant and scholarly, Paul, who urged young Timothy to “study to show yourself approved of God... rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Once we get it all straight it all makes sense.
© 2007 ASSIST News Service, used with permission