Students attend national apologetics conference
November 08, 2010

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Students enrolled in Apologetics and the Redemptive Life spent October 15-16 at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics, an event designed to assist Christians in understanding how to engage common challenges to their faith. Mr. Ben Williams and 11 students joined nearly 2,000 Christians from around the country for the 18th annual event held in Charlotte, NC.
Speakers at this year’s conference included Josh McDowell, Dr. Gary Habermas, Chuck Colson, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Dinesh D’Souza, John Stonestreet, Ryan Dobson, Sean McDowell, and many others. In addition to various breakout and plenary sessions, the conference concluded Saturday night with a debate between Dr. Michael Brown and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, exploring the question: “Can a Jew believe in Jesus?”

Students from this first-ever Christian Life Formation (CLF) class to attend the conference share their thoughts below:
Ashley Nicole Toth
Alexander Hamilton said, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” If we don’t know what we believe or why we believe it, we won’t be able to build a firm foundation for our lives because we will constantly be swayed by the opinions of others. I joined the apologetics CLF because I wanted to be challenged to think about my beliefs rather than just accepting them. I wanted a chance to grow spiritually, in both my relationship with Christ and my knowledge of Christianity.

I figured this conference would teach me about different proofs for Christianity, and it did. However, I also learned about God’s character. One of the speakers, Gary Habermas, talked about times when God seems silent. I have a hard time having faith in those times; but Habermas reminded us that even if God isn’t doing spectacular miracles for us, there are still daily reminders of His presence, such as conviction of sin, spiritual gifts, and answers to prayer. Learning to see God’s presence and not to give up on Him when He’s silent was the most important thing I learned that weekend.

James Baird, Junior 

I was interested in the Apologetics Conference because I believe that representing Christ in every area of life is the chief goal of my existence. However, I can’t live for Christ if I don’t know Him and have a relationship with Him. So going to the conference was a means of giving me a better understanding of what it means to live holistically for Jesus Christ. The speakers at the conference gave some great academic information about how to defend Christianity; but more importantly many of them, such as Erwin Lutzer, demonstrated that apologetics is a lifestyle to be lived out before others–all for the glory of God.
Matthew Green
I went to the conference this year because I wanted to sharpen my ability to defend my faith with reason. After attending last year’s conference with a group of friends, I was pleased when Bryan offered this trip as a CLF and made the decision to go again this year. Apologetics is of the utmost importance. We, as Christians, need to be able to defend our faith rationally in an age where it has become increasingly popular to deny Christianity, and even truth claims, altogether. This conference helped me to again see the rationality of our faith as well as learn some good arguments for the existence of our God.
In addition to the scholarly side of the conference, there were also several pastors and teachers that taught us how to converse with a skeptic that may not have intellectual problems with Christianity but emotional ones. One of the key ideas I got at this conference was that we need to understand why individuals say what they are saying, instead of what they are objecting to. The better we understand the source of their objection, the more equipped we are to give an appropriate answer. Altogether, I believe that any Christian would benefit from this conference; I know I did.   

For more information about this Conference, go to