Where Science and Faith Converge
  • AMPed Up

    by Aaron Kenny | Dec 06, 2017

    By Raymond Usell - RTB San Diego, CA Chapter

    My wife and I attended AMP Conference in 2015 and 2016, and only missed 2017 due to last minute illness. The reason we go is impact. AMP builds confidence, strategic awareness, and helps one develop an action plan. Here is how it affected me.

    Personal testimonies in many of the speakers’ talks revealed an amazing array of diverse paths to effectiveness. They showed me I could start by building upon my background and interests. I have a PhD in science, a law degree, and am somewhat of a bookworm. The impressive speakers showed me I needed to sharpen my apologetic thinking and communication skills. I took three RTB online classes as a result of this conviction. The discussion forums and weekly essays required are great learning vehicles.

    At AMP 2016, J. Warner Wallace sparked the idea that my legal training would make his apologetic approach a natural fit for me. I bought his books during the next break in between speaker sessions. And, thanks to the teaching aids Wallace freely provides, I was equipped to teach a five-week entry-level apologetics class for Maranatha Bible College based on Wallace’s book, Cold-Case Christianity. I supplemented the content with materials from RTB and other sources. Students liked it. The science content sparked student interest in science-based apologetics.

    I’m also currently proposing a course to address the disharmony within God’s kingdom over the age of the earth. (A fellow officer in the RTB San Diego, CA Chapter attends a church dominated by young-earth proponents and has stated that some get hostile at the mention of the old-earth position.) I recently went to the Creation and Earth History Museum and talked with folks about my idea of developing a science-based apologetics class team co-taught by a young-earth creationist and an old-earth creationist. They loved the idea! The following is from a draft syllabus:

    This course introduces science-based advocacy, defense, and dialogue concerning Judeo-Christian truth claims. It exemplifies the sentiments of Christian theologian Rupertus Meldenius’s quote “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” For purposes of this course, “essentials” means concepts directly related to salvation, the nature of God, the nature of man, the relationship between them, and consistency with the Bible (John 17:3).

    After attending AMP, I can attest to the truth of Hugh Ross’s AMP lecture comment, “. . . to the effect that when you are prepared, the Holy Spirit will bring the opportunities to you.”

  • Gearing Up for AMP 2018

    by Aaron Kenny | Dec 06, 2017

    by Hugh and Kathy Ross

    Conversation—perhaps more than ever—seems the key to effective evangelism and equipping today, especially among young people. Have you noticed this change? We’re convinced the future of the church in North America depends on recognizing the value of dialogue and incorporating questions and discussion into our worship gatherings.

    We’re all familiar with the depiction of teens and young adults as “plugged in and tuned out.” Research certainly does suggest a shortening of attention spans with each new generation of tech devices that are released (now way beyond the simple cell phones we two are still learning to use!). However, it’s also clear that no amount of digital communication can fill the hunger for meaningful interaction. We recently observed this hunger in a personal way, and the experience has given us a bright ray of hope.

    A few days ago, we met in a friend’s home with a youth pastor, his wife, and a group of collegians, some of whom are involved in church and others, not, but invited by friends. No particular topic was announced, just an offer to discuss whatever questions were on the students’ minds. We also let them know how helpful it would be for us to hear what challenges they face, what kinds of comments, attitudes, and questions they hear from their professors and peers. At first the questions focused on science-and-Bible issues. Then, during and after dinner, the conversation transitioned into deeper and more personal concerns. After six hours, our voices began to give out, and yet we were energized.

    We hope this gives you a clear understanding of our plans for AMP Conference 2018. In addition to the Pre-AMP VIP Experience, an opportunity to share a meal and begin conversations, our team has planned for a gathering after AMP called Continue the Conversation. Here, you can dive deeper into topics the AMP speakers address, discussing them at a personal level that will affect our thoughts and attitudes and actions in the days, months, and years ahead. For you, Continue the Conversation may spark ideas for future chapter meetings, outreach activities, and will certainly benefit your personal enrichment. If you’re looking for a time of energizing fellowship, we hope you’ll register for AMP Conference 2018, the Pre-AMP VIP Experience, and Continue the Conversation. We’ll see you there!

