(Photo: Alex McFarland)
A Christian academic institute based in South Carolina is hosting an apologetics conference that will feature Christian writers Eric Metaxas, Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell.
The annual Truth for a New Generation, presented by Alex McFarland and North Greenville University, is a two-day apologetics conference being held at Northside Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.
Exhibitors for the conference checked in on Thursday and sessions at the conference began Friday and will continue through Saturday evening.
"Attendees will hear top scholars address a variety of important issues, including the Christian worldview, evangelism and apologetics, moral relativism, homosexuality/gay marriage, responding to belief systems that oppose Christianity, moral purity/sexual abstinence, ethical issues, stem cell research, the sanctity of human life, and more," reads an entry on the conference's website.
Mandy Shurden, a volunteer at the conference, told The Christian Post that evangelism was the chief purpose of the event.
"This event is taking place to spread the Word of God and reach as many as we can for Christ," said Shurden.
"We are looking to provide people with knowledge on apologetics and the Christian worldview," she said, adding that they are "expecting around 2,500 attendees this year."
In contrast to previous years, the conference this year will include the unveiling of a Medieval-era 72 foot-long Torah scroll, a drum seminar with Bradlee Dean, and a VIP luncheon with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, added Shurden.
Other notable items on the conference schedule include a "National Briefing on Religious Freedom" presented by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and moderated by Fox News anchor Lauren Green; an "apologetics museum" featuring artifacts pertaining to the times of the Bible known as the "Museum of Truth;" and a free concert featuring the contemporary Christian bands Plumb, Mikeschair and artist Josh Wilson.
Tony Beam, vice-president for Student Services and Christian Worldview at North Greenville University, told The Christian Post that "we've got probably one of the best programs we've ever had."
"[W]e're very blessed at North Greenville to have developed a relationship with Alex McFarland and Alex, of course, is a leading apologist," said Beam, who credited McFarland with the conference being able to get so many notable speakers.
"We have developed a relationship with him and he has come to join us at North Greenville. And he has all these contacts with all these people."
When asked by CP about the value of apologetics for American Christians, Beam responded that the ability to intellectually defend one's Christian views is becoming increasing important as society becomes less Christian.
"Obviously, as the culture becomes more secular and as we move away from a shared understanding of truth, Christians more than ever have to be able to be ready, as Peter said, 'to give a defense for the hope that is within us,'" said Beam.
"I think it's very important that Christians arm themselves with the truth, the whole truth, not be afraid of science. Christians should embrace and celebrate scientific methods."