A cold-case homicide detective, once a devout atheist, is one of several Christian apologists scheduled to speak and participate in panel discussions at Stand To Reason's 20th Anniversary Conference at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., this coming weekend.
J. Warner Wallace told The Christian Post that he plans to talk about how he has used his investigative experience to prove that parts of the New Testament that have been questioned by atheists with Bible knowledge can be authenticated as truth.
Wallace said that he once had the same objections that atheists such as Bart D. Ehrman have, "this idea that there are so many changes in the New Testament, so many variations that are covered in various documents."
In the same way that he separates artifacts from evidence in crime scenes, the author of Cold-Case Christianity said he can show the original intent of New Testament authors. "There are so many similarities to the work that I do in cold cases that it's helpful to return to the cold cases and crime scenes in order to sort through that," Wallace said.
The most important objective of the conference (and the Stand To Reason apologetics ministry) is to help people have confidence and certainty about what they believe as Christians, he said.
"When you have confidence in what you believe is not just a matter of opinion, some subjective view of the world that happens to work for you but it may not work for everyone … you are far more likely to share with others," he explained. "Our hope in this conference is that we demonstrate to people an objectively true nature of Christianity."
He added, "I can have a reasoned faith that is intellectually satisfying. I don't have to check my brains at the door in order to be a Christian."
The conference kicks off Friday evening with "stimulating apologetics lectures and a celebration," organizers state. The event will be livestreamed on the Web as well. Other speakers include Greg Koukl, J.P. Moreland, Sean McDowell, Craig Hazen, Brett Kunkle, Alan Shlemon, and Mary Jo Sharp.
Apologist and best-selling author Lee Strobel told CP that a previous speaking commitment is keeping him from being at the event.
"Stand to Reason is an excellent organization that's doing strategic work in apologetics. Greg Koukl is one of the sharpest apologists I know," Strobel said. "I'm celebrating their anniversary and thanking God for the way they're advancing the Kingdom."
Strobel encouraged people to checkout STR's new website: www.str.org.