2,000 Attend Southern Evangelical Seminary’s National Conference on Christian Apologetics
Renowned Thinkers Converge in Charlotte to Discuss the Timely Theme of ‘Pursuing a Faith That Thinks’
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Approximately 2,000 people attended the 24th annual Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) National Conference on Christian Apologetics this past weekend at Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C.
The two-day conference, one of the largest events of its kind, welcomed the nation’s top apologists, scholars and thinkers who delved into headline-making topics under the timely theme of “Pursuing a Faith That Thinks.”
“Southern Evangelical Seminary was again honored to welcome so many able defenders of the faith,” said Evangelical leader and SES President Dr. Richard Land. “For nearly a quarter of a century, this conference has been a meeting place for some of the greatest apologetic minds in the nation. The many invited authors, scholars, innovators, scientists and speakers provided approximately 2,000 in attendance with the knowledge and motivation they need to bring light to a dark world. This past weekend’s conference was an amazing experience, and our welcomed guests truly energized all in attendance so they could return to their homes, businesses, schools and churches equipped with the necessary tools to know what they believe and why they believe it.”
Nationally known speakers at the conference included the following:
- Michael Brown—In addition to serving as an adjunct professor at SES, Brown is an author, founder and president of FIRE School of Ministry, director of the Coalition of Conscience, and host of the radio show “The Line of Fire” and apologetics TV show “Answering Your Toughest Questions.” He became a believer in Jesus in 1971 as a drug-addicted rock drummer, and since then, has preached worldwide with a message of repentance, revival and cultural revolution.
- Norman Geisler—Co-founder of SES, Geisler is a prolific author, veteran professor, speaker, lecturer, traveler, philosopher, apologist, evangelist and theologian. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 books and hundreds of articles; taught theology, philosophy and apologetics on the college or graduate level for 50 years; and served as a professor at some of the finest seminaries in the U.S., including Trinity Evangelical Seminary, Dallas Seminary and SES.
- Gary Habermas—A visiting professor at SES, Habermas is the distinguished research professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University. He has authored 36 books—18 on the subject of Jesus’ resurrection—and published more than 60 chapters or articles in other books, plus more than 100 articles in journals and periodicals. Over the past decade, he has taught dozens of courses at 15 different graduate schools and seminaries.
- Ken Ham—Ham is president and founder of Answers in Genesis, the highly acclaimed Creation Museum and visionary behind a popular, full-size Noah’s Ark. He has become one of the most in-demand Christian conference speakers and talk show guests, and became internationally known for his 2014 creation/evolution debate with Bill Nye, “The Science Guy,” watched by about 15 million people. The author is heard daily on the radio feature “Answers with Ken Ham.”
- Richard G. Howe—An emeritus professor of philosophy and apologetics at SES, Howe speaks and writes widely on philosophy and Christian apologetics. He is the co-author, along with Geisler, of “The Religion of the Force” and is a contributor to several books. He has also published many articles over his career and has spoken and/or debated in churches and universities around the world on issues relating to the defense of the Christian faith.
- Greg Koukl—As founder and president of Stand to Reason, Koukl helps equip followers of Jesus Christ to explain and defend Christian beliefs and values with people who don’t accept the authority of the Bible. He has spoken on more than 70 college campuses in the U.S. and abroad and has hosted his call-in radio show for 27 years. An award-winning writer and best-selling author, Koukl has written seven books and been interviewed on national and international media.
- Richard Land—The SES president previously served for 25 years as president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns. From 1998 to 2003, Land co-hosted the 30-minute nationally syndicated weekday talk show, “For Faith & Family.” Today, Land’s daily radio commentary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” is heard on nearly 800 stations.
- J. P. Moreland—As distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, Moreland has authored, edited or contributed papers to 95 books and published more than 85 articles in journals such as “Philosophy and Phenomenological Research” and “American Philosophical Quarterly,” as well as 120 articles in magazines and newspapers.
- Jay W. Richards—The executive editor of “The Stream,” Richards is an assistant research professor in the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute. He is author of many books, including his most recent, co-authored with Jonathan Witt, called “The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom that J.R.R. Tolkien Got and the West Forgot.”
- Hugh Ross—An adjunct professor at SES, Ross is an astronomer and pastor, and focuses his ministry on harnessing the power of science for evangelism. Founding Reasons To Believe in 1986, his desire to communicate that science and faith are, and always will be, allies, not enemies, which is the basis for RTB’s outreach efforts. He proclaims this message by writing books, recording podcasts and speaking in many venues.
- Frank Turek—The founder and president of CrossExamined.org, as well as an adjunct professor and alumnus of SES, Turek is a popular speaker and award-winning author of four books, including “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.” In addition to teaching at numerous Christian events, Turek does presentations for corporate clients and is a U.S. Navy veteran. He has been a guest on many national media programs.
- J. Warner Wallace—Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective, popular national speaker and best-selling author. He continues to consult on cold-case investigations while serving as a senior fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. The former atheist is also an adjunct professor at Biola and Summit Ministries. His turn from atheism came after an expansive look at the evidence for Christianity, which he found to be demonstrably true.
Also at the conference, the American Family Association (AFA) debuted its new film “The God Who Speaks,” which explores the overwhelming evidence for the Bible’s inspiration and authority through some of the most highly respected voices within Evangelicalism. The film answers some common objections and testifies to the devastating impact that follows the denial of biblical authority. The film also underscores the utter trustworthiness of the Bible’s claims. “The God Who Speaks” will be a valuable resource for decades to come, helping many of today’s biblically challenged Christians to better defend their faith in a culture that is often hostile to Christianity.
Additionally, SES emeritus professor Richard Howe and minister-turned-atheist Dan Barker engaged in an AFA-sponsored, post-film debate titled, “Is There a God Who Speaks?”