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Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. -Jude 3, ESV-
Save the Dates: January 27-29, 2023
In recent years, Christians are encountering a hostile cultural climate. Our faith, once the bedrock of society, has lost respect. People are not indifferent towards Christians—they are indignant, both as a people and the beliefs we hold. Attacks have come even from within our ranks. And yet, the New Testament letter of Jude exhorts us to CONTEND for this Christian faith. What are we to do?
We must be prepared to respond.
On January 27-29, 2023, MBC hosted our first ever “CONTEND” Conference. This event is part of our Underground Sessions ministry, which seeks to model and equip Christians to have conversations in tough areas, particularly politics and culture. The focus of this weekend was equipping believers in the area of APOLOGETICS, so they can respond with love, grace, and boldness to the challenges of the day. On Saturday evening, we put this into practice by hosting an Underground Sessions event answering the toughest questions of today’s culture.
The word, “contend” is both a military and athletic term—it implies a struggle. Jude is exhorting his readers to preserve the faith. The purpose of this conference was just that—equipping followers of Christ to answer the tough questions, raise up a confident next generation, and engage the marketplace with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
6pm – Bookstore, Food, Connections Lounge
7pm – Conference Open, Worship
7:20pm – Welcome Address: “Contending For the Faith” (Bob Erbig)
7:35pm – SESSION ONE: “Mama Bear Apologetics” (TEASI CANNON)
8:45pm – Worship, Next Day Activities
9pm – Dessert Social
9:15pm – BREAKOUT: “Mama Bears After Party” (TEASI CANNON & Mama Bears ONLY)
8am – Bookstore, Food, Connections Lounge
9am – Day Two Open, Worship
9:20am – Short Talk: “Apologetics and Kids” (Rachel Rickershauser)
9:35am- SESSION TWO: “Cultural Apologetics” (PAUL GOULD)
10:45am – BREAK
11am – Short Talk: “Apologetics and Teens” (Johnny Graves)
11:15am – SESSION THREE: “Cultural Intelligence” (DARRELL BOCK)
12:30pm – LUNCH!
1:30-3pm – BREAKOUT TRACKS (Local Leaders)
6:00pm – LIGHT DINNER!
6:30-8:30pm – UNDERGROUND SESSIONS Outreach Event (Teasi, Paul, Darrell)
- 10 Minute Talks + Roundtable
- Theme: Answering Today’s Toughest Questions
8:30pm – DESSERT SOCIAL
9am – PAUL GOULD – “Beauty in Exile” Exodus 31:1-11
10:15am – Bookstore, Lounge and Food available in Fellowship Hall Ministry Center.
10:45am – DARRELL BOCK – “Having Profitable Difficult Conversations” – James 1:19-20
12:15-12:45pm – Bookstore available in Fellowship Hall Ministry Center.
Teasi Cannon is a wife, mother, teacher, author, and lifelong learner who loves to share this truth: God is real and good, and He never fails.
A desire to strengthen her personal understanding—coupled with a passion to share real hope with those who need it most—led Teasi to obtain a master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty Theological Seminary. She is a confessed book addict who can’t get enough of apologetics and theology, and when she’s not spending time with her family, you can find her sitting on her favorite spot of the couch with a book in one hand and a hot mug of coffee in the other.
Teasi lives south of Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and best friend Bill. They have three amazing children who all grew up far too quickly and a new son-in-law who supplies all the board games for family fun.
Paul M. Gould is an associate professor of philosophy of religion and director of the M.A. Philosophy of Religion program at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Gould earned his doctorate in philosophy from Purdue University. He is the author or editor of ten scholarly and popular-level books including Cultural Apologetics, Philosophy: A Christian Introduction, and The Story of the Cosmos. He has been a visiting scholar at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School’s Henry Center, working on the intersection of science and faith, and is the founder and president of the Two Tasks Institute. He is a widely sought-after speaker in apologetics and philosophy. He speaks regularly at universities, churches and ministries around the country, including Summit Ministries, the C.S. Lewis Institute and the Evangelical Philosophical Society’s annual apologetics conference. He is married to Ethel and has four children.
