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OBU to host ‘Generation Why?’ conference

The Shawnee News-Star
Dr. Tawa Anderson, associate professor of philosophy and organizer of the Generation Why conference, speaks during the conference in March 2020.

Students, youth groups, college ministry groups, and others around the state and region are invited to attend the “Generation Why?” youth apologetics conference March 6. The event will take place on the OBU campus in Shawnee. The conference centers around the theme “Reasonable Faith in a Post-Christian Age” and is a one-day-only conference. The conference is designed to equip students to know their faith more deeply and to be prepared and effective in defending the faith.

Registration is now open at okbu.edu/genwhy. Cost is $10 per person, $60 total for a group of 6 to 14 people, or $70 total for a group of 15 or more attendees. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dr. Tawa Anderson, associate professor of philosophy, is the organizer of the Generation Why conference.

“Our second annual Generation 'Why?' apologetics conference will bring a world-class group of diverse scholars and speakers to Bison Hill. GenWhy will strengthen the confidence of young Christians in the truth of their faith and equip students to defend their faith persuasively and winsomely. As society continues to become more secular and post-Christian, it is even more essential for all believers to know why they believe what they believe, and to ‘always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks them the reason for the hope that they have’ (1 Peter 3:15).”

In addition to far-reaching plenary sessions, Generation Why will feature breakout sessions tackling questions of race and sexuality, science and faith, beauty and imagination, contemporary concerns, and objections to Christianity.

The conference will kick-off with worship led by 519 Collective, OBU’s premiere gospel and CCM music group. The first plenary session will be led by Mark Lanier, titled “Christianity on Trial: Faith Takes the Witness Stand.” Lanier is an attorney, organizer of the Christian Trial Lawyers Association, Bible teacher and author. His books include “Christianity on Trial,” “Psalms for Living: Daily Prayers, Wisdom, and Guidance,” and “Torah for Living.” He is the founder of the Lanier Theological Library, one of the nation’s largest collections for serious theological research and study.

The first breakout session includes five options. Dr. Mario Melendez, assistant professor of Old Testament and biblical studies and Auguie Henry Chair of Old Testament, will lead a session on “What Do We Do When Archaeology Seems to Contradict the Bible?” Dr. Chris Jones, dean of the Hurley College of Science and Mathematics, will lead “The Christian Faith of the Gas Law Guru, Robert Boyle.” Michael McAfee, president and co-founder of Inspire Experiences and teaching pastor at Council Road Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, will lead the session “Bible Problems: Answering Questions of the Reliability and Relevance of Scripture.”

Dr. Lindsey Panxhi, director of the Honors Program and assistant professor of English, will lead “C. S. Lewis and the Christian Imagination: An Argument from Desire.” Lisa Fields, founder and president of the Christian apologetics organization the Jude 3 Project, will lead the session on “Christian Apologetics, Race and Sexuality.”

Fields will also lead the second plenary session, “A Faith that Can Be Tested” (or “A Faith that Can’t Be Tested Can’t Be Trusted”). Fields is one of the world’s most sought-after Christian apologists. Through the Jude 3 Project, she has a calling to help black Christians know what they believe and why. She is a graduate of the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Science in communications and religious studies, and Liberty University with a Master of Divinity with a focus in theology.

The second breakout session includes five more sessions. Lanier will lead a session titled “Objection! Can That God Really Exist?” Dr. Michael Strauss, David Ross Boyd Professor of Physics at the University of Oklahoma, will lead the session “A Scientist Examines Modern Science, Apologetics and Christian Witness.” Abdu Murray, senior vice president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and the author of four books, will lead the session “They All Can’t Be True: Christ’s Uniqueness in a World of Spiritual Options.”

Paige Lehrmann, an OBU graduate with a double major in mathematics and philosophy with an apologetics emphasis, will lead the session, “A Beautiful Mind? A Probabilistic Argument for God from Beauty.” Dr. Robert Stewart, professor of philosophy and theology, Greer-Heard Chair of Faith and Culture, and chair of the Institute of Christian Apologetics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, will lead the session “What the Bible Says about Gay Marriage.”

OBU’s vocal ensemble True Voice will then lead the conference attendees in worship before the final plenary session of the day. Murray will lead this session, titled “The Cross and the Cancel Culture.”

To register, view full speaker bios, or for more information, visit okbu.edu/genwhy.

For more information about OBU, visit okbu.edu.