The Week brought together hundreds of attendees and several well-known Evangelical speakers and teachers. "It was a joy to participate," said JP.
My first workshop was a review of my recent work The God Question.
There were about 120 people packed into a room that held 100, and there were dozens of folks in the hallway who could not get in. I explained how to explore the contemporary rise in depression and concomitant loss of happiness with the shift of ideas from biblical theism to secularism, especially as regards the nature and limits of knowledge. I then offered a précis of the sorts of arguments for God I have found helpful in doing evangelism, I shared a number of illustrations for why people should seek religious truth with their minds and not pragmatic help with their feelings and desires. I closed by offering four criteria for selecting one’s religion and claimed that Christianity satisfies these better than its alternatives. A very stimulating time of Q&A followed.
My second workshop was a review of my other recent book with Klaus Issler entitled In Search of a Confident Faith. Because of the large crowd at my first talk, the room was moved to a small auditorium on campus. About 350 attended. I addressed the nature of faith as confidence or trust, explained that it is based on knowledge (and teased out some important facets of knowledge) and claimed that it comes in degrees. I then explained the difference between vague doubts from the culture’s plausibility structure and specific doubts that can be written down in a paragraph or so, and showed the way to address these different sources of doubt. This was followed by a brief treatment of emotional sources of doubt, e.g, trust issues, woundedness, inability to form attachments and healthy friendships, and I closed by emphasizing the importance for growth in God-confidence of testifying to the things we have seen and heard God do.