Having an answer

2015 Autumn Lectures

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”.
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

Giving a reason for our faith often seems like an overwhelming task in our secular culture. At a time when many are sceptical or even hostile towards God’s word, Christians need a firm grounding in its reliability and relevance today. But with so many questions and challenges, how can we know how to respond?

These lectures help encourage believers to be more confident in their witness, by focusing on the Bible’s timeless answers to common questions.

This series helps equip Christians in an unbelieving world to give a reason for the hope that we have.

1. Suffering

By Paul Mallard

Where is God in suffering? Is he in control and can I trust him? Paul Mallard, from his own family experience of intense personal pain, relates that the right response is a deliberate and reasoned decision to trust God. We don’t have to understand everything God is doing. But we can trust the God who has demonstrated his great love in the sacrifice of his Son on the cross. In this lecture we consider ways that God’s word speaks to us in suffering.

2. Apologetics: Learning from our Fathers

By Chris Sinkinson

The history of the church offers many examples of confident defence of the faith. In our own sceptical culture, Christians need to be ready to answer questions too. For example, how can we defend the historical truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the exclusive claims of Christianity? In this lecture we return to the world of the early church and see how they engaged a sceptical world. In the generation following the death of the last apostle the church faced intense persecution from powerful adversaries. The challenges they faced were not so different from ours – so the answers they gave offer hope and direction for the church in the contemporary age.

3. Can we Really Trust the Bible?

By Revd Mark Johnston

There is no book in human history that has been more scrutinised and criticised than the Bible. This scrutiny and criticism has only intensified over the past 50 years. So, not surprisingly, many people – even some who are Christians – wonder if they can really trust this book. The purpose of this lecture is to look again at the Bible and its claim to be God’s message for the world to see whether or not we can still take it seriously in our day.

4. The Design Argument

By Stuart Burgess

In the created world we are surrounded by evidence of God’s design, like the peacock feather and the bird song. But the ‘official’ view in the West flatly denies that there is a Designer. Is the appearance of design really just an illusion? Or, as the Bible teaches, is God’s eternal power and divine nature clearly seen in what he has made? In this lecture we look at the compelling evidence for design in nature, including the irreducible complexity of many living things.

5. The Collapse of Culture

By Gavin Beers

Our society has rejected a meaningful concept of truth and is becoming more hostile to believers. How did this happen? We can trace the West’s cultural decline from various influences including the Enlightenment, theological liberalism and new age mysticism. But how should Christians respond when Western culture seems to be collapsing? How can we be salt and light in our world?