Public Faith Conference: Formed to Share Our Hope in Christ | April 6-7, 2018
In the pluralistic culture we live in, what does it look like to share our faith? In our current day, some of us might be finding it harder and harder to know how to dialogue and share our faith with the relationships in our lives. As believers we are called to evangelize with those God has placed in our lives with thoughtfulness, gentleness and respect. Yet, at times we shy away from this, and it can prevent us from being “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have,” (1 Peter 3:15).
To create environments where non-Christians are welcome we must invite questions and respect their doubts. How do we equip ourselves to be good listeners to our non-believing friends’ questions and winsome sharers of the gospel?
It is difficult to publicly identify as a Christian when the culture pressures people to keep their religious beliefs private. A candid account of the gospel story that is a Christian’s deepest identity can be met with dismissive or even derogatory reactions. The divisive atmosphere in America today can present a perplexing place to “go public” and talk to friends, neighbors or colleagues about our faith.
This Conference will be held at Redeemer Church in New York City, but will be streamed at Community Church of Chesapeake. The focus will be on living out faith in the context of New York City, however the principles are applicable to any metropolitan context.
The conference is designed to help you become more equipped to have meaningful and fruitful conversations about your faith with your friends who don’t believe. Here’s some important things participants should know:
- We see sharing our faith in the context of authentic relationships. We do not want anyone turning their friends into “projects”. The conference will explore how we can become better listeners and better at asking questions so that we can know and understand our friends, their doubts and their perspective.
- We want to instill the idea that sharing our faith is a dialogue, and not a canned step by step monologue. The conference will not teach you a script or system to try and “convert” someone on the spot. Rather, you will learn from experienced apologists how to become more comfortable interacting about your faith.
- We believe the most effective way to share your faith is an organic process in community. You will not be asked to join a team or go and do some kind of overt evangelism. You will be encouraged to engage with people you know in a way that allows you to have thoughtful and winsome conversations about the gospel.
Please join us for this unique opportunity to be formed to share our hope in Christ.
Speakers (streamed on video) include: Tim Keller, Sam Allberry, Michael Ramsden, and Jo Vitale.
Timothy Keller is Chairman of Redeemer City to City and the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. For twenty-eight years he led Redeemer’s diverse congregation of urban professionals that has grown into three churches (in 2017) with a combined weekly attendance of over 5,000.
Dr. Keller grew up in Pennsylvania and was educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary. He previously served as the pastor of West Hopewell Presbyterian Church in Hopewell, Virginia, Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, and Director of Mercy Ministries for the Presbyterian Church in America.
Sam Allberry is a speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and a consulting editor for The Gospel Coalition. Prior to this he served in local church ministry. Sam is the author of a number of books on Christian belief, including Why Bother With Church?, James For You, and the bestselling Is God Anti-Gay?
Michael Ramsden is the International Director of RZIM and has been part of RZIM since its foundation in Europe in 1997. Michael is also joint Director of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Michael was brought up in the Middle East and later moved to England where he worked for the Lord Chancellor’s department investing funds.
While doing research in Law and Economics at Sheffield University, he taught Moral Philosophy and lectured for the International Seminar for Jurisprudence and Human Rights in Strasbourg. He has also been a Professor-in-Residence at the Wolfsberg Executive Institute in Switzerland. Michael has been invited to lecture in various settings including the White House in Washington, D.C. and has in the past addressed leaders at NATO HQ in Brussels, Members of the European Parliament, as well as bankers and investment managers on the current global financial crisis. Michael is also involved in a number of initiatives to equip and train emerging leaders and evangelists around the world. Michael lives in Oxford with his wife, Anne, and their three children.
Jo Vitale is Dean of Studies at the Zacharias Institute and an Itinerant Speaker for RZIM. Prior to joining the US team, Jo was a speaker for RZIM Europe, where she also served in teaching and pastoral roles at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.
During her years in Oxford, Jo graduated with a first-class degree in theology from the University of Oxford. Jo then completed an MSt in biblical interpretation and a DPhil (Ph.D.) in Old Testament studies, both at the University of Oxford. Her doctoral dissertation was on the subject of “women and beauty in the Old Testament.”
Since joining RZIM, Jo has spoken internationally in a variety of contexts, including universities, churches, schools, conferences, and radio programs. She has also been involved in leading several weeklong outreach events at universities in America and the United Kingdom. With her background in biblical studies, Jo has a particular passion for speaking on questions of biblical reliability, challenges to the character of God (including questions related to sexism, war, slavery, and judgment in the Old and New Testaments), and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ in a world of competing truth claims.
Community Church of Chesapeake: 253 Saint Lukes Church Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322
$5 per person - REGISTRATION HERE (Registration open through April 2)
Lunch provided for participants
Childcare provided for ages 0-12 at no cost (Bring a name-labeled lunch for your child for Saturday)
All sessions are streamed video of the Public Faith Conference at Redeemer Church NYC provided by Gospel In Life Resources
FRIDAY, APRIL 6
- 6:30 p.m. Doors Open
- 7:00 p.m. - Session 1: "A Culture of Public Faith" by Tim Keller
- 8:00 p.m. - Session 2: "Conversational Apologetics Part 1: Understanding the Question Behind the Question" by Michael Ramsden
- 9:00 p.m. Close / Optional viewing of Session 2 Panel Discussion
SATURDAY, APRIL 7
- 8:30 a.m. Doors Open
- 9:00 a.m. - Session 3: "Is the Bible Good News for Women?" by Jo Vitale
- 10:00 a.m. - Session 4: "Sexual Identity and the Gospel" by Sam Allberry
- 11:00 a.m. - Session 5: "Conversational Apologetics Part 2: Logic and Falsehoods" by Michael Ramsden
- 12:00 p.m. - Q&A and Debrief with Michael Ramsden
- 12:30 p.m. - Lunch
- 1:00 p.m. - Session 6: "Authentic Relationships: Intentionality and Creativity" by Tim Keller
- 2 p.m. Close