February 11th, 2016
“After I set out to refute Christianity intellectually and couldn’t, I came to the conclusion the Bible was true and Jesus Christ was God’s Son.”
These words of apologist Josh McDowell were in the spotlight recently at Oklahoma Wesleyan’s Collision Conference on apologetics. The third annual conference of the Josh McDowell Institute at OKWU focused on a simple, vital, question:
Who does your thinking for you?
From our earliest childhood, we are all exposed to cultural ideas, truths, and in some cases, white lies—all of which lead to the development of our beliefs and worldview. Some of these ideas have no justifiable basis, but it can be too easy to embrace them anyway. At the 2016 JMI Collision Conference, OKWU welcomed three passionate, gifted speakers from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) to challenge us to think for ourselves.
There are two parts to every JMI conference: a campus day and a community day. Through the course of both days, students and other attendees were faced with some of the toughest questions of our time—issues of justice, religion, abortion, and more.
RZIM’s Cameron McAllister opened with a discussion of how to disagree, stating that “civil disagreement is not only possible but also desirable” and then showed how confrontation can be done with grace and honesty in a manner to which believers are called. Alycia Wood followed by reminding us that justice matters to God. However, before “anyone can talk about justice, one has to know what is behind the objective moral truth” that goes into every decision. That objective moral truth is a person- Jesus. Jesus took on Justice and showed us what we ought to do even if it is hard. Abdu Murray, who is also OKWU’s resident JMI Scholar, spent time talking about issues of religion in a culture that is intensely seeking both intellectual and spiritual fulfillment. Murray shared from his latest book, Grand Central Question and also explained how Christianity is unique from other worldviews. In the Christian faith, God is the only one who came to earth to reach out to man. All other worldviews are trying to earn their way to God. “How do you know if something is valuable?” Murray asked, “Because it is something that you are willing to die for.”
“Each year the JMI Collision Conference challenges all who attended to consider different facets of their belief system. Perhaps this conference pulled back the curtain of our thinking…Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 that it is through a transformation of the mind that we can resist being conformed to the patterns of this world” said Devon Smith, Director of the Josh McDowell Institute. “Learning to think as a believer takes work and it isn’t easy. During this conference, we spent time listening to God and learning just who should do our thinking for us.”
Next year’s conference will be held the first week of February 2017. To learn more about the Josh McDowell Institute, visit www.okwu.edu/JMI.