Dr. Bock has earned recognition as a Humboldt Scholar (Tübingen University in Germany), is the author of over 40 books, including well-regarded commentaries on Luke and Acts and studies of the historical Jesus, and work in cultural engagement as host of the seminary’s Table Podcasts. He was president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) from 2000 to 2001, served as a consulting editor for Christianity Today, and serves on the boards of Wheaton College and Chosen People Ministries. His articles appear in leading publications. He is often an expert for the media on NT issues. Dr. Bock has been a New York Times best-selling author in nonfiction; serves as a staff consultant for Bent Tree Fellowship Church in Carrollton, TX; and is elder emeritus at Trinity Fellowship Church in Dallas. When traveling overseas, he will tune into the current game involving his favorite teams from Houston—live—even in the wee hours of the morning. Married for over 40 years to Sally, he is a proud father of two daughters and a son and is also a grandfather.
“Mama Bear Apologetics” (TEASI CANNON) The youngest and most vulnerable members of the Church are growing up in a society that is vastly different than the one in which many of us grew up. While unbiblical ideas aren’t new, their accessibility, volume, and frequency are. It’s been said we are navigating a battle of ideas, many of which strategically target the next generation of Christians, tossing them in an onslaught of animosity, skepticism, and sophisticated arguments that seek to demolish their faith. That’s where Mama Bears come in. And Papa Bears … and any Bears who love all our cubs and are willing to do what it takes to shore up our own faith so we can help them trust the authority of God’s Word, sort through the noise, and cling to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
“Cultural Apologetics” (PAUL GOULD) Christianity has an image problem. No one wants to hear what we have to say. All too often our lives are fragmented and unlovely. And we generally don’t see the world any different than anyone else. As a result we’ve lost the Christian voice, the Christian conscience, and the Christian imagination. The gospel is often viewed as unreasonable or undesirable or both. In our time together we’ll explore this question: Given this cultural moment, with all its challenges, how can the gospel get a fair hearing? To answer our question, we’ll take a look at Paul’s encounter with the Greeks in Athens and then apply our insights to this day and this age.
“Cultural Intelligence” (DARRELL BOCK) How do we have cultural intelligence in a culture that is so pluralistic and contentious? How we see the challenge will determine how we approach it. Our weekend will give a fresh biblical look at how we should see our engagement, especially with those who are not a part of the church. We have no theology of cultural engagement in the church and we need it. We hope to give you a way of approaching engagement that is biblical and practical by looking specifically at 6 core texts and also how to have difficult conversations. We hope you can join us and be equipped.
“Lord, Where’s My Calling: When the Big Question Becomes the Big Distraction” (TEASI CANNON) This session will focus on understanding the difference between a calling and your divinely designed purpose. Once we get this paradigm shift, it can change our life today and forever—as well as how we represent our faith to others.
“Seeing Suffering as an Apologetic Opportunity” (PASTOR BOB AND AMANDA ERBIG) We live in a broken world and everyone experiences pain at some point in their lives. When the trials come, and they will, we have a choice: do we get angry at God? Or do we show others our hope in Christ despite suffering? While it is important to find healing in the midst of pain, these moments are also opportunities to grieve with people who have walked our same path. In this session, we will discuss how our suffering can be seen and used as an effective opportunity to point people to the hope we have in Christ.
“Evangelism to Muslims” (AMOON SHARON)
“Navigating Your Faith In The Workplace” (JESSE NASH) For many of us, the vast majority of time spent with unbelievers, and our closest connection with those who need Christ happens at work. What does God ask of us in terms of fulfilling the Great Commission through our interactions at the workplace? How do we navigate tricky relationships and HR issues?
“Sharing Christ with Tibetan Buddhists” (MARK AVERY) Imagine living with the idea that your past lives govern your present options, that black magic is as normal as technology, that a human is as inherently valuable as a worm, and that the only way to pay off your past is to suffer. Imagine a world where you don’t believe Jesus can save you, there is no way to know what will happen to you when you die, and if you ever achieve release from the cycle of rebirth, your ultimate destination is total obliteration. Then imagine the consequence of that worldview on every relationship, commitment, community, and challenge you will ever have. Now, let’s talk about sharing Jesus with a Tibetan Buddhist– a worldview that grew out of Hinduism has deeply affected global “new age” thinking, and is increasingly evident in America today!
“Don’t Have a Debate, Have a Discussion” (STEVEN DISEBASTIAN) Sharing your faith can be difficult, especially in these contentious times. Learn to use a simple technique of asking questions to create spiritual conversations while defusing heated debates.