Thinking Conference 2017

About

  1. How do you see the world?
  2. What shapes your basic ideas of right and wrong, your priorities, your ambitions, your hopes, your expectations?
  3. How do you think about yourself and your identity?
  4. How do we decide what is true and what is false?
  5. Do our lives matter, and if so, why?
  6. What is the future for humanity?
  7. What are the essential challenges of the human condition, and how do you think we should respond to those challenges?

The basic set of answers you give to these questions reflects your fundamental way of looking at the world—your worldview. Your worldview provides the foundation for your values, your identity, your sense of meaning, significance and purpose. Understanding your own worldview and the worldviews of those around you is essential to having meaningful and effective conversations about the issues that matter: life and death, meaning and value, suffering and salvation. Yet even in a diverse and pluralistic society like ours, there are only a few basic worldview categories. Consequently, meaningful and effective conversation with friends, family and co-workers about the questions that matter is definitely within our reach.

Attend Thinking? Toronto 2017 to be equipped to communicate the Christian worldview and interact with other worldviews with confidence and clarity.


  • 1
    panel


  • 2
    plenaries


  • 5
    panelists


  • 7
    speakers


  • 7
    workshops

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Testimonials

For any Christian serious about being equipped to be an effective witness in our culturally pluralistic society, the Thinking? Conference is definitely worth the investment of your time. The workshops are presented by individuals with a wealth of biblical knowledge and ministry experience. I was richly blessed by the depth of insight and encouragement I experienced at this conference.

Taurus Chung,Teacher at Peoples Christian Academy

As a not well-versed person when it comes to historical facts on the bible, I am grateful for the information gained on the reliability of Scriptures. It has given me a place to start in exploring the topic, and has added on my understanding of Scriptures.

Pamela Kwizera,Member of GFC Don Mills

In less than a minute God used Andy Bannister during the Thinking? Toronto Conference to show me that something I’d heard as a Muslim all my life was untrue: that the Quran said the New Testament was corrupted. In fact, the Qur’an does not say that. This forced me to revisit my assumptions about Christianity and moved me along on my journey towards faith in Christ.

Ahmad Al Taweel,Member of GFC Don Mills

Plenary Speaker

Professor of Philosophy

Douglas GroothuisBS, MA, PhD

Professor of Philosophy

Denver Seminary

Douglas Groothuis is Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary, where he has served since 1993. He is the author of 12 books, including Christian Apologetics, and, most recently Philosophy in Seven Sentences. Dr. Groothuis received a PhD and a BS from the University of Oregon, and an MA in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has served as adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University, visiting instructor in apologetics for Westminster Theological Seminary, and instructor at the University of Oregon.

Schedule

*Disclaimer: Schedule is subject to change.

  • Doors open for check-in

    Doors will open at 9am for conference check in. Stop by the registration tables to check in and pick up your conference packet.

    • Welcome

      Programming will begin at 9:45 in Emmanuel Chapel.

      • Plenary 1

        • Worldviews and Why They Matter

          A worldview is our basic outlook on life. Everyone has one. Christians need to know their own world view (based on the Bible) and the major worldviews of our time. This talk will equip Christians to know what and why they believe.

      • Workshop Timeslot 1

        • Apologetics and Athens

          Two pagan philosophers, Socrates and Aristotle, have much to teach us about critical thinking in apologetics. We shall explore their ideas and find surprising benefits for Christian witness. This material is taken largely from Douglas Groothuis, Philosophy in Seven Sentences.

        • Understanding the Rise of Secularism

          This workshop provides an overview of the growth of secularism around the world. It presents descriptive trends in religious affiliation and church attendance over time and considers theoretical explanations for declines in traditional indicators of religiosity.

        • History of Science and Religion

          What is the historical relationship between science and Christianity? Many people see it as marked by conflict. Christianity, it is thought, has been continually opposing the advancement of science because Christians are blinded by their religious prejudices and afraid of the truth. This, however, is not the view of the vast majority of historians. Learn how many of the classic cases of “conflict” (e.g. Galileo) have been distorted and how that affects the "lens" through which we see the world.

        • Pantheism: Its Pervasiveness and Popularity

          In September 1893, Swami Vivekananda addressed the Parliament of World's Religions hosted in Chicago. His address at the Parliament significantly contributed to the migration of pantheistic thought from the East to the West. Today, pantheism has woven itself into the fabric of Western thought and practice with very little difficulty. This workshop will introduce those in attendance to the principles and practices associated with pantheism. With an eye to being transformed by the renewing of minds, the workshop will endeavour to identify where pantheism has crept into our lives and how to replace it with Biblical truth and true godliness.

        • Head, Heart, Hands: A Whole-Life Approach to Apologetics

          The most effective apologetic will be holistic, combining rational, emotional, and practical elements into one cohesive whole. The Christian faith is rationally sufficient, emotionally and morally satisfying, and it generates practical acts of loving service in the world. This seminar explores the life-transforming power of an apologetic that is rooted in rational analysis, aesthetic sensitivity, and loving service.

      • Lunch

        A catered lunch will be provided onsite for $10, payable in advance when purchasing tickets. Entree will include your choice of meat lasagna or vegetarian lasagna with caesar salad, dessert, beverages and coffee and tea.

        Enjoy a meal and conversation with fellow conference attendees!

        • Workshop Timeslot 2

          • Apologetics and Athens

            Two pagan philosophers, Socrates and Aristotle, have much to teach us about critical thinking in apologetics. We shall explore their ideas and find surprising benefits for Christian witness. This material is taken largely from Douglas Groothuis, Philosophy in Seven Sentences.

