In addition to Biblically-centered and evangelistically oriented sermons at various churches, Truth Matters International is deeply involved in equipping believers to have effective encounters with atheists, agnostics, skeptics and adherents of other faiths. These are some of the seminars/classes that have been taught.
1. Christian Apologetics: How to Defend Your Faith
This seminar will provide the tools that believers need in order to intelligently defend their faith in our contemporary context. Much of the time will be spent on understanding the role of Apologetics in defending and justifying the notion of Truth, moral values and objective knowledge etc. from a Biblical standpoint. Presentations will include numerous illustrations and concrete examples so that each person in attendance is sufficiently equipped to be effective in their witness.
2. A Christian Response to Science
What is science and how did it evolve into what it is today? This class will include an overview of how science became dominant within a post-enlightenment culture which was then sustained by modernity and its undergirding virtues and values. Additionally, we will study the scientific method and its built-in limitations in order to unearth the historical and socio-political context within which science became the ideal within academia and culture at large. This seminar will conclude with how a Christian can utilize science and its benefits while still keeping the Bible as the paradigm or foundation for all knowledge and understanding.
3. Responding to the New Atheists
The focus will be on the writings of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. Specific portions of their books as well as their arguments will be discussed in an effort to point out the logical inconsistencies and fallacies in their positions. Other Atheists/ Agnostics such as Stephen Hawking, Victor Stenger etc. and their theories will also be discussed as well. Believers will be adequately equipped to communicate with people who have been influenced by these thinkers.
4. The Christian and the Academy
This will be a unique and enriching presentation of how the Christian should respond to the various disciplines within the Academy. Science, mathematics, history, literature, philosophy, theology and music are some of the areas that will be studied from a Christian perspective. The focus will be on how Biblical revelation provides not only the foundation for the inception of these disciplines but the undergirding values needed to sustain their on-going activity.
5. Christ and the Religions of the World
Is Christ unique among the religions of the world? Is it okay for Christians to claim exclusivity in the context of other religions? How do I know that Jesus is the only all-sufficient savior? The philosophical foundations and religious practices of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism etc. will be studied and contrasted with the Biblical revelation of God in Christ. Specific attention will be given to creation, the notion of original sin, the uniqueness of the incarnation, the actuality of redemption and the relational complexity of the trinity. Attendees will gain a clear perspective of the unparalleled and unprecedented nature and person of Christ and why he is indeed the centerpiece of history and the only hope of humanity.
6. Understanding and Responding to the New Age Movement
With the arrival of various gurus and yogis from India, the New Age movement became a conspicuous western expression of what are essentially eastern religious tendencies. Through the writings of people like Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Shirley Maclaine, Marilyn Ferguson, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer etc. the movement has infiltrated western culture in a very subtle manner. There are numerous churches that endorse and engage in New Age philosophies and practices without realizing it. What is the New Age movement? How did it gain such currency within our contemporary context? Why is it so prominent in books, movies, music and the various dimensions of our culture? If you or your church is concerned about these pertinent issues, this seminar will provide the needed information to understand this movement and the specific tools to respond effectively.
7. A Christian Response to Post-Modernism
It is almost impossible to identify a single founder, creed or date of origin when it comes to postmodernism. Its philosophical underpinnings are very fluid and accommodative. It is the current fad in academia and within culture. It boasts a collection of peculiar thinkers like Jean-François Lyotard, Jacques Derrida, Richard Rorty, Michel Foucault, Stanley Fish etc. among its ranks. What is postmodernism? Is it a movement or a mood? There are many who welcome it and others who detest it. What should be the response of the church and the Christian? This seminar will be a tour of the various thinkers and philosophies that exemplify this pervasive temperament within our culture. We will meticulously identify and appreciate the positive elements that are compatible with scripture while providing a critique and response to the destructive and negative realities that are contrary to a Christian worldview.
8. Defending the Faith and Answering Critics
This course will be an effort to answer a series of interesting and perplexing questions. Is evolution compatible with the Bible? Does the Big Bang support the doctrine of creation? What is the relationship between faith and reason? Can we rationally prove that God exists? Do we inhabit a moral universe? What is the multiverse and how does it relate to the Anthrophic principle? What is the goal and end of history? How can I know that anything exists? Those in attendance will be constantly engaged in the ways in which the Christian can answer critics in creative and concrete ways.
9. Contemporary Apologetic Methods
This class will be a focus on the various apologetics methods and their respective strengths and weaknesses. We will study historical, evidential and pre-suppositional apologetics along with a special focus on reformed epistemology. Much of the emphasis will be on integrating the various schools of thought for a comprehensive and compelling apologetic in our postmodern world.
10. The God of Love and the Problem of Evil
The various arguments from evil for the non-existence of God will be considered. We will spend time studying the classical as well as the contemporary formulations of the argument. These arguments will be discussed from a rational as well as a pastoral standpoint. An adequate response will be formulated with a clear sense of the weight of this issue and the needed humility on the side of the believer.
11. Christian Doctrine and Great Christian Personalities
This will be a survey of the early church fathers and thinkers in the history of Christianity. Special focus will be in Augustine, Aquinas and Anselm along with time spent on the Alexandrian thinkers (Philo, Clement, Origen). We will look at how they clarified and formulated Christian doctrines while responding to the Gnostics, the Arian controversy etc. We will identify elements of their response that are still applicable to us in the concrete tensions we face in our culture today.
12. Witnessing in our Contemporary World
This seminar will focus of what it means to be a witness in our world today? The Biblical notion of witness will be studied from the framework of the Pauline epistles. Special attention will be given to the ministerial rather than the magisterial use of reason or the rational faculties in the life of person who is a witness. The emphasis will be, not merely or how a witness thinks, but more importantly on how he or she lives a life of commitment to Christ and his word.
These seminars/classes can be organized as a Saturday event (Half day/ All day) or as shorter sessions (2 hours) on Sunday, before or after the service.