Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

Defend The Faith Conference Day 1

January 6, 2015

What’s going on at the Defend the Faith 2015 Conference? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If you’re noticed my presence on Facebook has been lacking lately, it’s because I’ve been at the 2015 Defend The Faith Conference in New Orleans. It’s been a big thrill for me. The only other time I’ve been west of the Mississippi was as a small child when I was visiting Memphis and we went across it just so I could say that I had been in Arkansas once.

The day started off with a great talk by Douglas Groothius. He spoke on the necessity for God in order to have a foundation for moral law in society. It relied on an essay that was actually written by the atheist Arthur Leff. The talk left us all a lot to think about including the increasing danger that is going on in a society that wants to give more and more power to the state.

After that came one of my best moments. Finally, I got to meet the one and only Tim McGrew.

NickandTim

Tim McGrew is the professor of philosophy at Western Michigan University. In fact, when he was introduced later this evening, it was said that he had fan boys and some people had traveled for miles just wanting to meet Tim McGrew. I turned to Allie and said I couldn’t help but wonder who would be so excited about traveling for miles to meet Tim McGrew. In the Christian Apologetics Alliance, McGrew is a legend.

Meeting him was a thrill because he is also so much of what I want to be. Do I mean all the knowledge he’s gathered over the years? Obviously. But I include in it that Tim has a great heart. He has become one of my dear friends who I can turn to when I’m in need and the investment he’s put into my own self has been stellar and I hope to be able to give back to others the way Tim has to me someday.

He and Tom Gilson gave a talk then on Peter Boghossian, quite appropriate since on Unbelievable?, Tim had massacred Boghossian’s chickens. Gilson and McGrew showed how Boghossian is trying to dissuade people with his street epistemology. I’ve written on Boghossian’s work myself. Boghossian does want an army of street epistemolgists who I have also had run-ins with. The church is blessed to have a presentation like that of Gilson and McGrew’s that shows the problems with Boghossian’s approach.

After lunch, we went to some break-out sessions. I wish I could talk about them all, but I can’t, but for those interested it is my understanding they will all be available online afterwards. The first one we went to was by Tawa Anderson. At this point, I had left every choice to my wife since I wanted to see what she’d be interested in. She made a fine first choice. It was a talk on worldview thinking and I was highly pleased to see it involve a scene from the Matrix. Worldview thinking is extremely foundational and so many people just miss it.

Next was a talk by Justin Langford. This one dealt with the topic of forgery in the NT. I have reviewed Bart Ehrman’s book as well here and here. Langford did something interesting in showing us two texts and have us guess which one was canonical. I must confess that I did not get each one right. To be fair, the first one did throw me some since I recognized Jude but knew he was quoting 1 Enoch which left me wondering a bit. We also had a good discussion on if a new book had been found and we knew it had been written by Paul should we accept it into the canon. I argued no since part of it was recognition by the church universal. Someone else answered yes. I think Langford went more for my side, but it was an interesting discussion.

Finally, we went to a talk by Tim McGrew and Tom Gilson that turned out to be about how we could do apologetics faithfully. McGrew asked us what we would like if we could have one wish that would help our ministries. I answered financial stability, which I think several people resonated with. Allie asked about how she could incorporate apologetics into her art. McGrew really liked her question and is still thinking about it.

The evening ended with McGrew giving a talk on how not to read the NT which dealt with Jesus Interrupted and yes, I have responded to that as well. McGrew gave a devastating presentation that showed that Ehrman quite frankly isn’t really honest with the data a number of times. It was quite a thrill also to have him refer to my work on Raphael Lataster. It’s a great way to see members of the body working together and building one another up.

On our way back to the hotel, we also got to ride some with James Walker of Watchman Fellowship. Expect him to show up on a future episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

Overall, we’re having a great time here in Louisiana at the conference. That’s about all I can say here. It’s getting late and I’m tired so we’re going on to bed because we have to get up early for another day of apologetics tomorrow. I have been pleased with this conference so far and I suggest if you’re interested in apologetics, try to make it out next year.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 12/27/2014: Bob Stewart

December 26, 2014

What’s coming up on tomorrow’s episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Normally I write this post on Thursday, but since yesterday was Christmas, I decided to write about that instead. Now that the holiday is passed, let’s talk about what we’ll be talking about on the show.

Next month, there’s a big annual apologetics conference that will be going on. That is the Defend The Faith conference. It’s held every year in New Orleans. This year you will find such great speakers there as Gary Habermas, Tim McGrew, Paul Copan, and many more. In fact, if you’re interested in Deeper Waters, please be sure to be there because I’ll be in one of the breakout speakers speaking on Wednesday. The person who contacted me about this and someone who is integral to the conference itself is Bob Stewart.

BobStewart

So who is Bob Stewart?

Robert Stewart is Professor of Philosophy and Theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also serves as Greer-Heard Professor of Faith and Culture.  He has authored or edited several books.  He is also general editor of the Studies in Christian Apologeticsmonograph series from B&H Academic.  He has also published articles in numerous books and journals.  He also has spoken in university settings in North America and Europe.  He and his wife, Marilyn, have three adult children.

Why is it that these conferences are going on and why should you care? What does it take to have a conference like this and why would a Seminary be interested in the concept? Bob Stewart has been doing Christian apologetics for several years and we’ll be talking about the importance of the conference in New Orleans which could carry over to many other conferences as well.

Along with that then, we’ll be talking about the importance of apologetics in general. If you are going to a Seminary, should it matter to you if the Seminary has any interest in apologetics or not? Does this really matter to the church or should it belong in the hands of an elite few? Can what is said at a conference really have any relation to what is going on at the church? Can the life of the mind really help to inform us in our worship?

It’s been my personal hope that apologetics is starting to come on the rise in America and one of the reasons for thinking that is the rise of the new atheism and other movements like this. These issues are becoming so common that having some sort of apologetics knowledge before too long will be unavoidable. The more people become aware of conferences like this, the stronger our churches will become.

I hope you’ll be watching your ITunes feed for the newest episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast where I am honored to get to interview Dr. Bob Stewart. Also, if you happen to make it to the conference in New Orleans, try and find me and hopefully attend the session I’ll be speaking at. It would be great to get to meet anyone who is a fan of the blog and of the podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters