Info on the Faith & Reason Conference 2008

 

Who are the speakers?

Background to the origins of the annual Faith & Reason Conference

Many issues within the Christian faith are held in contention by the popular media and even within the church itself. The virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the historicity and reliability of the Bible and many other issues are being discussed. Many people (including prominent scholars in theology) deny all miracles and see the Bible as merely a report of the religious experiences of people in the past.

The views of many people within the church contradict the beliefs of the mainstream church held for the past 2000 years. Many people today question whether they can still believe the historical doctrines of the Christian faith without committing intellectual suicide. Has science not disproved the Bible and God? Isn’t the resurrection a myth or some exclusively spiritual event?

Can we, as (post)modern Christians, still faithfully do what Peter instructs us to do… “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” I Peter 3:15 (NIV)

Many South Africans have endeavored to give reasonable answers to the challenges being posed. This has resulted in varying degrees of success in defending the truths of the Christian faith. Some believers, however, are still too afraid to think about their faith. They unwittingly prefer a “blind” faith, often causing them to suppress the doubts they might have and which leave them vulnerable to intellectual attack. At the same time there are many thinking believers who hunger for an Evangelical discussion on the real issues and questions we are faced with in this day and age.

The FRC offers an ideal opportunity for deliberations with professors of the Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES) on some of the key questions facing us in a South African context.

SES is a theological seminary of the Southern Baptist Church in the USA (more information at www.ses.edu). Prominent defenders of the faith have high regard for the training that SES provides:

  • “SES provides one of the finest programs anywhere for biblical studies and apologetics… SES is among the finest.” – Ravi Zacharias
  • “SES has become one of the most effective places in the world to train young men and women to defend the Christian faith” – Josh McDowell

The training and research at SES focuses mainly on evangelism and the defense of the Christian faith (apologetics). A variety of types and levels of courses in apologetics are offered there.

Their resident faculty at SES includes distinguished scholars like Dr. Norm Geisler (www.normangeisler.net), Dr. Alex McFarland (www.alexmcfarland.com) and Dr. Richard G Howe (www.richardghowe.com). Non resident faculty includes Dr. Gary Habermas (www.garyhabermas.com), Dr. Ron Rhodes (www.ronrhodes.org), Dr. Lee Strobel (www.leestrobel.com) and Ravi Zacharias (www.rzim.org).