  • Clarifying RTB’s Position

    by Aaron Kenny | Nov 01, 2017

    by Hugh and Kathy Ross

    Have you noticed the proliferation of apologetics voices—and ministries? Now that the church sees the glaring need to provide “reasons” for our seemingly anachronistic beliefs and convictions, the apologetics bandwagon is rolling. Perspectives on creation, evolution, and divine revelation seem to be multiplying just as rapidly, if not more so. Pastors, seminarians, and other Bible teachers have come under increasing pressure to relinquish their “outdated” stance on Scripture, particularly on the historical and scientific accuracy of the early chapters of Genesis. “Inerrancy” has become a taboo term in many circles, and the diligent work of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy has dropped off the radar of many or most pastors and seminaries.

    Amid this swirling controversy and rising confusion, the Reasons to Believe scholar team sat down together, with cameras rolling and Krista Bontrager moderating, to clarify where the ministry stands on certain core issues. This new DVD, Creation, Evolution, and Biblical Inerrancy, will be released this month, and we trust you will find it eminently useful in your chapter’s outreach and equipping activities this coming year. With you in mind, our communications team generated a set of discussion questions to go with the DVD. You can take your group through the video and these questions at whatever pace best suits the needs and interests of the people you’re engaging with.

    You may also want to use this resource as a way to introduce RTB to people who know little or nothing about the ministry or who’ve heard distorted opinions about who we are and what we believe. You’ll appreciate the fact that each scholar plays a significant part in expressing RTB’s approach and position. So, the viewer gains a wide-angle view of our scholar-evangelist team and of how respectfully the ministry addresses topics at the center of intense debate, topics around which believers seem increasingly polarized. We’ll gladly provide a complimentary copy of Creation, Evolution, and Biblical Inerrancy to any chapter that commits to use it for outreach and equipping.

  • Preparing for RTB Chapter Connection Point

    by Aaron Kenny | Nov 01, 2017

    by Bryan Rohrenbacher

    For the first time, Reasons to Believe will utilize YouTube’s live stream capability for a special chapter event we are calling RTB Chapter Connection Point. This will be broadcasted on Saturday, January 20 from 9 to 11:30 AM (PT). The program will include introductions to several departments at RTB, a special presentation by Kathy Ross, and a Q&A session. The goal is to get your chapter more connected and show you the role chapters play in our ministry.

    I would like your chapters to meet and experience this event as a community, so plan on hosting this event like you would a normal chapter meeting. The link for the stream will be sent out two weeks prior to the event and again the day before. While we are taking care of the content, there is still going to be some work needed on your side. Here are a few steps to help you prepare for RTB Chapter Connection Point.

    1. Location: The first step is securing a meeting location with a good internet connection. You will also want to make sure your room has a large TV or projector. I know this is not the normal meeting time for many chapters, so you might need to find a different location for this event. Start looking into this ASAP!
    2. Promotion: It might be early, and most of us are still trying to figure out our holiday plans, but start talking about this event with your chapter. Announce it at chapter meetings, bring it up during the fellowship time, send emails, and post it on social media. We want to make sure everyone knows about RTB Chapter Connection Point, so talk about it every chance you get.
    3. Food: One of my high school teachers once told us, “You can’t throw a good party without food.” I encourage you to heed this advice and plan on feeding your chapter. For many of you, this event will go through lunchtime and I don’t want anyone passing out from hunger. You can use your chapter’s stipend, and we are giving each chapter some extra funds to help cover the cost of food for this event. You can also have members chip in to cater lunch or consider hosting a potluck. To find out how much your chapter has in its stipend account, please email me at brohrenbacher@reasons.org.

    I would like to have every chapter watch the program live, but I understand it may not fit in everyone’s schedule. So, we will be recording the event and releasing the video at a later date. There is no need to register, but please contact me if you plan to participate in the live stream and keep track of your chapter’s attendance as best you can. We hope you all enjoy RTB Chapter Connection Point, and please feel free to contact me with any questions.

