Colson, McDowell and D'Souza to Headline Apologetics Conference

Prominent Christian thinkers, including Chuck Colson and Josh McDowell, will be among the more than a dozen speakers at the 2010 National Conference on Christian Apologetics this weekend.

The annual apologetics conference, which is in its 17th year, expects to draw more than 2,000 people Oct. 15-16, to Charlotte, N.C. This year's theme is defending faith and family.

"I believe like never before in our culture these two entities (faith and family) are under attack," said Alex McFarland, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, a co-host of the conference.

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There is a militant atheism, led by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, which post success stories on websites when they can persuade teenagers to deny their Christian faith, McFarland said. Meanwhile, the divorce rate is at 50 percent and society is trying to redefine marriage.

"We've got to help not only Christians understand that God instituted the family and therefore it is not open for redefinition," McFarland said, "but we've got to help our culture understand that not only is the family not up for reinvention but if we do that we will destroy our nation."

The family and the church are the "fundamental building blocks" for society, the NCCA explains on its website.

While most of the attendees at the NCCA will be Christian, McFarland said some will be non-believers. The seminary head hopes Christians who attend the conference will walk away with a commitment to live and share their faith, while non-believers will understand that Christianity is objectively true and they should consider a relationship with Jesus.

Speakers will lecture on theology, discernment, church leadership and discipleship, evangelism, Islam and issues affecting the family such as women's issues, abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and bio-ethics.

Besides Colson and McDowell, other speaks this year include Gary Habermas, Hugh Ross, and Dinesh D'Souza.

The conference also seeks to equip the Spanish-speaking Church, with some Friday workshops to be presented in Spanish and the main plenary sessions to be translated live into Spanish.

"Apologetics is not just for the elite, but it is for every Christian to have a handle on what they believe in and the reasons why," asserted McFarland, citing I Peter 3:15.

"It is important to non-believers because apologetics says there is evidence in the Christian faith and to look at the evidence and see that Christianity is true. So this is a conference for everybody," he added.

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