Our annual event

The Ratio Christi
Symposium 2021

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 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. 

 

Due to Covid-19, our 2021 Symposium will be hosted online by the Ratio Christi South Africa team. All our events for this year will be livestreamed to our YouTube channel hereYou can view the program for this year’s Symposium below. As our guest speakers confirm, the program will be updated. 

We know that this is not ideal in the least, and would have loved to host another symposium at one of our universities in South Africa.  We do, however, invite all of you to virtually attend the 2021 Ratio Christi Symposium, and are looking forward to engage with all of you as best we can in this manner.

2021 PROGRAM

DATETIMETOPICSPEAKERVENUE
16 August18:00-19:45The Reliability of the Book of ActsTimothy McGrewRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
20:00-22:00Contemporary Expansions Models and Creation Ex NihiloWilliam Lane CraigRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
17 August18:00-19:45Archaeology and the ExodusTitus KennedyRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
20:00-22:00Archaeology and JesusTitus KennedyRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
18 August18:00-19:45Apologetics in a Digital Age: Incarnating the Gospel for Africa’s Next GensKevin MuriithiRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
20:00-22:00The Case for Christianity as an African ReligionKyama MugambiRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
19 August18:00-19:45Social Justice: The Romantic ConnectionLouise MabilleRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
20:00-22:00The Influence of Postmodernism on Biblical InterpretationThomas A. HoweRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
23 August18:00-19:45"True for You But Not for Me...Until I Don't Like Your Truth": Problems with Relativism, Social Justice, and Other Modern IncoherenciesPaul CopanRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
20:00-22:00Can We Be Good Without God? Why God Makes Sense of MoralityPaul CopanRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
24 August18:00-19:45Human Origins and Intelligent Design: A South African PerspectiveCasey LuskinRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
20:00-22:00Darwin's Deadly IdeaJohn WestRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
25 August18:00-19:45Why Gender MattersNora HaleRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
20:00-22:00Counter-Cult Apologetics: Inquiring into Christ in Me CollectiveDaniël MaritzRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
26 August18:00-19:452084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of HumanityJohn LennoxRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)
20:00-22:00In His Image: The Sanctity of Life and the GospelMelissa PellewRC South Africa YouTube Channel (click here)

SPEAKERS

Paul Copan

Paul Copan (Ph.D. Philosophy, Marquette University) is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida. He has also helped establish the new M.A. in Philosophy of Religion at PBA (start-up August 2021). For six years, he served as president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. He is author or editor of nearly forty books, including works such as The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion, The Naturalness of Theistic Belief, Creation out of Nothing, Philosophy of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Issues, A Little Book for New Philosophers, Is God a Moral Monster?, and The Kalām Cosmological Argument (a two-volume anthology). He has also contributed essays to over forty books, both scholarly and popular, and he has authored a number of articles in professional journals. In 2017, he was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University. Paul and his wife, Jacqueline, have six children, and they reside in West Palm Beach, Florida. His website is www.paulcopan.com.  

William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig is Visiting Scholar of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University. He and his wife Jan have two grown children. At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 he taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time he and Jan started their family. In 1987 they moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Dr. Craig pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming his position at Talbot in 1994.

Kristen Davis

Kristen is the Founder of DoubtLess Faith Ministries and she speaks internationally. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Religion. She has a Masters of Arts in Christian Apologetics (Highest Honors) from Biola University, and is working on a PhD in Philosophy of Religion at Southern Evangelical Seminary. She is also the Director of Systems Integration for a division of a financial tech company. She studied World Religions in India and Biblical Archaeology in Israel and her passion is to defend the truth of Christianity through the use of both philosophy and archaeology. Her website is: www.doubtlessfaith.com.

Nora Hale

Nora Hale holds a BA from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill and an MA from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Upon graduating, Nora was named Dean of Women at Southern Evangelical Seminary, where she led instruction in the Women’s Ministry Certificate Program. Nora designed the program with a passion to help women understand their biblical role in the family and local church ministry. Nora has spoken on multiple university campuses, for 10 years at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics, as well as at national and international women’s events under the titles of  Why Gender Matters, Gender: Scriptural Authority and Reality, and Does Christianity Oppress Women.

Thomas Howe

Thomas Howe is Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Thomas was married to Patricia in 1971. They have three children and nine grandchildren. Thomas and Patricia live in Huntington, Pennsylvania. He completed his undergraduate degree at Dallas Baptist University, and his masters studies at Liberty University. In 1998, Thomas received his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He completed his dissertation; Objectivity in Hermeneutics: A Study of the Nature and of the Role of Presuppositions in Evangelical Hermeneutical Methodology and Their Impact on the Possibility of Objectivity in Biblical Interpretation. Thomas’ dissertation was published in 2005 under the title, Objectivity in Biblical Interpretation. Thomas’ interests range from Biblical Hermeneutics, to philosophy, to Old Testament studies, and biblical languages. Thomas also has an abiding interest in the philosophy of language. Thomas has studied seven languages including biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and extrabiblical languages including Syriac, Attic Greek, German, and Latin. Thomas has published several articles dealing with issues relating to interpretation and philosophy. Coauthored with Dr. Norman L. Geisler, Thomas published When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties, 1992, and in 2008 The Big Book of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation. Thomas has also published Daniel in the Preterists’ Den, Bias in New Testament Translations? A Defense of the Deity of Christ, and What the Bible Really Says: Breaking the Apocalypse Code, which is a book on eschatology.

