First Lecture Done

Last night was the first of four or five lectures to be presented at the local community college in hopes of garnering student interest and enthusiasm for a campus group dedicated to Christian apologetics.  The presenter, Dr. Scott Keith of Concordia University Irvine (CUI) and 1517.The Legacy Project did a fantastic job of presenting an explanation of what apologetics is (and is not), before providing a taste of evidential apologetics – a defense of the faith anchored in physical evidence (as opposed to scientific theory or philosophy).

Turnout was good – nearly 35 people from the two LC-MS congregations in town plus at least one person my wife invited from the local home-schooling community.  Technically we had three students there along with a recent graduate of CUI.

A few thoughts following the event after some reflection.

  • Preaching to the choir is really tempting.  It struck me how difficult it can be to frame a presentation without the underlying assumption that your audience is Christian already and perhaps even of the same theological background as yourself within the Christian spectrum.  Early on there were references to things that folks outside of our particular denomination of Christianity might not make much sense of.  In the future I want to be more specific to the speakers about the desired audience.  I hope that the church folks will continue to come out as well, but they’ll be able to follow along just fine without being the target of the presentation.
  • Doing is the goal, not talking about.  Talking about apologetics is easy – actually doing apologetics is intentional and specific.  Much of the presentation talked about apologetics, and only the last 30 minutes or so actually did it.  When engaging secular culture the emphasis needs to be reversed.  In the coming weeks I hope to be back on campus trying to raise interest in future lectures and the club (Campus Apologetics).  I hope to be inviting non-Christians as well as Christians, in which case the lectures need to do what they propose, not just talk about it.  Present the hard evidence for the resurrection as though you’re reaching someone who isn’t convinced of it yet.

The lecture and lecturer were both great – these aren’t criticisms but realizations and observations about what I hope to accomplish moving forward, things that I didn’t necessarily realize or communicate to Dr. Keith in advance.  I look forward to future lecturers and, by the grace of God the Holy Spirit, talking with more students.

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