Quench Your Thirst for Reasonable Faith

Feb. 14, 2013 By Jenna Bartlo

LA MIRADA, CALIF. — This spring, Biola University’s Christian apologetics faculty are going on the road to feed the growing appetite of Christians and scholars who seek to defend and articulate the reasonableness of the Christian faith.

The growing national demand for apologetics is evidenced, in part, by the rise in output of apologetics publications in the last 10 years, 66 percent of apologetics books published in the last 30 years were published in the last decade and 779 apologetics titles have been published in the last five years alone, according to Bowker “Books in Print” database. Countless websites, blogs and Internet forums have been created to tackle the difficult questions of Christianity. Meanwhile, church requests for Biola apologetics conferences have increased by 50 percent in the last three years.

“Clearly the churches in America have an intense new interest in offering reasons for faith,” said Craig Hazen, director of Biola University’s Christian Apologetics Program. “I think this is because secular culture is encroaching upon traditional church territory like never before and church leaders have become alarmed by this.  So, they are looking for help in this specialized area called apologetics.”  

Speakers at the upcoming conferences in cities across the United States and Canada include Biola professors and world-renowned apologists J.P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, Clay Jones, R. Scott Smith, Kevin Lewis and Hazen. The next stop on the tour is Feb. 22-23 in Sacramento, Calif., at Bayside Church for the “Thrive Apologetics Conference 2013: Reasonable Faith in an Uncertain World.” Other conferences are confirmed for Calgary, Canada and Palm Beach, Fla.

“We are so delighted to partner with churches across North America and beyond to provide cutting-edge training in answering the hard questions that skeptics ask,” said Hazen. “We have seen the courage and confidence grow among the congregations we have trained--not just through sharing their faith in an evangelistic way, but also just to live big for the Lord in these challenging times.”

As another sign of the growing demand for apologetics, enrollment in Biola’s M.A. in Christian apologetics program has increased by nearly 25 percent in the last two years, Hazen said. Over the last decade more than a quarter million people have attended Biola Apologetics events. Recently, William Lane Craig debated Alex Rosenberg, a Duke University philosophy professor, at Purdue University on the question of “Is Faith in God Reasonable?” A live audience of nearly 5,000 watched in the auditorium while more than 10,000 streamed the debate live online. Watch the debate on Biola University’s free online educational site Open Biola here: http://open.biola.edu/resources/is-faith-in-god-reasonable.

To view the entire Biola apologetics tour schedule, visit https://www.biola.edu/on-the-road. To request to have Biola’s apologetics department host a conference, visit https://www.biola.edu/on-the-road#host.

For more information or press passes, contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Specialist, at 562.777.4061 or jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

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