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Apologetics Movement 'Has Only Just Begun,' says Alex McFarland
By Jeff Schapiro
The apologetics and Christian worldview ministry movement "has only just begun" as American churches take note of the evidence for Christianity and the importance of sharing it with others, says Alex McFarland, an organizer of the Truth for a New Generation (TNG) 2013 conference held last weekend.
"The fact that people would come from 35 states to hear essentially a two-day theology lecture, it shows a couple of things: Number one, how hungry people are spiritually. And number two, I think, how concerned people are about the spiritual condition of our nation. But number three, how willing people are to learn and become equipped to defend the faith," McFarland told CP.
TNG, which was held at Northside Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., was presented by North Greenville University and McFarland, who serves as the director of the university's Center for Christian Worldview and Apologetics.
"A lot of Christians these days are very discouraged," he said. "The culture seems irreparably damaged, but...we didn't get where we are overnight, and apart from a miracle of God we're not going to get back overnight."
Fewer than 2,000 people attended the conference, but despite the less-than-hoped-for attendance numbers, McFarland says he was "elated" with the event.
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One positive aspect of the conference, for example, was more than half of those in attendance were under the age of 18. Mark Mittelberg, TNG conference speaker and author of Confident Faith: Building a Firm Foundation for Your Beliefs, told CP in an email that it is "gratifying" to see so many young people learning alongside adults at the events.
"The TNG Conference and others like it are vital because we live in a world that tells us to 'question everything' -- especially if what we believe is biblical or Christian," he said. "Young people in particular see their faith being undermined in the culture -- through the media, music, movies, television, teachers, textbooks, blogs, websites, and the list keeps growing."
"Where are we compensating for this pervasive anti-faith influence?" he continued. "Hopefully in our homes and churches -- but often we need extra help from teachers who specialize in addressing the intellectual challenges that are coming at us, and who can use this information to build up the faith of Christ-followers of every age…
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