At Palm Beach Atlantic’s first apologetics conference, more than 200 people heard scholars bring faith-building messages – beginning with a call to recognize God’s abundant activity in the lives of Christians.
Sociologists say the most common source of doubt in America today comes from “God’s apparent inactivity” in the face of tragedy or in “the trials of daily life,” said Dr. J.P. Moreland. But in truth, he said, “you’re going to be shocked” to learn just how frequently and powerfully God is working.
Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy at Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology, gave the opening keynote lecture at the Oct. 28-29 conference. He described numerous miracles he has observed, and he challenged his audience to see the hand of God all around them.
“Start asking your friends or fellow students if in the last 12 months they’ve seen a miracle, an answer to prayer,” Moreland said. “And start reading books from credible people who testify about these things.”
PBA senior Ricky Heers left the conference eager to take up Moreland’s challenge. “I need to grow in my prayer life to the point where I can recognize some of the miracles that are happening,” he said, “and recognize how powerful God is and how much He actually cares.”
Sixteen scholars offered lectures and Q & A sessions at the conference, called “Faithful Witness.” Topics included “If God, Why Evil and Suffering?”; “Being Human in the Age of Neuroscience”; and sharing your faith in diverse communities.
“The speakers were amazing,” said Susan Vogt, a layperson from West Palm Beach. She also enjoyed the “wonderful diversity,” among the audience, impressed that many students would come out for a weekend conference.
Ray Wahl, a retired pastor from Boynton Beach, Florida, said the next day he told his Sunday School class, “I went to this terrific apologetics conference at PBA.” He just recently had begun reading a book on defending your faith, he said. “And so it all kind of came together for me” at the conference. “God motivated me to come.”
“Faithful Witness” was held in the DeSantis Family Chapel, with breakout sessions in various spots on campus. Faculty in the School of Ministry plan to make the conference an annual program.
The school has a new major in apologetics. For more information, email Dr. Paul Gould: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo 1: Dr. Paul Gould welcomes the crowd to the apologetics conference
Photo 2: Dr. J.P. Moreland gives the opening keynote address at Faithful Witness, PBA’s first apologetics conference held Oct. 28-29.