Biola faculty goes on the road for apologetics lecture series

Several Biola faculty will embark on a traveling apologetics lecture series called “Biola On the Road.”

Jackie Grade, Writer

Several of Biola’s faculty members are en route for the “Biola On the Road” lecture series to proclaim the gospel through apologetics over the next three months. A handful of the faculty, such as apologetics professor Craig Hazen, have left campus to introduce the rest of the country to methods of apologetics. Since Biola is known for its strong suit in Christian apologetics, the apologetics department has decided to share Biola’s biblically based philosophy in these conferences.

Starting last weekend, Biola is partnering with Bayside Church, Centre Street Church and Christ Fellowship Church to host apologetics conferences in Sacramento; Calgary, Canada; Alberta, Canada; and Palm Beach, Fla.

Maria Zalesky, director of alumni relations at Biola, was part of the team hosting dinner at the Sacramento conference for around 110 alumni, family, friends and faculty during Friday night’s conference.

“I am impressed with the partnership between departments,” Zalesky said.

Zalesky said she has enjoyed putting this together because of the unity the admissions and apologetics department has had with those who have registered to attend this conference.

"Secular culture is encroaching on church territory"

Hazen, founder and director of the Christian apologetics program at Biola and one of the speakers at the conferences, said he is excited about introducing the country to what Biola does, as well as expanding people’s views of Christian philosophy and apologetics.

“Secular culture is encroaching on church territory and pastors are turning to knowledge experts more and more,” Hazen said. “There are people who come to conferences like these who are unfamiliar and wary of the ‘high and noble Christian teaching.’”

But by the end of the conference, a whole new world opens up to them, according to Hazen.

“You see them gain confidence to share their faith and live big for Jesus,” he said. Hazen also mentioned that people were surprised to hear that they can defend the gospel by revealing the factual evidence backing apologetics.

All-star list to join conference

With each new city, different speakers from across the country join the conference. J.P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, and Kevin Lewis are just a few among many speakers attending, Hazen said.

Dena Davidson, the Thrive Apologetics conference director at Bayside Church in Sacramento, said that Bayside co-hosted with Biola and served more than 2,000 registered attendees Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23. As a Biola alumna with a Master’s degree in apologetics, Davidson was looking forward to the conference’s analysis of why Christians can confidently put their trust in God and the listeners’ reception to that message.

“I am really excited to have Biola team up with us and I am so blessed to hear from great Christian thinkers and scholars from Biola,” Davidson said.

Bayside Church has hosted apologetics conferences with Biola before; this year they are offering eight different break-out groups where those interested can dig deeper in smaller groups based on the listeners’ interests and questions, Davidson said.

Successful past conferences

In the past, attendees have received these conferences with great zeal, according to Davidson.

“For over 85 percent of those who registered for our conference, it was their first exposure to apologetics,” she said. She continued to say that people at their church, as well as newcomers, crave the material the speakers were presenting.

Davidson said she looks forward to top-of-the-line Christian speakers approaching topics such as whether science has disproved Christianity and the reasonability of Jesus rising from the dead.

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