CHARLOTTE, N.C.—In just one more day, the faithful will have a chance to discuss some of the most pressing issues that have made headlines for months. Along with hundreds of other believers, they will gather in Charlotte, N.C., for the 23rd annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu.)
Hosted by Calvary Church, 5801 Pineville-Matthews Road in Charlotte, the conference—one of the most premier apologetics events in the nation—kicks off Thursday and continues through the weekend.
Taking place just three weeks before the presidential election, SES’s National Conference has lined up an impressive program of nationally known speakers who will tackle the many tough topics that have been debated both in society and on the campaign trail. The seminary will welcome such top names as Norman Geisler, Richard Howe, Richard Land, Josh McDowell, Sean McDowell, Hugh Ross, Jay Sekulow, Lee Strobel, Frank Turek and J. Warner Wallace, along with many others. A women’s pre-conference is also set forOct. 13, which will address apologetics issues that are unique to women. The event will also be live-streamed (more details at conference.ses.edu).
“Southern Evangelical Seminary’s National Conference on Christian Apologetics is always a time to focus on the issues that are affecting every American, especially the faithful,” said SES President and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land, who will also serve as a conference speaker. “But perhaps this year more than any other, our nation has become a platform for debate, with polarizing sides evident on a multitude of issues. This fall, and in the weeks leading up to the conference, SES will continue its focus on equipping Christians with the tools and knowledge to staunchly defend their beliefs in an often hostile environment. We must know what we believe and why we believe it—it’s never been more important for Christians to be prepared to follow the Apostle Peter’s command to always be ‘ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that is in you’ (1 Peter 3:15).”
The theme of the conference, “The Defense Never Rests,” focuses on the ongoing charge to Christians to defend their beliefs rationally, intelligently and lovingly. Speakers and their backgrounds include:
- Dr. Norman Geisler is a prolific author, veteran professor, speaker, lecturer, philosopher, apologist, evangelist and theologian, as well as a co-founder of SES. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 books and hundreds of articles, and has taught theology, philosophy and apologetics on the college or graduate level for over 50 years.
- Richard Howe, Professor Emeritus and adjunct professor at SES is both a debater and speaker, who has taught courses in philosophy at several universities. He is also a contributing writer for the Christian Research Journal, has contributed to several apologetics books and lectured extensively in philosophy and Christian apologetics in the U.S., Canada, across Europe and in Africa.
- Josh McDowell serves on the advisory board of SES and has spoken to more than 10 million students at live events since beginning his ministry in 1961. He has given more than 24,000 talks in 118 countries and is the author or co-author of 120 books, including “More Than a Carpenter,” which has been translated into over 85 languages.
- Sean McDowell is an assistant professor in the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University, an author, and a popular speaker at schools, churches and conferences nationwide. He is also the general editor for “Apologetics for a New Generation” and “The Apologetics Study Bible for Students.”
- Dr. Hugh Ross is founder and president of Reasons to Believe, an organization that researches and communicates how God’s revelation in the words of the Bible harmonizes with the facts of nature. Ross works to integrating all 66 books of the Bible with the science disciplines as a way to discover and apply deeper truths.
- Jay Sekulow is chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice. He is an accomplished Supreme Court advocate, renowned expert on religious liberty, respected broadcaster and a New York Times-bestselling author for his book, “Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore.”
- Lee Strobel is an atheist-turned-apologist and a former award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune. He also serves as professor of Christian thought at Houston Baptist University and is a New York Times-bestselling author of more than 20 books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide, including “The Case for Christ.”
- Dr. Frank Turek is a dynamic speaker and award-winning author or co-author of three books. As the leader of CrossExamined.org, he impacts young and old alike at colleges, high schools and churches with hard yet entertaining evidence for Christianity. He hosts a TV program, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” on the NRB Network.
- J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective, professor of apologetics, Christian case maker and author. His popular book, “Cold-Case Christianity,” co-authored with Lee Strobel, provides readers with principles of cold case investigations and utilizes these principles to examine the reliability of the gospel eyewitness accounts.
SES is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.
SES explores ethical issues through its “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program; for more information, visitwww.ethics.ses.edu. Southern Evangelical Seminary also recently unveiled a new apologetics blog atwww.WhyDoYouBelieve.org, where Land and other SES voices address the most pressing issues of the day.
Land is also featured in his nationally syndicated daily radio commentary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on nearly 800 stations nationwide, including nearly 200 on the American Family Radio Network, 100 on the Bott Radio Network and almost 400 on the CSN radio network. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” is also podcast daily on the free SES mobile app and airs locally in the Charlotte, N.C., area every weekday. The “Bringing Every Thought Captive” television program, hosted by Land, airs on the NRB Network Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and midnight EST. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” also reaches nearly 2 million households in the Chicago area on the Total Living Network. For details about stations, times, downloads and more, click here.
Land has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Land also earned a Master of Theology (Honors Program) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the Outstanding Graduating Student. Dr. Land was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. He also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”
Southern Evangelical Seminary invites visitors to its web site to join the more than 20,000 people who have already downloaded the SES Apologetics App for Windows mobile devices and Android and Apple phones and tablets. Those with the app can get the very best news and information in Christian apologetics, including articles, audio, video, blogs and more from today’s most able defenders of the Christian faith—William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, William Dembski, Frank Turek, Hugh Ross, Gary Habermas and other well-known speakers, authors and teachers.
Southern Evangelical Seminary has been ranked as one of the top graduate programs for General Christian Apologetics by TheBestSchools.org’s “Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.”
For more information on SES, visit its web site at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH. For more information about SES’ “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program, visit www.ethics.ses.edu.