In his book “Jesus, Interrupted,” Bart Erhman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said, “Within three hundred years Jesus went from being a Jewish apocalyptic prophet to being God himself, a member of the Trinity. Early Christianity is nothing if not remarkable.” Erhman is an atheist and is considered one of the leading scholars in New Testament studies. Through his class, he serves as an “evangelist for atheism,” seeking to convert Christians to skepticism and atheism. Professors and scholars like Erhman are why the church needs Christian apologetics.
Christian apologetics is simply the methods and means of defending the Christian faith. In 1 Peter 3:15, believers are commanded to be ready to provide an answer for their faith. We call this “doing apologetics.”
The goal of Carolina College of Biblical Studies’ first lecture series, “The Defending the Faith Conference,” was to help believers develop a robust understanding of some of the basic ways to defend their faith as well as help believers grapple with some of the most common arguments against Christianity.
This conference featured world-renowned apologist Dr. Norman Geisler, who has written over 100 books on the subject (that is about 70 more books than Erhman has published). Other leading apologists, including some of CCBS’ own alumni and faculty, also presented and dialogued to serve the church by helping believers contend for the faith once and for all handed down to the saints (Jude 3).
Geisler addressed the inerrancy debate and why the topic is of the utmost importance for believers. A discussion followed regarding how believers can know that they know the meaning of Scriptures in a world that believes truth is entirely subjective.
The conference also offered eight unique breakout sessions covering topics like the historicity of the resurrection, answering the problem of evil, dealing with postmodernism, understanding the reliability of the Bible and more. Each breakout session was offered twice to allow attendees the chance to attend half of the breakouts and both plenary sessions. That way, everyone could attend the breakouts that would benefit them the most.
The speakers had a lay-audience in mind and sought to offer practical advice and information to help equip the saints in evangelization, teaching and responding to the challenges of culture and anti-Christian rhetoric. This conference was a wonderful opportunity to receive world-class training and build a foundation for further studies in how to defend the faith.
To learn more about CCBS’ upcoming lectures, visit www.ccbs.edu.