By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
SHALLOTTE — College is often considered the “marketplace of ideas” — an environment to challenge students’ thinking and help them find out where they fit. But if your teen shows up there without a strong grasp of the truth, what ideas will he have to offer? Or perhaps more frightening, what beliefs will he be willing to buy?
Organizers of the Coastal Christian Worldview Weekend set for Saturday, Sept. 11, at First Baptist Church of Shallotte, are offering a chance for students to prepare themselves to take a stand for God’s truth.
“Challenges to a distinctly Christian worldview are proliferating in our culture, and many Christians are simply not well-equipped to address these issues and to respond to challenges to their faith,” said the Rev. Bob Weathers, pastor of First Baptist of Shallotte. “We want to encourage and equip Christians to answer challenges to the Christian worldview and to participate in a ministry of pre-evangelism (apologetics) as the Lord might give them an opportunity.”
Though open to everyone, the conference is especially designed to meet the needs of students and their parents.
“Churches lose young adults to competing worldviews at an alarming rate and college students especially face challenges to their faith that they never anticipated,” Dr. Weathers added.
The one-day event will feature Dr. Mike Licona, apologetics coordinator at the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the nation’s most sought-after speakers in Christian apologetics.
Breakout sessions — of which attendees may choose three — will include: • “Why Worldviews Matter to You,” with Dr. Tony Beam, columnist, radio host, and Director of the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University.
• “Christianity in College (aka, The Marketplace of Ideas),” with Randy Hardman, Founder and Co-Director of Ratio Christi: Student Apologetics Alliance.
• “What Do I Say When My Friend Is Gay?,” with Dr. Dennis Long, Director of Missions for the Wilmington Baptist Association.
• “Answering Skeptics,” with Bill Foster, author of Meet the Skeptic: A New Model for Handling Objections and Informing Your Faith.
• “Will He Lose His Faith?: Helping Your Student Stay Christian in College,” for parents, with Dr. Bob Weathers, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Shallotte and adjunct professor of philosophy for Liberty University Online.
• “Dusting for Fingerprints: How Evidence for Intelligent Design Stumps the Skeptics,” with Barry Byrd, Pastor of Judson Baptist Church and Certified Apologetics Instructor with the North American Mission Board.
• “How To Know a Cult When You See One,” with Dr. Chris Partin, Pastor of Plymouth Church in Raleigh and author of Apologetix: Equipping Generation Next.
Dr. Licona’s topics will be: “Is the Bible Reliable?” and “Is Jesus the Only Way?”
Organizers said that in planning the event they intentionally sought speakers and leaders with six qualifications: expertise in a relevant field, a deep love for Christ, a love for students and families, a passion for evangelism, practical experience in apologetics and excellent communication skills.
“They are engaging speakers and creative teachers. This will not be boring and it is not an academic conference,” Dr. Weathers said. “It is designed with everyday Christians in mind.”
Worship will be led by The Fringe with Scott Riley, minister of families and youth at Calvary Baptist in Shallotte.
Advance registration is $15 for students and $25 for others. Admission will be $30 at the door. Breakfast will run from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and the conference is set to close at 4 p.m. Students who register by Aug. 1 will get a copy of Alex McFarland’s “Stand Strong: In College.”
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is partnering with First Baptist on the conference. Marty Dupree, team leader for the Evangelism Division of the Convention, was instrumental in its development and is working with the church to promote it among senior pastors, youth pastors, church leaders and parents.
Dr. Weathers said setting the event in September, just after the end of vacation season, should allow for more housing to be available at the coast, but that it will still be warm enough so that attendees can enjoy recreation opportunities.
For more details or for a registration form, see www.ccwvw.com.