Our annual event

The Ratio Christi
Symposium 2022: Potchefstroom, 18-22 July

Ratio Christi has hosted a symposium annually since 2016. In order to accommodate more students from across the country, we rotate the venue and organisation of the event between our chapters.

This is a conference where students and members of the broader public can hear first class lectures on a variety of topics pertaining to Christianity. Theologians, scientists, philosophers and other experts address typical apologetic and worldview topics as well as issues specific to the South African context.

This symposium also provides a safe and charitable venue for atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and adherents to any religion to explore and interact with Christian ideas.

The symposium provides a unique opportunity for Christian students from across the country to meet and interact with others who also seek to better understand Christianity. It aims to equip and embolden students to effectively engage their contexts with the truth. 

 

If you are interested in attending this year’s Ratio Christi Symposium in Potchefstroom from the 18th to the 22nd of July, please complete the registration form by following the link below.

2022 PROGRAM

DATETIMEVENUESPEAKERTOPIC
18 July7:30-8:30Shofar ChurchTea, Coffee & Registration
8:30-8:45Shofar ChurchSimon BraceWord of Welcome
8:50-10:00 (Plenary Session)ChurchProf. Reitze RodsethEngaging the Transgender Movement
10:00-10:15Tea & Coffee
10:15-11:15 (Breakout Session)ChurchProf. Richard HoweAnswering the Scientific Arguments of Popular Atheism
10:15-11:15 (Breakout Session)HallKarnu Van HeerdenWhat in the World is a Worldview?
11:15-11:30Tea & Coffee
11:30-12:30 (Breakout Session)ChurchDr. Ross HicklingJesus and the Myth Busters
11:30-12:30 (Breakout Session)HallPierre Le RouxThe Origin of Life
12:30-14:00Lunch
14:00-16:00Break
16:00-17:00 (Breakout Session)ChurchMike WillenborgIf God is Good, Why is there Evil?
16:00-17:00 (Breakout Session)HallDr. Albert CoetseeAn Answer to Dwindling Faith Commitment from the Book of Hebrews
17:10-18:00 (Breakout Session)ChurchDr. Ross HicklingAre there Contradictions in the Gospels?
17:10-18:00 (Breakout Session)HallProf. Richard HoweRelativism and Truth
18:00-19:30Dinner
19:30-21:15 (Plenary Session)ChurchProf. Reitze RodsethThe Deleterious Effects of Pornography
19 July8:00-8:50Shofar ChurchTea & Coffee
8:50-10:00 (Plenary Session)ChurchProf. Reitze RodsethWhat is It? A Christian Response to the Abortion Debate
10:00-10:15Tea & Coffee
10:15-11:15 (Breakout Session)ChurchKarnu Van HeerdenThink Like you Mean it: The Importance of Logical Thinking for Christian Families
10:15-11:15 (Breakout Session)HallProf. Richard HoweWhat About all those Religions out there?
11:15-11:30Tea & Coffee
11:30-12:30 (Plenary Session)ChurchDr. Ross HicklingThe Modern Hook-up Culture
12:30-14:00Lunch
14:00-16:00Break
16:00-17:00 (Breakout Session)ChurchFazel FreeksThe Problem of Fatherlessness
16:00-17:00 (Breakout Session)HallMike WillenborgAnswering the Arguments in Favour of Abortion
17:10-18:00 (Plenary Session)HallNel BraceLove and Truth
18:00-19:30Dinner
19:30-21:15 (Plenary Session)HallSimon Brace, Nel Brace, Dr. Ross Hickling, Prof. Richard Howe, Fazel Freeks, Dr. Daniel Maritz, Dr. Louise Mabille & Karnu van HeerdenThe Social Justice Movement and its Attack on the Family
20 July8:00-8:50Shofar ChurchTea & Coffee
8:50-10:00 (Plenary Session)ChurchProf. Richard HoweThe Word of Faith Movement
10:00-10:15Tea & Coffee
10:15-11:15 (Breakout Session)ChurchProf. Henk StokerThe Cults and Conscience
10:15-11:15 (Breakout Session)HallDr. Daniël MaritzThe Theological Traits of Cults
11:15-11:30Tea & Coffee
11:30-12:30 (Breakout Session)ChurchSimon BraceThe ZCC and the Zionist Movement in South Africa
11:30-12:30 (Breakout Session)HallProf. Richard HoweModern Satanism: It May Not be What you Think
12:30-14:00Lunch
14:00-16:00Break
16:00-17:00 (Breakout Session)ChurchXolisa MatroseThe Influence of Traditional African Religion on the Church
16:00-17:00 (Breakout Session)HallMike WillenborgThe Jewish Roots Movement
17:10-18:00 (Breakout Session)ChurchXolisa MatroseThe African Traditional Religion View of God
17:10-18:00 (Breakout Session)HallProf. Richard HoweThe New Age Movement
18:00-19:30Dinner
19:30-21:15 (Plenary Session)ChurchProf. Henk Stoker & Jaco RoetsDie Boerseun van Migdol, Witteologie en Israelvisie
21 July8:00-8:50Shofar ChurchTea & Coffee
8:50-10:00 (Plenary Session)ChurchSimon BraceMarxism and the Social Justice Movement
10:00-10:15Tea & Coffee
10:15-11:15 (Plenary Session)ChurchProf. Richard HoweAn Ethical Theory Based on Natural Law
11:15-11:30Tea & Coffee
11:30-12:30 (Breakout Session)ChurchChris HattinghTowards South Africa's Tipping Point
11:30-12:30 (Breakout Session)HallDr. Daniël MaritzSocial Justice God's Way
12:30-14:00Lunch
14:00-16:00Break
16:00-17:00 (Breakout Session)ChurchMartin Van StadenThe Constitution and the Rule of Law
16:00-17:00 (Breakout Session)HallMike WillenborgIn Defense of Self-defense
17:10-18:00 (Breakout Session)ChurchMark OppenheimerCritical Theory and Jurisprudence in South African Law
17:10-18:00 (Breakout Session)HallDr. Louise MabilleJean-Jacques Rousseau and his Influence on Contemporary Politics
18:00-19:30Dinner
19:30-21:15 (Plenary Session)ChurchMark Oppenheimer, Martin Van Staden, Chris Hattingh, Dr. Louise Mabille, Mike Willenborg, Prof. Richard Howe & Dr. Ross HicklingSouth Africa, Freedom and Julius Malema
22 July8:00-8:30Shofar ChurchTea & Coffee
8:30-9:30 (Plenary Session)ChurchDr. Ross HicklingOn the Importance of Eyewitness Testimonies in the Gospels
9:30-9:45Tea & Coffee
9:45-10:45 (Breakout Session)ChurchSimon BraceEvangelism and the New Testament
9:45-10:45 (Breakout Session)HallProf. Richard HoweRelativism, Faith, and Reason
10:45-11:00Tea & Coffee
11:00-12:00 (Breakout Session)ChurchDr. Ross HicklingThe Resurrection of Jesus
11:00-12:00 (Breakout Session)HallProf. Richard HoweOn the Existence of God
12:15-14:00 (Plenary Session)ChurchProf. Richard Howe, Dr. Ross Hickling & Mike WillenborgQuestion & Answer Panel
14:00-18:00Afternoon Bring & Braai
18:15-21:15 (Plenary Session)ChurchDr. Ross HicklingApologetics games

