Local apologetics conference to boast national names


SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Craig Hazen makes no apologies for his Christian faith. By the time he and his colleagues are finished with a three-day "Reasonable Faith in an Uncertain World" conference, he's hoping attendees won't be apologizing either.

Hazen, director of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, is teaming up with the Evangelical Philosophical Society to present the San Diego Consortium for Apologetics, set for Nov. 15 to 17 at College Avenue Baptist Church. Biola University co-sponsors this annual event, which is held in conjunction with the society's annual meeting.

Last year's conference drew 2,000 people to Washington, D.C.

"This is a very rare opportunity for Christians in San Diego and their unsaved friends," Hazen said. "This will give unbelievers a whole different side of Christianity that they would never have known exists."

Perceptions that the study of apologetics — theology that proves the truth of Christianity — are ancient and prudishly academic are not true, Hazen said, adding that the state of American culture makes the study of apologetics more relevant and critical than ever.

"Believers are under assault today," Hazen said. "Some of the top best-selling books are by atheists."

As more and more limitations on the free expression of marketplace Christianity emerge, Hazen said it is vital that believers are able to clearly articulate the truths of a religion steeped in truth.

"We get to call upon some of the top scholars in the world to talk about Christianity, apologetics and defending the faith," Hazen said. "Our speakers are experts in translating this for the average person."

The apologetics expert said conferees will be able to walk away from the event with information from some of the top apologetic minds in the world.

Among the topics to be explored will be reasons to believe in God, evidence of the Resurrection, biblical solutions for pain and suffering, the truth about Islam, and grounds for believing the Bible can be trusted.

The list of speakers is impressive, including Lee Strobel, the former Chicago Tribune investigative journalist who prided himself on his atheistic views. After his agnostic wife converted to Christianity, Strobel used his investigative skills on a two-year journey to prove the fallacies of the faith. Instead, his research pointed to an authentic faith centered on Christ and Strobel became a born-again believer. He is the author of numerous books, including the best-seller, "The Case for Christ."

Hazen said Strobel, one of four plenary speakers, has become one of the most popular apologists in modern culture. A recent event at Biola that headlined Strobel drew a crowd of about 4,000, prompting an overflow site.

 "The kind of people he interviewed for his books are the people who are going to be doing the presentations," Hazen said of Strobel. "It truly is a rare opportunity. Every church that hosts this says, 'We can't believe you brought us all these people.'"

Full lineup
The remaining plenary speakers include James Sinclair, Gary Habermas and Hazen.

Other prominent speakers include J.P. Moreland, Steve Davis, William Craig, Mark Linville, Paul Eddy, Ben Witherington III, Craig Evans, Dan Wallace, Chad Meister, Michael Murray, Josh Lingel, R. Douglas "Doug" Geivett, James Stump, David Hunt, Charles Taliaferro, Scott Smith, Garrett DeWeese, Paul Copan, Steven "Steve" Porter, Stew Goetz and Sean McDowell.

Hazen warns that being equipped to share our faith is an important, but not an exclusive, element in living out the Great Commission to spread the gospel to all the ends of the earth.

"If we don't love the people to whom we are communicating, we can have the best ideas in the world and the message won't get through," he said.

The consortium will be held beginning Thursday evening, when Strobel is scheduled to speak on the Apologetic Challenge. Friday evening's offerings will include a plenary session and several workshops. On Saturday, workshops will be held throughout the day with two plenary sessions.

The cost of the event is $95 for all three days.

For more information, call 1-888-332-4652 or visit www.apologeticsconference.com.