Summary of SandHills Apologetics Society Event.
A few weeks ago, TEAM had the privilege of working with Pinehurst’s local apologetics club, The Sandhills Apologetics Society. Before I launch into the summary of the event, let me say this: we need more groups like Sandhills Apologetics Society who see the need of bringing Christians from differing churches together to talk about the spiritual needs of the church. The church has always been the vessel by which God has been accomplishing his work, if the church dies, the culture dies with it.
You might be asking “So what made Sandhills so unique? Aren’t there apologetics clubs on campus’s and even in some churches?” and the answer to this would be, “yes.” However, apologetics is not optional in the Christian life, and there are very few churches that incorporate apologetics into their lessons. This is why what Sandhills did was very unique. Not only did they hold this event in a Pinehurst’s Town Hall, but they made it a true community outreach event by extending invitations to churches throughout the city of Pinehurst, with the goal that the leaders and congregants would go back to their churches with an understanding of evangelism and how to implement apologetics training in their churches. Apologetics is not a denominationally exclusive enterprise. The more churches that see it’s vital role in discipleship and evangelism, the more prepared the next generation of Christians will be to share their faith in a meaningful and loving way. This was accomplished at Pinehurst’s first meeting, and we look forward to their second meeting where popular apologist and Southern Evangelical Seminary Alumnus, Frank Turek will be leading their next event.
The first Sandhill’s event day consisted first of an Atheist Role Play led by Daniel Roberts. If you’re unfamiliar with an Atheist Role Play, it is merely a Christian playing the part of an atheist, bringing up popular objections to Christianity. This allows the audience and the speaker’s to learn what the strength’s and weaknesses are of the group. The audience did an excellent job and it was clear that some had already had an exposure to apologetics. Based on conversations with the audience during and after the talk, it helped individuals realize the need to be disciplined in their study in order to provide specific evidences, along side their general reasons for the Christian faith.
After the Atheist Role Play, The Director of TEAM, Adam Tucker took the floor and presented a talk titled, Ready or Not: A Crash Course in Defending Your Faith on Campus. In this presentation, Adam discussed the importance of avoiding evangelistic strategies that rely entirely on personal testimony. Christians should always be willing to share their testimony in relevant contexts, but they should not be overly dependent on their testimony as an evangelistic tool. If one rely’s on their testimony too much, it is likely that they will be given the popular objection “That’s true for you, but not for me” or “I’m happy that you have found something that has met your spiritual needs.”
This is why, after discussing the weakness of testimony based evangelism, Adam provided arguments for the nature of truth. Then, Adam provided a defense for the existence of God, and how certain arguments can demonstrate God’s existence and his attributes.
But what about science? Aren’t science and religion at odds? Devin Pellew, Chapter Director for Ratio Christi Winthrop, delivered an excellent discussion on science and religion. Devin addressed the proposed claim that science and Christianity are at odds. Devin reminded the audience that in discussing creation, the primary question should be “Did God create?”, rather than, “How long or by what means did he create?” The latter question is more of a debate amongst Christians who are concerned with staying true to the scripture. Many times the primary objection that non-Christians have is not whether or not God created in 7 literal days or 7 billion years, but rather does he exist and did he bring about this world and everything in it? The highlight of Devin’s talk was that Christians need to focus on the primary issues and save the secondary issues for a dialog where fundamental principles are no longer debatable.
[Hijacking Science Slides]
Other presentations included, Answering Arguments from Popular Atheism, God & Evil: Tragedy or Triumph? and Why Trust an Irrelevant Book.
Many Christian communities would do well to recognize the value of coming together to address their communities needs in the unity of Christ. Right now, Christianity is facing an uphill battle in America, and we need to come together and address the negative causes that are affecting our churches and communities. Southern Evangelical Seminary is thankful for Sandhill’s Apologetics Society and we hope to see more groups like them start up in the future.
If you would like to hear more about how you can have an event like this in your city or church, contact SES at (800)-77-TRUTH ext 211. Our outreach and evangelism ministry, T.E.A.M. specializes in enabling and equipping Christian communities introduce thoughtful and practical strategies on evangelism and defending the Christian Faith.