2013 Conference Schedule and Speakers

abortion and apologetics conference


All Times Chicago (CST) Time — Schedule Subject to Change

45-55 minutes sessions

Sunday, April 21.

2:00 p.m. — Mark Riser — “Behind Marble Walls: A layman looks at the Supreme Court and the story of Roe v. Wade”
3:00 p.m. — Greg West — “Community Apologetics: What it is, why it’s needed, and how you can help.”
4:00 p.m. — Letitia Wong — “The Measure of a Man– The Rationale Behind the Pro-life position”
5:00 p.m. — Nick Kaminsky — “Church Control or Birth Control’: Margaret Sanger’s Anti-Catholic Propaganda”
6:00 p.m. — Glenn Jones — “A Reformed Perspective on Suffering, Evil and God’s Sovereignty”
7:00 p.m. — Jamie Greening — “Not a Burden–How Church Can Reinforce the Value of Children”

Monday, April 22

8:45 a.m. — Anthony Horvath — Welcome
9:00 a.m. — James Agresti — “Science, Abortion, and the Bible”
10:00 a.m. — Ryan MacPherson — “Rediscovering Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Eighteenth-Century Solutions for Twenty-first Century Problems”
11:00 a.m. — Steven Mosher — Keynote — Tentative topic:  “Save the Earth; Get Rid of the People? The Inhumanity of Earth Day”
12:00 p.m. — BREAK
2:00 p.m. — Greg Koukl — “Monkey Morality:  Can Evolution Explain Ethics?”
3:00 p.m. — PANEL? Topic:  The role of world view in culture. Or;  Unexpected places where apologetics surfaces in society.  Or;  Suggestions?
5:00 p.m. — Dave Sterrett — “The Fatal Fallacies: An examination of scholarly pro-abortion arguments and how you can refute them.”
6:00 p.m. — Jason Jones — “Crescendo: Using short films to change the world”

 Tuesday, April 23

8:45 a.m. — Anthony Horvath — Welcome
9:00 a.m. — Anthony Horvath — “What does Christianity have to do with Abortion?”
10:00 a.m. — Angus Menuge — “Embodied Souls and Human Rights”
11:00 a.m. — Holly Ordway — “On (Not) Speaking Past One Another: Language, Meaning, and Message in Pro-Life Apologetics”
12:00 p.m. — BREAK

1:45 p.m. — Anthony Horvath — Announcement of 2012 Christian Novel Contest Winners and official release of Derek Elkins’ book, Life Unworthy of Life.
2:00 p.m. — Derek Elkins — “The Buffet Line of Christianity”
3:00 p.m. — PANEL?  Topic:   Is abortion ever permissible for a Christian?  Or;  Christian morality at the edges of human experience (eg, when is it ‘ok’ to end treatment, etc)?  Or; suggestions?
5:00 p.m. — Roy Abraham Varghese —
6:00 p.m. — Gary Habermas — “Dealing with the Worst Suffering You’ll Ever Face”

Speaker Topics and Bios

 Steven Mosher


Steven W. Mosher is an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues, as well as an acclaimed author, speaker. He has worked tirelessly since 1979 to fight coercive population control programs and has helped hundreds of thousands of women and families worldwide over the years.

In 1979, Steven was the first American social scientist to visit mainland China. He was invited there by the Chinese government, where he had access to government documents and actually witnessed women being forced to have abortions under the new “one-child policy.” Mr. Mosher was a pro-choice atheist at the time, but witnessing these traumatic abortions led him to reconsider his convictions and to eventually become a practicing, pro-life Roman Catholic.

Steven has appeared numerous times before Congress as an expert in world population, China, and human rights abuses. He has also made TV appearances on Good Morning America, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, 20/20, FOX and CNN news, as well as being a regular guest on talk radio shows across the nation.

Gary Habermas


“Dealing with the Worst Suffering You’ll Ever Face”

The death & resurrection of Jesus as an answer to what is probably the worst pain & suffering we’ll ever face.

