Report on the 2009 International Christian Evidence Conference
Messages from the 2009 ICEC are now available individually at the web site at the EFC store, or you can buy the entire conference at www.ipibooks.com
The theme of this year’s International Christian Evidence Conference was "Jesus, the Witness of History." The conference focused on questions about the biblical picture of Jesus as he is presented in the New Testament. We were honored to have Dr. Everett Ferguson, Professor Emeritus from Abilene Christian University and his wife at the conference. Dr. Ferguson presented two classes relevant to the theme of the conference. One was "Is the New Testament Reliable?" This public lecture on Friday PM focused on the historical reliability of the New Testament. It was truly inspiring to hear this lion of scholarly study into church history state publicly "I have opened all the doors," yet he remains confident in the historical reliability of the New Testament. He also taught a class titled, "What Really Happened at the Council of Nicaea?"
Other classes relevant to our theme included a Sunday sermon by John Oakes "Jesus in the Old Testament" as well as an intriguing class titled "Dealing With Competing Pictures of Jesus" by Dr. Robert Kurka and "The Documentary Hypothesis" by Glenn Giles. We also had a very unusual and fun class by Foster Stanback and Arik Greenberg "The Roman Guard and Jesus’ Tomb." Here we got a real feel for the guard at the tomb of Jesus from one whose life’s work has been devoted to this question.
As usual, we had an ecclectic mixture of other presentations at the conference, including a class on Health Science and Design by Dr. Tom Hedman, one titled "Dealing with Doubt" by Dr. Douglas Jacoby and one on the Problem of Pain and Suffering by Dr. John Oakes.
A real highlight of the conference was having the world-renowned scientist and theologian Denis Lamoureux, a professor in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada at the conference. He taught classes on Intelligent Design and possible scientific views of design as well as a wonderful class titled "Beyond the Evolution vs. Creation Debate."
As with the past conferences, the biggest highlight, no doubt, was the debate between Dr. Douglas Jacoby and a world-famous scholar/critic of Christianity. This year Dr. Jacoby debated Dr. Robert Price on the premise, "Jesus: Man, Myth or Messiah?" A review of the debate is at the web site. The debate was lively, and even intense, but it was also quite civil. All I can say is that you HAVE to get the DVD (available at www.ipibooks.com)
We had participants from four countries at the debate–the US, Canada, Mexico and the UK. ARS would like to express great thanks to the Greater Houston Church of Christ for their very gracious hosting of this year’s conference. Much thanks to Toney Mulhollen for promoting the conference and helping with filming and recording all the talks. As usual, the greatest amount of thanks goes to Jan Oakes, who put most of the conference together!
John Oakes 7/7/09