This coming Saturday, March 24, (9am until 3pm) faculty from Houston Baptist University will be hosted by Woodlands Church in The Woodlands, Texas for the next HBU Apologetics Day. This year’s theme is Reason, Imagination, and Revelation, and will include scholars from a variety of academic disciplines, including literature, philosophy, apologetics, and science and faith. The day will culminate with an evening presentation by Lee Strobel, who will be introducing his latest book, The Case for Miracles.
See below for an outline of the day’s lecture offerings!
Craig Evans, “Gospels Reliable and Not So Reliable”
Modern scholars and popular writers appeal to a variety of Gospels, canonical and extra-canonical, in constructing portraits of Jesus. The historical accuracy of the New Testament Gospels is often under-appreciated while the serious lapses and lack of verisimilitude of the later, extra-canonical Gospels and Gospel-like sources are overlooked or brushed aside as unimportant. It is important to recognize the true differences between the reliable Gospels and the not-so-reliable Gospels.
Jerry L. Walls, “Whole Truth for a Fragmented World”
Apologetics that is true to the gospel must be holistic, and speak the whole truth to the whole person: heart, soul, mind and strength. To do this, we must demonstrate that the Christian message unites truth, beauty and goodness, the three great ideals that have become fragmented in our postmodern world.
Michael Ward, “C.S. Lewis on Reason and Imagination”
C.S. Lewis was a self-described “rationalist”, yet he also saw an essential role for the imagination in the way we come to know things and articulate them. This talk examines Lewis’s definitions of reason and imagination, analyses the way they interact with each other, and assesses his apologetics in the light of these considerations.
Breakout Sessions will include:
Holly Ordway, “Imaginative Apologetics: What It Is and Why We Need It”
How do we reach people in a post-Christian culture that no longer understands what we mean by words like ‘sin’ or ‘salvation’ – and where more and more people are not even interested in hearing about the faith? In this talk, Dr. Holly Ordway focuses on the role of the imagination in an integrated apologetics approach, with particular emphasis on the role of language and on the way that imaginative engagement complements and enhances rational approaches.
Jeremiah J. Johnston, “Unimaginable: What Our World Would Be Like Without Christianity”
Jeremiah J. Johnston takes on the prevalent theory of atheists that a world without Christianity would be a better one. Johnston recognizes a societal movement towards minimizing Christianity and reminds audiences that “you might get what you want, but you might not want what you get.” This talk, based on his new book Unimaginable, offers an inspiring look at the positive influence of Christianity, both historically and today. In this compelling talk, Johnston covers the far-reaching ways that Christianity is good for the world–and has been since the first century AD.
Tyler McNabb, “Is Atheism Self-Defeating?”
In this talk, I first sketch a brief history of Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism. After recapping where the debate currently stands, I argue that Tom Crisp’s evolutionary argument against metaphysics is a sound argument. Finally, I reformulate Crisp’s argument to show that atheism, under normal circumstances, is a self-defeating position.
Mary Jo Sharp, “Conversational Apologetics”
Whether you are just beginning to dig into apologetics or your knowledge is extensive, engaging in conversation can seem intimidating at times. This session will focus on four elements of good dialogue; including how to use common questions to uncover what people really believe and to spark a deeper discussion on belief in God.
Melissa Cain Travis, “Mere Creation: Engaging the Scientific Skeptic”
Has the advancement of science damaged the case for a Creator? Is there such thing as scientific evidence for God, or is the question fundamentally philosophical? Melissa will outline some of the philosophical issues that underlie the science and faith debate and then make a case for cosmic design based upon the fine-tuning of the universe for life.
Philip Tallon, “Tracking Trends in Hollywood”
How should we approach Hollywood movies? Christian engagement with Hollywood film and television covers a range of postures: from avoidance, to cautious engagement, to dialogue, to appropriation. As we engage with the stories our culture tells itself it is helpful to bear in mind the different approaches Christians can take. Interestingly, as many Christian critics have moved away from a cautionary stance, mainstream criticism has become increasingly moralistic. This talk will discuss the way that we can approach mainstream entertainment and will examine contemporary movies for some insights into the cultural moment.
Kristen Davis, “Old Testament: History or Hoax?”
Christianity is often undermined by the claim that the Old Testament should be viewed as a collection of moral stories rather than as an historical narrative of God’s interaction with real people, in real places, at real points in history. However, if Abraham, Moses, David, and others were not real people a significant amount of our understanding of God’s nature and interaction with mankind is lost. This presentation explores the reliability of the Old Testament, responding to specific arguments against the historical accuracy of the Scriptural narrative.