Christian apologist Josh McDowell speaks at conference

by Bill Sherman

Christian apologist Josh McDowell was the keynote speaker Thursday and Friday at the inaugural conference of the institute created in his name at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

“The Josh McDowell Institute is to honor Josh’s legacy as one of the primary apologists of the last 50 years,” OWU President Everett Piper said.

“We’re the only institution he has given his name to.”

McDowell has written or co-authored 138 books, including “More Than a Carpenter,” which sold 15 million copies in 85 languages. He has spoken to 25 million people in 125 countries.

Piper said apologetics is “not saying you’re sorry for the faith” but an intellectual defense of the faith and the Christian world view.

“We want to engage culture, … go into the town square and have a gracious but robust exchange of ideas, and trust that the truth will win.

“We’re promoting the education of the Body of Christ — the church — in how to think through its faith in a post-modern and what many would say is a post-Christian culture,” he said.

He said the institute would offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in apologetics and would hold regular conferences for church leaders and members — a place to “think, debate, talk about the ideas that matter.”

He said other top national leaders in the apologetics movement have expressed interest in the institute.

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McDowell said America today is divided into two distinct cultures, the older generation, which believes that moral truth is something to be discovered, and the younger generation, which believes that moral truth is created.

“For almost all young people, about age 30 and under, moral truth is created,” he said. “It’s all personal opinion. You don’t discover truth. You create truth.”

Young people today believe that truth is relative, that what is truth for one person is not necessarily truth for someone else, he said.

“That’s affecting almost every kid in every church in the world,” he said. “We have been taught and encouraged to be tolerant.”

And tolerant no longer means being respectful of those with different opinions, he said.

The new definition of tolerance means that all opinions are equal, and there is no rational, intelligent way to decide between them, no external reference point, he said.

As a result of this cultural shift, young evangelicals are not sharing Christ…

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Christian apologist Josh McDowell speaks at conference – Tulsa World: Religion