Like any growing muscle, pain equals gain. In other words, muscles worked to the edge experience growth.
In that flavour, this past weekend Heritage enjoyed taking 25 high schoolers to grow their minds & hearts. They listened to world-class speakers at the annual Apologetics Canada Conference in Abbotsford.
Check out our school’s Facebook page for photos of our group with Dr. William Lane Craig! In addition to building Christian community based on a vibrant life of the mind, staff and students had a blast together playing games on the bus ride down, engaging in lively conversation, and having a board game marathon until pretty pretty late on Friday night.
Christian Apologetics is the genre or topic of defending our faith. A key verse for this is found in I Peter 3:15 which says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, with gentleness and respect.” This answer, or reason, can have many shapes and sizes. It can range from the philosophical and mind-based rational arguments to the intuitive and heartfelt passionate ones. It can be as academic as legal defense as in a court of law and as personal as our own testimony of our journey in Christ. In the case of this year’s conference, speakers found their spot between these two edges of mind & heart.
I was so impressed with our group of Grade 10-11-12s because they largely paid their own way, were actively using notebooks and laptops and cellphones, and many even followed and participated in the conference backchannel on Twitter at #ApologeticsCC13. Seriously, we had a whole section of kids rocking laptops…it was awesome!
Here is what three students had to say live on the Twitterverse as the conference was happening:
As we debriefed with our students it was clear that some of the content was very deep. Yet, it was so encouraging to be with 1,300 other Christians who were so passionate about their faith in Jesus and wanting to grow in their faith with regards to Apologetics. Our kids were engaged at this conference, immersed in the content, and eager to discuss these topics with each other.
Our trip’s chaperones Mr. Laird (High School Humanities – Twitter – Blog) and Josiah Bitgood (Chaplain – Twitter – Blog) and a number of our students who were on the trip will be sharing this week in Chapel. Here are questions that these 6 students will be addressing in a talk-show format:
- What was the coolest fact or sentence you heard at the Conference? In other words, what was the biggest informational revelation you got that you wish everyone from our school could have heard?
- How important is it to you to follow 1 Peter 3:15? In other words, what would make 1/3 of our high school want to give up their Friday and Saturday nights to hang out with teachers and go listen to old white guys drone on for hours?
- What was it like to be in a room with 1,300 thinking Christians? I.e. How did you find the atmosphere of the conference?
- What was the most important emotional or personal connection that you made at the conference? Any cool spiritual epiphanies or “AHA!” moments?
In light of 1 Peter 3:15, they will make a defense for why they had such a great and powerful time at this conference. If there is one thing that comes through during this chapel time that will serve as a good summary of this past weekend’s conference, it is that the topic of Apologetics must be communicated at two levels: the mind and the heart. May God grant us wisdom and understanding as He gives us opportunities to communicate His Good News to those in our lives.