Titus Kennedy

Titus Kennedy is a professional archaeologist currently directing archaeological projects in Bible lands while researching, writing, and teaching in the field of biblical archaeology. He has been involved in excavations and surveys at several archaeological sites in Bible lands, including directing and supervising multiple projects spanning the Bronze Age through the Byzantine period, and he has conducted artifact research and photography at museums and collections around the world. He is a research fellow at the Discovery Institute, teaches as an adjunct professor at Biola University, has been a consultant, writer, and guide for history and archaeology documentaries and curricula, and publishes articles in the field of Biblical archaeology and history. His books include Unearthing the Bible and the upcoming Excavating the Evidence for Jesus.

Casey Luskin

Casey Luskin is a scientist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg and a law degree from the University of San Diego. His B.S. and M.S. degrees in Earth Sciences are from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively. At Discovery Institute, he works as Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture, where he helps direct the ID 3.0 Research Program, and assists and defends scientists, educators, and students to freely investigate intelligent design. Dr. Luskin has been a California-licensed attorney since 2005. He also co-founded the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, a non-profit helping students to investigate evolution by starting “IDEA Clubs” on university campuses. He has published in technical law and science journals, and has co-authored or contributed to multiple books including Discovering Intelligent Design; Science and Human Origins; Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Theological, and Philosophical Critique; and Debating Darwin’s Doubt.

Louise Mabille

Louise Mabille is currently attached to the Faculty of Theology at the NWU, she holds a PhD in philosophy and her main field of interest is Nietzsche, on whom she has authored two books. She has just completed a second PhD on Milton and the English reformation and is currently doing research on the interaction between science and religion.

Daniël Maritz

After school, Daniël pursued his studies in theology at the North West University in Potchefstroom. In 2015 he started his masters degree on the New Age movement’s infiltration of the church and consequently enrolled for a Ph.D. in theology which he completed in 2020. He is a pastor at the Reformed Church Brooklyn in Pretoria and on the leadership of a churchplant group called Dialogue. He established the Ratio Christi chapter at the University of Pretoria in 2018. Daniël married Ansie, who is a lecturer in linguistics, in 2015. They currently live in Pretoria.

Timothy McGrew

Timothy McGrew is Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University, where he has taught for over 25 years. His research interests include formal epistemology, the history and philosophy of science, and the history and philosophy of religion. When he is not doing philosophy, he enjoys playing chess online, coaching at his local chess club, running trails, and making high quality paper airplanes. He lives in SW Michigan with his wife, Lydia McGrew, and their daughters.

Kyama Mugambi

Kyama Mugambi lectures and researches African Urban Christianity at the Pan Africa Christian University. He is also a senior researcher with the Centre for World Christianity at Africa International University. He serves as the editorial manager of African Theological Network Press. Baylor University Press published his book A Spirit of Revitalization: Urban Pentecostalism in Kenya in 2020. Kyama remains connected to the local church where he has served as a pastor more than 20 years, in Nairobi where he lives with his wife and three children.

Kevin Muriithi

Kevin Muriithi worked as an Electrical Engineer before pursuing pastoral and apologetics ministry. He serves in the Presbyterian Church of East Africa and is completing his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of South Africa, where he is researching youth culture and discipleship. His educational background includes a B.Sc. in Electrical & Electronics Engineering and an M.A. in Biblical & Theological Studies. He has a certificate in Christian Apologetics from Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and is chairperson of Apologetics Kenya. He teaches theology, apologetics, and ministry at Pan Africa Christian University and has spoken in a variety of academic conferences, church ministries, and other institutional settings. He is the current secretary of the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology and writes for The Gospel Coalition Africa.

Melissa Pellew

Melissa Pellew and her husband, Devin, are full-time missionaries and community apologists with Ratio Christi Campus Apologetics Alliance serving as Chapter Directors at Winthrop University and York Technical College in Rock Hill, SC, where they are equipping college students to defend the Christian Faith as well as engaging unbelieving and skeptical students. They have been involved in pro-life activism since 2006 in various capacities from sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics, mentoring expectant mothers and fathers, speaking on pro-life apologetics and conducting trainings at churches, conferences, youth groups and the college campus. On their internet podcast, “Theology Matters with The Pellews” on BlogTalk Radio, they discuss and host debates on a wide number of Christian Apologetics and biblical worldview issues, including abortion and sexual ethics. They are also former campaign leaders for 40 Days for Life- Charlotte. 40 Days for Life is an international community-based campaign that takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in our own neighborhoods through 40 days of prayer and fasting, multi-church/multi-denominational presence at abortion clinics and community outreach. The Pellews, parents of a seven-year old special needs daughter, also both serve on the Board of Directors of The Life House maternity home, a pro-life ministry that offers free housing, life skills training, discipleship and mentoring to girls and women facing an unplanned crisis pregnancies.

John West

John West is Vice President and a Senior Fellow at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, where he also serves as Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, which he co-founded with philosopher of science Stephen Meyer in 1996. His current research examines the impact of science and “scientism” on public policy and culture. His other areas of expertise include constitutional law, American government and institutions, and religion and politics. John was previously an Associate Professor of Political Science at Seattle Pacific University where he chaired the Department of Political Science and Geography, and he has taught political science and history courses at California State University, San Bernardino and Azusa Pacific University. He has written or edited twelve books, including most recently the expanded edition of Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action

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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.

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