SPEAKERS

Nel Brace

Nel Brace grew up and matriculated in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Stellenbosch, she taught in London for six years. She completed a Master’s degree at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES) in the USA and now serves on the national staff of Ratio Christi South Africa. Through this work she strives to be a witness to those who do not know Christ and to be part of the resurgence of Christian thinking on university campuses and in the church at large. She is married to Simon Brace and they have 5 children – Eva, Olivia, Cai, Jannes and Ruben.

Simon Brace

Simon is the National Director of Ratio Christi South Africa and also serves as the Chapter Director at the North West University in Potchefstroom. Born in Zimbabwe, Simon moved to South Africa where he completed his matric and gained a diploma in Land Surveying from Durban University of Technology. Simon also holds a BA in Theology and MA in Apologetics and Philosophy from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Simon was also involved with the founding and establishment of Ratio Christi while working at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES) and has served as the President and Chairman of the Board of Ratio Christi. He is currently a Ratio Christi Board member.

Albert Coetsee

Albert Coetsee is a lecturer at the Faculty of Theology of the North-West University. His research interests are the book of Hebrews and the book of Deuteronomy, as well as the possible influence and effect of the book of Deuteronomy in Hebrews. He also teaches biblical hermeneutics, and has a special love for teaching principles of biblical interpretation. He is married to Lulu, and they have four boys.

Chris Hattingh

Chris Hattingh is Senior Policy Analyst at the Centre For Risk Analysis (CRA). Chris has a special interest in trade and economic policy and is a member of the advisory council of the Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity, as well as a Senior Fellow at African Liberty. He holds an MPhil degree from Stellenbosch University.

