2015 Apologetics Colloquium

Watch Live

We are pleased to announce the paper selections and program for the Covenantal Apologetics Colloquium, which will be held online on Saturday, December 5th, at 7pm (Eastern Standard Time). We’ll be streaming the event live through Google Hangouts On Air.

Earlier this year, we issued a call for papers on covenantal apologetics. We submitted those papers to our esteemed panel of judges for blind review. Out of that field of submissions, we are bringing to you three papers based on the aggregate assessment of our panel.

Our Judges

James AndersonJames Anderson is associate professor of theology and philosophy at the Charlotte campus of Reformed Theological Seminary. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh, writing about paradox in Christian theology. That study became his book, Paradox in Christian Theology: An Analysis of Its Presence, Nature, and Epistemic Statuswhich was the subject of a previous episode of Christ the Center.

Bill DennisonBill Dennison is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Covenant College. He brings together the worlds of apologetics and biblical theology just as Cornelius Van Til did with the teaching of his beloved professor Geerhardus Vos. Dr. Dennison  Listen as we discuss Dr. Dennison’s collection of essays, In Defense of the Eschaton, edited by James Baird.

Scott OliphintK. Scott Oliphint is Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has been laboring to advance Reformed apologetics for many years. He is the author of many books on apologetics and the doctrine of God as well as the editor of new editions of Van Til’s The Defense of the Faith and Common Grace and the Gospel.

Speakers & Papers

Westminster Assembly

Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 1: Implications for the Apologetic Method of Cornelius Van Til

Van Til self-consciously sought to defend the Reformed system of doctrine in his apologetic and polemical encounters. This paper argues for the methodological foundations of Van Til’s apologetic method in Chapter 1, “On Holy Scripture,” particularly with regard to the divines’ treatment of natural and special revelation. The paper examines each paragraph of Chapter 1, noting how the presuppositional commitment of the divines to the self-attesting, supreme authority of Holy Scripture is reflected and applied in the realm of apologetics by Van Til. In this way, the paper seeks to contribute to the discussion of the consistency of Van Tillian apologetics and the Westminster Standards.

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Ryan E. Noha is a member of Hope Presbyterian Church (OPC) (Grayslake, IL), under care of the Presbytery of the Midwest. He is a student in the M.Div. program at Mid-America Reformed Seminary (Dyer, IN).

Paul at the Areopagus

Covenantal Apologetics: The Only Foundation for Consistent Christian Ethical Engagement

This paper defends the claim that the covenantal approach to apologetics provides the purpose and the means for both critiquing opposing non-Christian ethical systems, and for proving the supremacy of Christian-theistic ethics. The authors argue for the ontological, epistemological, and teleological contingency of ethics upon the covenant-­making God of the Bible.

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Colton R. Strother is an M.Div. student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in Kansas City where he serves as a Pastoral Resident at Emmaus Church.

Samuel G. Parkison is an M.Div student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Shannon live in Kansas City with their son, Jonah. Samuel also serves as a Pastoral Resident at Emmaus Church.


A Wild Stab in the Dark: Exposing Eminem’s Existentialism

This paper attempts to apply the principles of covenantal apologetics to the latest album by American rapper Eminem as a gateway into contemporary postmodern thinking. The worldview of Eminem developed in his latest album, The Marshal Mathers LP2 (2013), will be shown to have deep affinity with the atheistic existentialism of Friedrich Nietzsche, the father of postmodernism. This allows the philosophical thought of Nietzsche to penetrate today’s culture without anyone actually reading his books, but simply listening to its application in the lyrics of Eminem and other influential artists that espouse a similar philosophy. After establishing Eminem’s worldview, this paper provides an internal critique in terms of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics, as well as the one and the many. It will become evident that Eminem’s worldview is far from a coherent system and must either borrow capital from the Christian worldview or reduce to absurdity.

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Daniel Ragusa is an M.Div. student at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana. He is a member of the United Reformed Churches in North America and his home church is West Sayville Reformed Bible Church in Long Island, NY.