For those in Southern California, particularly in the Orange County area, I will be teaching a six-week introductory apologetics class for students in 5th through 9th grade. Class begins on January 27th and will be held on Tuesday afternoons (3-4:30 pm), so it's accessible to homeschoolers AND public and private school students. We will meet at Grace Fellowship Church in Costa Mesa. For more information and registration instructions, see the attached course syllabus.
Many people believe that without religion, the planet would descend into immoral chaos. The reality is that the majority of heinous crimes committed against people on this planet across all of recorded history had their roots on religious beliefs, but the ability to distinguish right from wrong does not require any religious beliefs. In addition, animals who are incapable of understanding our human concept of religion show clear evidence of understanding moral behavior and distinguishing between right and wrong.
What do you think? Tell us how you would respond to a friend who said this to you, then we’ll post Brett’s response on Thursday and you can see how you did.
The mortal enemy of faith is knowledge, a scientific fact that has been demonstrated by researchers at the University of British Columbia.The basis of any religion is that you must believe something someone else tells you is true, even though your mind tells you it is a lie and it makes no sense. There is name for that: fideism. Without fideism, the concept of religion would not exist.
Give your answer to this objection in the comments below, then check back here on Thursday to hear Brett’s answer. (And if you’re interested in seeing a response to the study cited above, see here.)
reTHINK Student Conference by Brett Kunkle: “[A]fter adding walk-ups, sponsors, staff, and other guests, almost 1,100 people attended this year’s reTHINK…. Why has there been such a tremendous response? Because students are hungry for the truth…. At reTHINK, no question was off limits. We covered relativism, same-sex marriage, God’s existence, pornography, evolution, the Bible, science, and much more. We let students ask their toughest questions at the conference and even set up a live online Q&A event for the following week so students could continue to pursue God’s truth. We want students to see that because Christianity is true, they have nothing to fear. Objections can be dealt with, questions can be answered, and exploring our doubts can eventually lead us to greater faith in Christ.” (Read more)
Are We at War with Muslims? by Alan Shlemon: “Besides the September 11 attacks, there have been riots, bombings, and beheadings all done in the name of Islam. Are the perpetrators of this violence not following true Islam? What do we make of Islamic leaders who decry the violence of jihadists? How do we make sense of the contradictory claims by Islamic spokesmen? Will the real Islam please stand up? I use a simple tactic to help me sort through the confusion. If I want to know whether a teaching or behavior is truly Islamic, I ask a simple question: Is it based on authoritative sources in Islam? There are three primary sources.” (Read more)
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What kinds of questions are students asking? What kinds of doubts are they struggling with, and what kinds of objections bother them? Well, we just spent an entire weekend with about 1,000 students at the reTHINK conference, so we have some ideas. Plus, we're going to give students an opportunity to ask more of their questions. So if you're a student or you teach or parent students, join us tonight, 6:30–7:30 p.m. (PT). You can watch it all live right here, on YouTube, or on Google+.
We're hosting our third annual reTHINK Student Apologetics Conference this coming Friday and Saturday. Not only do we hope to provide some solid answers to students' most pressing questions, we also hope to carve out some safe space for students to even ask those questions. Because we have the truth, Christians don't have to be afraid of any question or objection. Indeed, every objection to the truth will be flawed by its very nature. So we will welcome students' questions at reTHINK. However, in a short day-and-a-half conference we just won't have time to answer them all. That's why we've extended the Q & A beyond reTHINK.
On Thursday, October 2nd, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (PT), we will continue to answer students' questions at our "What Students Are Asking" live online event. We'll take the most-asked questions from the reTHINK Conference and explore them a bit more. And we'll give those students who attended the conference a chance to interact with us and even ask more of their questions. You're invited as well (you can watch the event from the blog, YouTube, or Google+—see here for all the details), so grab your students and join us next Thursday.
[Update: Watch a recording of the live event here.]