Ross Hickling

One of the first things that I realized when working as a young police officer/detective was how  the teachings of the Bible made so much sense in the “real world.” From my observations  when working “the street,” I believed the Bible had to be the inspired Word of God as heeding its principles led to a balanced, stable life. After a number of years making cases and presenting them in court, I began to realize the core Christian concepts of the Christian faith were actually supported by the principles of evidence I employed in my career!  Realizing my time chasing fugitives was limited, I began my scholarly training at the midpoint of my career with the U.S. Marshals which ended three years after my retirement (see my curriculum vitae). After approximately 14 years, my scholarly research culminated when I completed my PhD Thesis in 2017.   In addition to teaching youth groups, college groups, and conference classes, I am currently engaged in teaching missiology/apologetics courses at Charlotte Theological Seminary and research classes at Liberty University (Online). 

Richard G. Howe

Richard G. Howe is a writer as well as a public speaker and debater in churches, conferences, and university campuses on issues concerning Christian apologetics and philosophy. He is Provost, Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics, and Norman L. Geisler Chair of Christian Apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Howe is Past President of the International Society of Christian Apologetics. In their free time, Richard and his wife Rebekah enjoy international travDr. Howe has a BA in Bible from Mississipi College, an MA in Philosophy from the University of Mississipi, and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Arkansas. Both his master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation focused on the issue of the existence of God.

Louise Mabille

Louise Mabille teaches Economics and Politics at the Afrikaanse Protestant Academy (APA). She is the author of two books on Nietzsche, the recipient of a Huygens Fellowship, an Erasmus Mundus Fellowship and has recently edited a book (with Henk Stoker) entitled The Morality Wars, featuring William Lane Craig, John Lennox, Paul Copan, Sam Harris, Steven Weinberg, and many others. She has a PhD in Philosophy and one in English. She is committed to finding Truth, and ultimately believes that it can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Mark Oppenheimer

Mark has a special interest in commercial disputes, municipal law, and constitutional law. He has published articles about property rights, freedom of expression and affirmative action. He has been called upon for legal commentary on both TV and radio. He also hosts the podcast ‘Freedom Versus’ on cliffcentral. At the University of Cape Town, he taught a series of classes on moral philosophy and he went on to lecture law at Varsity College. Mark has produced submissions to parliament, the Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Reitze Rodseth

Reitze Rodseth is an anaesthesiologist and critical care specialist working in private practice in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He is a clinician-researcher with a wide range of interests. His research has focused on identifying patients at high risk of having heart attacks after surgery. This work led to a PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has a keen interest in studying how we do medical research and the quality of research that it produces. He obtained a master’s in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University in Canada and has presented on ethics and fraud in clinical research. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers. He received the UKZN Vice-Chancellor’s Research Award in 2016 and held a South African National Research Foundation Rating from 2015 to 2019.

Reitze became a Christian through God’s grace and the ministry of apologetics. The truth of Jesus’ claims and the proof of the resurrection dismantled the barriers he used to hold God at a distance. Soon after his conversion Reitze started studying Christian apologetics and began teaching on abortion, euthanasia, and transgenderism. He is currently busy with a master’s in Christian Apologetics and Philosophy at the Southern Evangelical Seminary in the USA.He is married to Miranda and has two sons – Joshua and Nathan.

Martin van Staden

Martin van Staden is a jurist and author based in South Africa. His approach to public policy is from a librarian (or classical liberal) perspective.  Martin has presented oral evidence to the Parliament of South Africa and deposed amicus curiae briefs in the Constitutional Court, written books and multiple articles, and appeared on television and radio on topics of public policy, jurisprudence, and economic policy. He has a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree (cum laude) from the University of Pretoria, where he is presently a Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) student.

Mike Willenborg

Mike Willenborg studied philosophy at the University of Hawaii before obtaining a Master’s in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary. He then obtained a Master’s in Philosophy from Western Michigan University and is a now a PhD student in philosophy at Baylor University. Prior to all of that, he lived on a boat in the Bahamas, doing nothing but eating seafood, reading philosophy, and getting tossed to and fro in the waves. Since then, he enjoys traveling, watching sports of all sorts, and eating South African food.

JOIN THE FIGHT

Become a Chapter Director

Do you want to help students love God with all their hearts and minds? You don’t have to be an expert theologian or profesional philosopher to join Ratio Christi.

Find out more about leading a chapter at a local university by clicking below.

 KEEP THE MISSION ALIVE

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You can help Ratio Christi to expand its work to every campus in South Africa and to be able to provide quality resources and training for Christian students. 

Even a few rands will help our Chapter Directors to spend more time in the field sharing Christ with university students.