Christianity and science under microscope at Pretoria conference

Udo Karsten.
Udo Karsten.

South African Christians who would like to know more about how modern science relates to faith in God are invited to attend the annual Faith and Reason Conference (FRC) in Pretoria on Saturday, August 17.

The theme of Christianity and Science was chosen for the 7th annual FRC following the successful visit to South Africa by Oxford University mathematician, philosopher of science and Christian academic, Professor John Lennox, who addressed capacity audiences at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University earlier this year, said conference organiser Udo Karsten.

Eminent Christian scientists and philosophers will adress the conference which is aimed at thinking, lay Christians who desire to engage responsibly with the issues of the day, said Karsten, who is the founder and President of AntWoord, a South African Christian Apologetics ministry that hosts the FRC.

“We desperately need more informed and thoughtful Christians in our country who could engage a sceptical world credibly and with integrity for the sake of the Gospel,” he said.

The speakers are:

  • John Gilchrist, who will argue that in spite of the discovery that the universe is 13.7 billion years old and question as to why God took so long to make man, He actually moved resolutlely to fulfill his purposes with the shortest time possible.
  • Dr Michael Jarvis, who will speak on reconciling an evolving universe with Evangelical Christianity.
  • Dr Richard How, on ‘Answering the Scientific Arguments of Popular Atheism’/
  • Professor Danie Strauss, whose topic is ‘Why the (natural and social) sciences are not “exact” ‘.

The Faith and Reason Conference which has been held annually since 2008 was started with the help of students and staff of the Southern Evangelical Seminary in the United States, said Karsten.

“We have South African friends who studied there in the area of Christian Apologetics. They were willing to serve us with their expertise and we felt that South African churches and seminaries lacked the kind of indispensable teaching that they had to offer. That was the beginning of a long and insightful partnership that bore particular fruit in putting together the 2010 conference.

“This conference was undoubtedly a highlight for us for it included the visit of Dr William Lane Craig to South Africa. He is a world-renowned author, speaker and debater in the area of philosophy and apologetics. Part of his tour to South Africa included a debate with two very liberal scholars in theology whose ideas had received a fair amount of exposure in the Afrikaans media, but oftentimes did not receive the necessary critical response,” he said.

There is no registration fee for the conference at Kerksondermure at the corner of Hendrik Verwoerd Drive and Hippo Ave, Znuewartkop X4, Centurion. However donations will be appreciated in support of the work of AntWoord. Catering is available for anybody who would like to order a R60 lunch pack for the day. Orders should be made on or before August 15  at antwoorde@yahoo.com or by calling  Udo at 082 730 3933. Delegates are also welcome to bring their own lunch or to visit the restaurants at the nearby Centurion Mall. More information about the conference is available online.

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