          • Understanding the Rise of Secularism

            This workshop provides an overview of the growth of secularism around the world. It presents descriptive trends in religious affiliation and church attendance over time and considers theoretical explanations for declines in traditional indicators of religiosity.

          • History of Science and Religion

            What is the historical relationship between science and Christianity? Many people see it as marked by conflict. Christianity, it is thought, has been continually opposing the advancement of science because Christians are blinded by their religious prejudices and afraid of the truth. This, however, is not the view of the vast majority of historians. Learn how many of the classic cases of “conflict” (e.g. Galileo) have been distorted and how that affects the "lens" through which we see the world.

          • Is One Way the Only Way?

            The most offensive element of the Gospel and the most common objection to Christianity is the idea that Jesus is the only way to God. In this talk, Tim gives a simple, but powerful, argument why religious pluralism is false, and then looks at the historical record and asks if we have any good reason to believe Jesus’ own claim about Himself. Finally, Tim explains in detail why Jesus is the only way by giving a powerful and moving account of the work of the cross.

          • Mental Health and Mental Illness: A Christian Psychiatrist’s Perspective

            Is depression really the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain? Is anxiety always a sin? How should a Christian understand PTSD? One in five people in our churches will be affected in their lifetime by depression or anxiety, but mental illness remains a hotbed of controversy, misinformation and stigma. In this practical session, Dr. Lee will offer a holistic Christian perspective-- incorporating both medicine and theology-- to equip laypeople, pastors and biblical counselors to serve those who are suffering from mental illness with greater empathy.

        • Workshop Timeslot 3

          • Pantheism: Its Pervasiveness and Popularity

            In September 1893, Swami Vivekananda addressed the Parliament of World's Religions hosted in Chicago. His address at the Parliament significantly contributed to the migration of pantheistic thought from the East to the West. Today, pantheism has woven itself into the fabric of Western thought and practice with very little difficulty. This workshop will introduce those in attendance to the principles and practices associated with pantheism. With an eye to being transformed by the renewing of minds, the workshop will endeavour to identify where pantheism has crept into our lives and how to replace it with Biblical truth and true godliness.

          • Head, Heart, Hands: A Whole-Life Approach to Apologetics

            The most effective apologetic will be holistic, combining rational, emotional, and practical elements into one cohesive whole. The Christian faith is rationally sufficient, emotionally and morally satisfying, and it generates practical acts of loving service in the world. This seminar explores the life-transforming power of an apologetic that is rooted in rational analysis, aesthetic sensitivity, and loving service.

          • Is One Way the Only Way?

            The most offensive element of the Gospel and the most common objection to Christianity is the idea that Jesus is the only way to God. In this talk, Tim gives a simple, but powerful, argument why religious pluralism is false, and then looks at the historical record and asks if we have any good reason to believe Jesus’ own claim about Himself. Finally, Tim explains in detail why Jesus is the only way by giving a powerful and moving account of the work of the cross.

          • Mental Health and Mental Illness: A Christian Psychiatrist’s Perspective

            Is depression really the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain? Is anxiety always a sin? How should a Christian understand PTSD? One in five people in our churches will be affected in their lifetime by depression or anxiety, but mental illness remains a hotbed of controversy, misinformation and stigma. In this practical session, Dr. Lee will offer a holistic Christian perspective-- incorporating both medicine and theology-- to equip laypeople, pastors and biblical counselors to serve those who are suffering from mental illness with greater empathy.

          • Panel on Integrating Faith and Intellect: Math, Chemistry, Medicine, Philosophy, and History

            Do faith and reason really go together? Can Christians flourish intellectually and spiritually in the secular university environment? This panel discussion will focus on the challenges and possibilities for integrating Christian faith and intellect in the pursuit of knowledge.

        • Plenary 2

          • Lament as an Apologetic for The Christian Worldview

            We all suffer and give voice to our pain. Of all the worldviews, Christianity best explains why we suffer and how to suffer well as fall creatures. I will include my story of finding meaning as my wife and I suffer through her dementia.

        Venue

        Light Presbyterian Church, Mississauga

        6965 Professional Ct, Mississauga, ON L4V 1Y3

        Tickets

        Online registration will close at 10pm on Friday. Tickets will be sold at the door!

        Early Bird

        before or on March 12

        $59
        • includes catered lunch

        Early Bird

        before or on March 12

        $49
        • without lunch

        Regular

        after March 12

        $75
        • includes catered lunch

        Regular

        after March 12

        $65
        • without lunch

        FAQs

        1. Where is the conference being held?

          The conference will be held at Light Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, ON (same venue as last year). The address is: 6965 Professional Ct, Mississauga, ON L4V 1Y3

        2. Is parking available?

          Yes, ample free parking is available onsite at Light Presbyterian Church.

        3. Will lunch be available?

          Yes, lunch can be purchased with your conference ticket for $10. Lunch will be catered and served onsite, giving you an opportunity to share a meal with fellow attendees. Otherwise, there are several restaurants in the local area.

        4. I bought a ticket, but I’m no longer able to attend. What should I do?

          For planning purposes, we ask that you please give/sell your ticket to another individual. Please let us know via the contact form who you will be transferring your ticket to, and we will ensure the transfer is completed. Thank you!

        5. Who is the intended audience for this conference?

          All Christians who wish to be equipped to communicate their faith with confidence and clarity will benefit from this conference.

        6. Is childcare available?

          Unfortunately, no. At this time, we're not able to offer childcare during the conference.

        7. Will books be available onsite to purchase?

          Yes, a well-stocked book table will be at the conference, and will feature many excellent books, including those by the speakers.

        8. My question isn’t answered – how can I get in touch with you?

          We invite you to get in touch with us using the contact form on this website. We will answer all inquiries as soon as possible.

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        If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know using the contact form and we will respond as soon as possible.