I can still remember how exciting it was at the first Apologetics Canada Conference back in 2009. I was told about Andy Steiger at a time when the ink on his Masters degree was still drying. All I knew about him was that he could do a flip while standing up and was keen to raise the level of apologetics in Canada. I was a student pastor who was impressed by feats of amateur gymnastics but more importantly, desperately needed help equipping students to be able to articulate and defend their faith in a culture that was hostile to their Christian beliefs.
Soon the idea of an unprecedented conference in Christian apologetics was birthed. We prayed like crazy hoping other people would be as nerdy as us and want to come. People did come. That first year at Coquiltam Alliance Church we saw God move in a powerful way. It shocked a lot of people, as they began to see the great need for apologetics ministry in Canada.
Needless to say, we are doing it again this year and it’s only getting better every time.
I want to tell you five reasons why the 2014 Apologetics Canada Conference will be the best one yet.
1. Amazing Speakers on a Whole Range of Topics
I could talk for a while on how much I am expecting from each of our keynote speakers. Dr. Gary Habermas is one of the top scholars in the world on the resurrection. I had him as a professor on this topic and I have never been more convinced about the overwhelming amount of evidence that the historical account of Jesus’ resurrection is true. This year we are taking some time to look at the topic of suffering and evil. It is something we all struggle with at some point. We have brought in Reaksa Himm, a survivor of the horrendous evil that occurred in the Cambodian Killing Fields under the Khmer Rouge. Then Dr. Clay Jones from Biola University will talk about the problem of evil from a philosophical standpoint. I have taken many classes with Dr. Jones and he gives a tremendous apologetic for “Why a good God allows evil.” You won’t want to miss any main session. There’s still more though. This year we have an embarrassment of intellectual riches when it comes to what is offered in our breakout sessions. Just a glance at the list will make it very difficult to choose. Don’t worry about missing one, they will all be on the conference DVD which you can order and take in later (once your brain recovers).
2. Networking Opportunities
Every year, the Apologetics Canada Conference draws in the sharpest Christian minds that you get to rub shoulders with. Not only will you get a chance to hang out with our speakers but we have brought in the Christian clubs from all of the major universities in the area. This gives you an opportunity to meet with other Christians on your campus and find out how they are using apologetics to reach other students. Sometimes it is tempting for me to skip sessions and just talk to others in the foyer. There is always a very evident buzz in the air that you wouldn’t always expect from a conference devoted to us more nerdy types. And, of course, you never know whom else you might meet there. Last year I met Hayley, the girl who is now my wife. I suppose you never know…
3. An Abundance of New Resources
This year we are introducing Thinking Series 2.0, which will be available for purchase at the conference. This is a five-part DVD series led by Andy Steiger exploring the five biggest questions people are working through today. We have also just started a new publishing branch of our organization. Come to the Apologetics Canada booth and find out exciting news on what we are doing with publishing resources by Canadians, for Canadians. We also have lots of books available from our speakers and on a whole range of resources on apologetic topics. Not sure what the next steps should be in your own apologetic journey? The good news is that we have invited schools that offer programs for in apologetics for undergraduates and graduate students that are both local and international.
4. Take Advantage of the Proximity
Not a fan of driving? We understand and have come up with a solution. This year we are hosting the conference in two locations. One in Burnaby and one in Abbotsford. We did this for two reasons: One, to accommodate our Vancouver and Fraser Valley attendees (we wouldn’t want you having to cross one of those toll bridges if you don’t have to). Second, to make sure we have room for everyone that wants to come. Our gracious hosts, Willingdon and Northview Community Church along with their team of staff and volunteers have opened their doors to what will be our best attended conference yet. When you sign up online, make sure you distinguish which venue you would like to attend.
5. A Chance to Grow in Your Relationship with God
The Apologetics Canada Conference is designed to reach your head and your heart. We don’t want this to be about attending a bunch of lectures. We want you to experience God. We have incorporated times of worship through singing and prayer times to maximize the ways by which you will go deeper in your relationship with God. Each year we are flooded with stories of how God moved at the conference. Sometimes we see people becoming Christians for the first time. Others are moved by how reasonable the Christian faith is and re-dedicate their lives to Christ. And still, many more are encouraged by the truth of the Gospel are all the bolder to live a life of mission and share their faith with their unbelieving friends.
If it’s not the topics, the speakers, the networking opportunities, the resources, the proximity, or the chance to experience God in a life-transforming way, I don’t know what else to tell you. Just come anyway and see for yourself.