  • Reasons.org Revamped

    by Aaron Kenny | Oct 09, 2017

    by Karina Rodriguez – RTB Marketing Coordinator

    Each year, Reasons to Believe produces a plethora of faith-affirming resources—from books to DVDs and beyond—that give people newer insights to the integration of science and faith. Chapters, in turn, use this content to reach those in their communities. But did you know that one of our most significant evangelistic tools is our website? Still, as useful as our website has been over the years, we knew it needed some refining. We’re thrilled to announce that reasons.org has been completely revamped!

    See for yourself what new aspects await you! We enhanced our interface and usability with you in mind. You can now create your own account for a more personal experience. Once your new account is established, purchases, payment information, and giving records will be available from this point forward. You can also use your account to update your information, set up a Monthly Partner recurring gift, or change your giving amount.

    Here’s another change—one we know you were really hoping for: better search capabilities! Our website has been revamped to create a simpler and more comprehensive search experience, making it easier for you to explore our blogs, podcasts, webstore, and more.

    On our home page, you’ll find stories of real people who gained confidence in their faith through their interactions with RTB. Take time to browse their stories and see what resources helped them on their faith journey. You never know when you’ll run into someone who might benefit from those same resources.

    Here are some tips for how your chapter can play a role in the launch of our new website:

    • Take a moment to go through this quick tutorial at your next chapter meeting for those who may need more help navigating our new website.
    • Explore the site with your chapter to review our new offerings.
    • Share reasons.org with someone you know. Tell a friend, or share it on Facebook or Twitter.

    Thank you for being part of RTB’s mission and vision. We hope you enjoy exploring our new website and discovering all-new reasons to believe!

  • The Joy of Volunteering

    by Aaron Kenny | Oct 09, 2017

    Jim Reeverts – RTB Rochester, NY Chapter

    If you were to ask me what it’s like to volunteer at an RTB event, I’d say the word “enriching” immediately comes to mind: enriching perspectives and an enriching sense of partnership make for a personally enriching experience.

    The first time attending or volunteering may be intimidating—but only for a short time. In my experience, it isn’t too long before someone reveals a similar interest or experience. Then conversation blends into camaraderie, and nervous smiles give way to genuine banter while carrying out a common task. I recently experienced this while volunteering at RTB’s Solar Eclipse Experience. The moment I saw Ken Hultgren, Jeff Zweerink, and Bryan Rohrenbacher, I felt a connection from having worked together before. Our time at the eclipse event built on that foundation. We talked about our families, our common interests, and how to pray for each other. It soon felt like we had never been apart. Meeting Perry, Dan, and several others at this event reinforced my expectation that future RTB events will be as enriching as this one has been.

    Volunteering at events like the Solar Eclipse Experience can stimulate and deepen your perspective on the science-faith endeavor. RTB scholars offer fresh integration of new scientific information into their testable creation model. Sometimes their insights about God’s creation can stimulate praise to our Lord. For instance, the evening before the eclipse, Apologetics Community members Dan Bakken and Rick Vargo prepped us for the event, sharing the intricacies of telescope preparation and details about eclipse orbital mechanics. I was not prepared for how the thrill of anticipation welling up within me—and others—would overflow into praise and worship! Comments of adoration for our Lord surged through the group as we looked forward to seeing a total solar eclipse. That wonderful participation in spontaneous worship—based on a deeper appreciation for God’s creation—is just one of many meaningful aspects of RTB events!

    For me, the most enriching part of volunteering is what serving does for my soul—a fulfilling sense of being a true part of the body of Christ. In volunteering this time, serving food became a means of grace: for me, for the team, and for the participants. It gave me the chance to embody the Christian grace of hospitality. Believe it or not, cooking eggs and filling juice pitchers cemented an even deeper connection with RTBers; I was coming to appreciate and care about them! It occurred to me that giving in this way enables events like this to thrive; it’s like I got to be part of the team. I became more than a participant, I became a hands-on partner in the mission of RTB.

    There are many ways to volunteer at RTB events. When you get the chance—and sense God’s nudge to volunteer—I encourage you to take the opportunity to do so at an RTB event. (Visit the Volunteer Opportunities page for more info.) You won’t regret it!

What's Holding You Back?

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About Reasons to Believe

RTB's mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

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