Habermas_8_RGBBio:  Dr. Gary Habermas is the author or co-author of over 30 books and 100 articles and reviews in journals and magazines. In the last 16 years he has given over 1500 lectures in about 100 universities, seminaries, and colleges. He holds a PhD in History and Philosophy of Religion from Michigan State University as well as an MA in Philosophical Theology from the University of Detroit. He currently acts as ‘Distinguished Research Professor and Chair’ in the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University, where he has taught for the past 30 years. His main areas of research include the philosophical study of miracles, near-death experiences, the historical Jesus, and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus.

Ryan MacPherson


“Rediscovering Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Eighteenth-Century Solutions for Twenty-first Century Problems”

The Declaration of Independence claims life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as the birthrights of all people. America’s founding fathers understood that these were natural, inalienable rights, and that the chief purpose of government is to protect these rights. The exercise of these rights by the people also presupposed a set of natural responsibilities. Thus, civic virtue fostered an ordered liberty capable of sustaining the republic. Today, however, many Americans are skeptical that natural rights exist at all. Instead of protecting rights, government appears to create them—or to destroy them. For forty years now, the Supreme Court has defined “liberty” to include a woman’s supposed right to end the life of her unborn child. Men, however, are prevented by law from exercising their natural responsibilities to preserve a child’s life. Meanwhile, the prophets of radical individualism have recast “the pursuit of happiness” in a manner destructive to the social order. As the natural bonds between husband and wife, parent and child, have loosened, artificial connections between government and individuals have re-centered social life around a set of politically fashioned entitlements that respect neither marriage nor parenthood. Unfortunately, human nature simply is not designed to thrive under such circumstances. The way forward in the twenty-first century must, therefore, begin by turning back to the eighteenth century to rediscover the natural rights, and the natural responsibilities, affirmed by America’s founders. This is a task in which people of many religious persuasions may participate, and for which Christians are particularly well suited.

Bio: Ryan C. MacPherson, Ph.D., is an associate professor and chair in the Department of History at Bethany Lutheran College where he has taught for the past ten years. He also serves as senior editor for The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy and as president of The Hausvater Project, which promotes a biblical vision for family, church, and society in the spirit of the Lutheran confessions. Dr. MacPherson has authored several books, including The Culture of Life: Ten Essential Principles for Christian Bioethics  (2012) and Rediscovering the American Republic: Biographies, Primary Texts, Charts, and Study Questions—Exploring a People’s Quest for Ordered Liberty; Volume 1: 1492-1877  (2012). For more information, visit www.ryancmacpherson.com.

Angus Menuge

Embodied Souls and Human Rights

Human rights have never been so popular, especially when they seem to support favored political causes.  Yet thinking about human nature has become more secular, reflecting the influence of scientific materialism.  This combination of attitudes is highly problematic.  Scientific materialism reduces human beings to biological machines whose psychological and moral capacities derive from their natural history.  If that is all human beings are, there is no sound basis for distinctively human rights.  But that is not all human beings are.  Human beings are embodied souls.  The particular kinds of consciousness, rationality, and moral judgment of which a human being is capable cannot be accounted for in materialistic terms.  They require an immaterial soul.   This provides strong evidence for scripture’s claim that human beings are specially made in the image of God.  Here we find the true foundation for human rights, including the most fundamental right, the right to life.

Bio: Angus Menuge, Ph.D., is professor of philosophy at Concordia University Wisconsin. He is editor of Christ and Culture in Dialogue (Concordia Publishing House, 1999), Reading God’s World: The Scientific Vocation (Concordia Publishing House, 2004) and with Joel Heck, Learning at the Foot of the Cross (Concordia University Press, 2011).  He is author of Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science (Rowman and Littlefield, 2004), Science and the Savior (Concordia Publishing House, 2004), and Christian Vocation (Concordia Publishing House, 2007).  He is the editor of a forthcoming book on the foundation of human rights, Legitimizing Human Rights: Secular and Religious Perspectives (Ashgate, 2013).  Menuge’s technical work in philosophy focuses on the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science. He currently serves as President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society (www.epsociety.org). 

