AMPed Up

AMPed Up

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.”