Desert Palms Church - 2nd Annual “Give Them an Answer” Student Apologetics Conference

For 7th-12th Graders

July 17 - 19, 2024, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Speaker: Jacob Allee, Ph.D.

What will students learn at the conference?

Wednesday, July 17

Session 1: How Can We Know the Biblical Authors Told the Truth?

In this interactive session, Jacob will make a case for the historical reliability of the Bible. How can we know that the Bible accurately recorded history without intentionally (or unintentionally) warping the details? Jacob will take students through “The Five E’s” of historical reliability. The Bible includes Early Testimony, Eye-Witness Testimony, Enemy Testimony, Excruciating Testimony, and Embarrassing Testimony. Each of these concepts will be expounded to show how they reinforce the reliability of the biblical record. Additionally, internal consistency within the biblical documents, as well as, archaeological and extra-biblical textual evidence will also be examined and considered which will further support the reliability and accuracy of the biblical account.

Session 2: Tactics in Sharing Your Christian Convictions (part one)

Jacob will begin equipping students to engage others with confidence about their faith by learning to ask great questions. Model questions such as, “What do you mean by that?” and “How did you come to that conclusion?” will be shown to be useful means of engaging skeptics who make claims about God, the Bible, and other topics of importance to Christians. Christians both young and old often get nervous about engaging in evangelism (sharing their faith) and apologetics (defending their faith) but using the tactical method (based upon Greg Koukl’s fantastic book, Tactics) students will learn how to lead conversations without fear just by asking good questions. Questions give students valuable resources like more time, more information, and control over the direction of the conversation. All of this while making people like you because you are so interested in hearing more from them!

Thursday, July 18

Session 1: How Do We Know the Bible Hasn’t Been Changed Over Time?

In this interactive session, Jacob will look at manuscript evidence and demonstrate that the Bible has been faithfully and reliably preserved throughout the centuries. We can have great confidence that the Bibles we hold today say the same thing they did when those texts were first written. Students will learn about the number of biblical manuscripts we have compared to other ancient sources, they will learn about text types, textual variants and how they are counted, how those variants impact the science known as “textual criticism,” and why the common assertion that the Bible has been corrupted throughout centuries of transmission is demonstrably false. There is, in fact, no better preserved ancient document than the New Testament and we can prove it.

Session 2: Tactics in Sharing Your Christian Convictions (part two)

Picking up from where they left off the night before, students will practice their new tactics more extensively and learn a few new skills. Various objections to the Christian faith such as “The Bible is full of errors and contradictions” and “Science has proven we don’t need God to explain the universe” will be considered and investigated by means of our tactical questions. Students will role play with their table leaders making use of these objections and will learn to engage fearlessly and winsomely for the kingdom. Emphasis will be placed equally upon developing the skills of asking good questions, the skills of listening carefully and lovingly, and upon exercising Christian character in discussions with those whom we want to win to the Lord and to truth.

Friday, July 19

Session 1: The Case for the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus

Many skeptics have tried to cast doubt on the claim that Jesus rose bodily from the dead in history. The resurrection of Jesus is the central claim of the Christian faith and it is tied to a historical event. Is it possible to demonstrate that Jesus really rose from the dead or do we just have to blindly believe? In this session Jacob will walk students through the evidence agreed upon by historians concerning the claim that Jesus of Nazareth died by Roman crucifixion and rose bodily from the grave on the third day. The biblical claim will be compared against the historical evidence alongside contrary theories (such as the “wrong tomb theory,” “twin theory,” and the “swoon theory”) showing that reason lies on the side of the Christian claim. There is a reason that Christianity spread like a wildfire in the first century, Jesus was seen risen from the dead by hundreds (if not thousands) of people who had seen him die by public execution not long before! Including some people, like Saul of Tarsus, who would not have been eager to meet a risen Jesus.

Session 2: Open Question Time!

Just like it sounds, students will be able to submit questions with which they have been wrestling or which they would like answers to. Jacob will do his best to tackle them head-on. Jacob has spent the last 20 years thinking hard about Christianity and the reasons there are to believe it's true and there aren't too many things he hasn’t heard over the course of that time. Further, Jacob has studied broadly in issuJaes related to theology and philosophy and has come into contact with many of the most common concerns people tend to express (both as Christians and as unbelievers). He is willing to hear what you have to ask and do his best to give an answer!

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Registration Fee Per Person: $30.00

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