A virtual gathering of apologists and artists of different backgrounds will be discussing culture, the arts, and faith online during a three-day conference beginning today (April 19).
Athanatos Christian Ministry's third annual online apologetics conference continues its defense of faith in the culture by calling on artists and apologists to join forces, say organizers.
ACM's Executive Director Anthony Horvath told The Christian Post that traditionally, arguments and evidence are the main tools for apologists, but he would like to see the same methods used by people outside of this area of expertise.
"We try to connect people who are interested in apologetics to people who might not be, but we think should be, like writers, artists, and people interested in making movies," Horvath said. "These people will have a lot more influence on people potentially choosing faith through our culture than many apologists will in a debate forum."
He said his ministry is always looking for different ways of joining people of different groups together in "the higher cause of apologetics."
"Everyone thinks that their belief system is carefully considered at every turn, but upon inspection and cross-examination we discover that many people think the way they do because of something they saw in a movie, read in a book, or heard on the news," Horvath explained.
"Think of the saying, 'You can't reason a person out of a position he wasn't reasoned into.' This isn't necessarily bad," he continued. "Not everything that is real and important is learned through reason, anyway. It just illustrates how important it is to thoughtfully consider all of our beliefs, no matter how we receive them. Our conference will examine how 'story' shapes our worldviews and how we can use stories to communicate our worldviews, and even defend them."
This year's keynote speaker is the president of the American GK Chesterton Society, Dale Ahlquist, who will discuss Chesterton's knack for choosing the right word. Chesterton was a master apologist and a well-known writer of detective stories during his time.
Horvath said the other speakers include:
• Dr. Gene Edward Veith will present on the topic of "Christianity and Comedy," urging Christians to view humor as something that God actually likes.
• Dave Sterrett, a spokesperson for "I am Second," will reflect on the success of the video series.
• Dr. Holly Ordway will show how the fairy tales of Brother Grimm are good leaping off points for faith conversations.
Horvath will discuss the intense and often hostile reaction of his short story series, "Richard Dawkins, Antony Flew, and Mother Teresa Go to Heaven."
Eighteen different speakers will touch on issues such as creation and evolution, the ideology of Hitler and the Nazis, the evidence for the resurrection, and other topics related to "literary apologetics."
"I look forward to people of diverse backgrounds who have strong Christian faith meeting each other and exchanging ideas, getting new ideas about how they can carry out ministry in their own lives and in their own vocations," Horvath told CP.
Registration to view the Online Apologetics Conference 2012 is free for the first day. Paid registration for the second and third days of the online conference also includes full archival access.
According to its website, Athanatos Christian Ministries is committed to applying the Christian world view in creative contexts that range from Christian apologetics to education to literature and the arts and anything else it can imagine to edify the church.
On the Web, http://onlineapologeticsconference.com/.