Inaugural Apologetics Conference Looks at Reformed Apologetics

Communications Staff — June 11, 2021

The first annual Southern Seminary Apologetics Institute, a conference examining how Reformed apologetics looks in a secular age, took place May 10-11 at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Featured speakers included Albert Mohler, Timothy Paul Jones, and J. V. Fesko.

Jones, director of Southern’s Center for Christian Apologetics, was happy to see the conference happen after it was postponed from May 2020 due to the pandemic.

“This inaugural Apologetics Institute didn’t take place exactly when or how we expected,” he said. “It was originally scheduled in May 2020, but had to be postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus. Even with the limitations, it was a delight to have a room full of students eager to engage deeply with theologically-grounded apologetics.”

The Institute focused on the question “What does apologetics look like for those whose theology has been shaped by the Reformation?”

The lectures were theologically rich and filled with fresh research. Physical attendees were limited due to the need for social distancing, but the conference reached a wide virtual audience.

Mohler opened the conference at the Monday night session. Jones spoke Tuesday morning on “The Church as an Apologetic Community.” Fesko (PhD, University of Aberdeen), was the keynote speaker and gave a lecture on Tuesday night titled “Reformed Apologetics in a Secular Age.”

Said Fesko, “It was a privilege to deliver lectures for the inauguration of the Apologetics Institute. In our increasingly hostile culture, defending the Word of God from unbelief is a paramount task. I’m so grateful for the work of Dr. Jones, the institute, and Dr. Mohler at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I hope that this conference was but the first installment of many more edifying and informative lecture series that will better equip the church to herald the gospel.”

Beyond the lectures, another highlight was the attendance of John and Karen Piwetz—who donated funds that sustain the center for Christian Apologetics.

Said Jones, “It was their generous gift that made the Apologetics Institute possible.”

“The center serves as a catalyst to position Southern Seminary as the leading institution for the study of apologetics as a theological discipline among believers who recognize the primacy and centrality of biblical inerrancy.”

The Institute was also sponsored by the Dehoney Center for Urban Apologetics. Assistance from the Dehoney Center enabled Apologetics Institute to host Michael Crane and Kevin Jones for special breakout sessions.

“Dr. Mohler’s consistent biblical witness on cultural issues has already positioned Southern Seminary as a leading voice in apologetics,” Jones said. “This year and in the future, the Southern Seminary Apologetics Institute will continue to establish Southern Seminary as the premier institution for the practice and study of theologically-grounded apologetics.”

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