Southern Evangelical Seminary Pays Tribute to Co-Founder Norman Geisler at This Weekend’s National Conference on Christian Apologetics
45+ Top-Name Speakers, Including Co-Founder’s Son, David Geisler, Will Converge in Charlotte for SES’s 26th Annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics
October 7, 2019
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—This weekend will be bittersweet, as Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) pays tribute to one of its co-founders at the 26th annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA).
SES co-founder and Christian apologetics legend Dr. Norman Geisler passed away on July 1 at the age of 86 after more than a half-century-long commitment and invaluable contribution to the field of Christian apologetics. Called the “Father of Apologetics,” he was a prolific author, veteran professor, speaker, lecturer, traveler, philosopher, evangelist and theologian, and had been described throughout his lifetime as a cross between Thomas Aquinas and Billy Graham.
At the Oct. 11-12 renowned apologetics conference, SES will remember not only the contributions Dr. Geisler made to the seminary but to the theological world at large. Southern Evangelical Seminary continues to be staunchly committed to its mission to train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and defense of the historic Christian faith.
Since Dr. Geisler’s death, this mission has taken on a new urgency, and SES has made an even greater commitment to its vision. SES President Dr. Richard Land said Dr. Geisler’s contributions to apologetics dramatically increased awareness of and knowledge in the field.
“At what other time in history has it been more crucial for Christians to ably defend the faith?” Land asked. “This is true in nearly every facet of our culture, from politics to education to church relations. As one who laid the groundwork in apologetics, Dr. Geisler was the ‘go to’ authority for more than two generations of evangelical seminary students who were looking for a bold, erudite and uncompromisingly faithful defense of the inerrant, infallible Word of God and the historical doctrines of the Christian faith. His ministry was invaluable and his influence incalculable.”
On the second day of the conference, a special panel titled “Billy Graham Meets Thomas Aquinas: A Tribute to the Work of Dr. Norman Geisler,” is set for 3:45 p.m. Oct. 12.
Ravi Zacharias has said there may never be another Norman Geisler. Josh McDowell has pointed out that Geisler paved the way for him and other apologists to hold the influence they have today. In what ways has Norman Geisler’s life and ministry impacted the foundations of the evangelical faith in the past 40 to 50 years? Is it possible his impact could have reached further than realized? This interactive discussion will feature distinguished leaders who will discuss how their ministries were personally impacted by Dr. Geisler and how collectively all can play a part in continuing what he began.
Those featured on the panel include:
- Dr. David Geisler, panel moderator, is the president of Norm Geisler International Ministries (NGIM), which he co-founded in 2015 with his late father. The vision of NGIM is to integrate Norm Geisler’s educational models of apologetics into practical models of evangelism and discipleship for teachers and ministers around the globe. David Geisler also currently serves as an adjunct professor at both of the seminaries his father founded: SES and Veritas International University in California. His teaching stems primarily from the book he co-wrote with his father, “Conversational Evangelism,” which teaches how to use apologetics as a pre-evangelistic tool and reframe apologetics under the mandate of Corinthians as “cultivating good soil.” David Geisler travels to countries around the globe, holding seminars and trainings on his father’s “12 Points,” “Conversational Evangelism” and their new training material, “The 4 Rs of Apologetics, Evangelism, and Discipleship,” based in part on insights David Geisler has gleaned from his friend and mentor, Rev. Edmund Chan.
- Dr. Stephen Cutchins, panel speaker, is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of North Augusta and serves on the executive committee of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. He holds a Doctorate of Ministry degree from SES and is currently completing his Ph.D. at Dallas Baptist University. Cutchins is the author of “Prove It—Defend the Christian Faith” and co-author of “Green Hearts—God’s Goodness in the Worst of Times.” He is also a contributing author for the 2016 Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook and a regional and national speaker on Christian Apologetics and Leadership.
- Dr. Richard Howe, panel speaker, is a writer, public speaker and debater, and concentrates on issues concerning Christian apologetics and philosophy. He is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary and is past president of the International Society of Christian Apologetics. Howe has a bachelor’s degree in Bible from Mississippi College, a master’s in philosophy from the University of Mississippi and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Arkansas. He is co-author with Dr. Norman Geisler of “The Religion of the Force” and is a contributor to several books. He has had articles published in the Christian Apologetics Journal, the Areopagus Journal, the Midwest Christian Outreach Journal and the Christian Research Journal. Howe has spoken and/or debated in churches and universities in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Africa on issues relating to the defense of the Christian faith.
- Dr. Frank Turek, panel speaker, is president of CrossExamined.org and an SES adjunct faculty member. He is a dynamic speaker and award-winning author or co-author of four books. As president of CrossExamined.org, Turek presents powerful and entertaining evidence for Christianity at churches, high schools and at secular college campuses that often begin hostile to his message. He has also debated several prominent atheists including Christopher Hitchens and David Silverman, former president of American Atheists. Turek hosts an hour-long TV program each week called “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” and his radio program called “CrossExamined with Frank Turek” airs on 122 stations Saturday mornings. Turek is widely featured guest in the media as a leading apologetics expert and cultural commentator and also writes a column for Townhall.com. A former aviator in the U.S. Navy, Turek has a master’s degree from the George Washington University and a doctorate from SES.
- Dr. Richard Land, panel speaker, is the president of Southern Evangelical Seminary. Prior to this post, Land served as the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Currently, he serves as Executive Editor of The Christian Post. Land was appointed to serve on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2001 and was subsequently reappointed to three additional terms of service through 2012. In 2007, The Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement was established by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Dr. Land is a Visiting Professor. Land also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. In 2012, Dr. Land received The Champions of Justice Award, presented by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (also known as the Hispanic Evangelical Association).
Land is a well-respected commentator on issues related to religion, politics, history and culture, and has appeared in thousands of media interviews in most major media outlets over the course of his career. He is a member of President Donald Trump’s faith advisory board.
More than a year before his death, NGIM announced it was embarking on a feature-length documentary project about Dr. Norman Geisler’s life and his invaluable contributions to the Christian faith. The project becomes all the more meaningful now.
To date, NGIM reports that the filmmakers have interviewed many notable evangelical leaders for the documentary, including Kerby Anderson, John Ankerberg, Tony Evans, Joseph Holden, Richard Howe, Land, Josh McDowell, Raul Reis, Ron Rhodes, Hugh Ross, J. Warner Wallace, Ravi Zacharias and many more. A preview of the film will be shown at the SES apologetics conference this weekend. A trailer for the documentary is available here; learn more about the film project here.
One week after Geisler’s death, SES also announced the creation of the “Dr. Norman L. Geisler Memorial Fund,” which will be used for student scholarships and special projects that would have been near and dear to Dr. Geisler’s heart. This spring, SES also named Dr. Geisler the seminary’s President Emeritus and renamed its graduate school “The Dr. Norman L. Geisler Graduate School of Apologetics.”
SES’s well-known two-day event will bring together some of the nation’s best minds to address the most pressing cultural and religious issues of our day. Registration is already setting records for the annual conference, with the theme of “Why Truth Still Matters.” It is an annual destination for longtime attendees, while new attendees discover SES at this powerful event every year. For 26 years, SES’s National Conference on Christian Apologetics has provided Christians with the tools, knowledge and motivation to defend their beliefs in a culture that is sometimes hostile toward Christianity.
Tickets for the 2019 NCCA are on sale now. Ticket add-ons such as a free prospective student luncheon and the “Reasons to Believe VIP Experience” are also available. Visit conference.ses.edu.
To interview Dr. Richard Land or other speakers from Southern Evangelical Seminary’s National Conference on Christian Apologetics, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or ext. 102.