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Training Day, Oxford – 22 January 2011

9 December 2010

“Lord I believe! Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) neatly sums up the unease that many Christians feel at certain times. We not only live in a postmodern age that is highly sceptical of any truth claim, but believers are told by the new atheists that there is almost certainly no God. The result is that many people experience a nagging sense of uncertainty; an attitude epitomised by the journalist John Humphrys in his book, In God We Doubt: Confessions of a Failed Atheist.

How then should Christians deal with the issue of doubt? Do other competing worldviews really offer the kinds of proof that Christianity supposedly lacks and what responses should we give to those who are sceptical about aspects of our faith? Could it even be possible that doubt might actually be a positive force that invites us to grow in our faith and understanding?

Doubt is a day of apologetics training designed to tackle vital questions such as these. The event aims to help Christians develop a confident faith that is able to respond to the important issues today without ducking the difficult questions.

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AFFLUENZA: Money & Power

9 December 2010

For many people, the ultimate goal in life is the acquisition of greater wealth and power. As Voltaire famously said, “When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion”. Yet, in spite of this seemingly universal quest, a number of commentators have been surprised to observe that increased levels of prosperity in society do not appear to have delivered the kind of happiness or fulfillment that they seemed to promise. Instead, the never-ending drive to accumulate more and more has been likened to a contagious disease, which can result in sufferers feeling worthless and dissatisfied.

This affliction is popularly described as affluenza, a term coined by Oliver James.

Although many in the world may be in the grip of this condition, it also presents an amazing opportunity for the Christian. During the Summer School, we will look at the causes, conditions and consequences of this global social phenomenon in order to learn more about how we might communicate the gospel message more effectively to a world suffering from affluenza. As Robert McNamara challenges us, the test of this generation “will not be how well you stood up under adversity, but how well you endured prosperity.”

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Is God Really Good?

20 September 2010

Christianity has played a central role in the history of Europe and, up until fairly recently, a belief in God was considered to be a powerful force for good, not only in the life of an individual, but also for society at large. However, today, one of the major challenges that Christians face is from those who question the moral character of God.

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Good God, Bad God? Vital Questions for a Confused World

26 July 2010

Religion is in the public eye more than ever. Conversations often turn to questions of faith, and questions are asked … Why does God seem to command genocide in the Bible? Won’t science ultimately destroy faith? Doesn’t evolution explain everything? Recorded at a training partnership with St Paul’s Theological Centre, Hammersmith and RZIM Zacharias Trust […]

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Faith or Fantasy? Reasons for the Hope

28 June 2010

The new atheists claim that religious people are living in a fantasy world, deluded into believing in a God who is no more plausible than the tooth-fairy or Father Christmas. All religions, they say, are simply out-dated relics from our primitive past, dangerous superstitions that no longer have any place in our modern and scientific world.

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Summer 2010 Report – Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics

4 May 2010

The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics is pleased to announce the appointment of Vince Vitale to the position of Senior Academic Tutor for the 2010/11 academic year. This is part of the ongoing strategy to strengthen the faculty of the OCCA, as well as to help foster closer ties with the university during the course’s first year of accreditation.

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