Derek Elkins


The Buffet Line of Christianity

How society affects our decision to accept or deny basic tenets of our faith and the tendency of the current church to pick and choose which commandments to actively follow and which to consider out of date, a product of a simpler time.

Derek Elkins is the winner of the 2012 Christian Novel Writing Contest held by the Athanatos Christian Ministries and a member of the Bard and Book author community.  He resides near Kansas City, MO.

Holly Ordway


“On (Not) Speaking Past One Another: Language, Meaning, and Message in Pro-Life Apologetics”

 One of the challenges of Christian apologetics in general, and pro-life apologetics in particular, is that people with different points of view seem so often to be speaking different languages. Words like ‘choice,’ ‘dignity,’ ‘women’s rights,’ and ‘reproductive freedom’ seem to be distorted beyond recognition when they are used to defend abortion. How can we share the Gospel in this context when the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life is so often heard as inherently oppressive? To be effective, we must step back and consider the ways in which particular words that Christians use have come to carry a very different meaning for many people in the secular culture, so that we can find ways to reclaim and restore language in the cause of life.

Bio:  Dr. Holly Ordway is a poet, academic, and Christian apologist on the faculty of Houston Baptist University, where she is chair of the Department of Apologetics and director of the MA in Apologetics. (Learn about HBU’s Apologetics program) She holds a PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an MA in English from UNC Chapel Hill, and an MA in apologetics from Biola University. She is also a regular speaker on imaginative and literary apologetics, with special attention to the work of C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams. She blogs on literature, culture, and apologetics at Hieropraxis.com.

James Agresti


Science, Abortion, and the Bible

James D. Agresti is the president of Just Facts, a nonprofit institute dedicated to researching and publishing verifiable facts about public policy. His research on wide-ranging issues—including taxes, gun control, Social Security, abortion, healthcare, pollution, global warming and the national debt—has been cited by prominent universities, think tanks, radio shows, media outlets, and government entities at local, state and national levels. Mr. Agresti holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University and has worked as a designer of jet aircraft engines, a technical sales professional, and chief engineer of a firm that customizes helicopters. He is the author of Rational Conclusions, a highly researched book evidencing factual support for the Bible across a broad array of academic disciplines.

Greg Koukl


Monkey Morality:  Can Evolution Explain Ethics?

Can Evolution explain ethics?  Is morality in humans just a sophisticated adaptation “designed” by natural selection to promote the survival of the fittest? Or is there a deeper explanation?

In a careful, step by step fashion, Greg refutes the assertion that morality is simply an accident of nature. He explains how the evolutionary process cannot, even in principle, account for ethics and how all such attempts collapse back into relativism. Finally, he argues powerfully that the only reasonable explanation for the morality that needs explaining is not Mother Nature, but Father God.

Bio: Greg Koukl is the founder and president of Stand to Reason (www.str.org). Greg started out thinking he was too smart to become a Christian and ended up giving his life for the defense of the Christian faith. A central theme of Greg’s speaking and writing is that Christianity can compete in the marketplace of ideas when it’s properly understood and properly articulated.

Greg’s teaching has been featured on Focus on the Family radio, he’s been interviewed for CBN and the BBC, he’s debated atheist Michael Shermer on Hugh Hewitt’s national radio show, and did a one-hour national television debate with Deepak Chopra on Lee Strobel’s “Faith Under Fire.”  Greg has been quoted in U.S. News & World Report and the L.A. Times. An award-winning writer, Greg is author of Tactics—A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian ConvictionsRelativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air with Francis J. Beckwith, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published more than 180 articles and has spoken on over 60 university and college campuses both in the U.S. and abroad.

Greg received his Masters in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Talbot School of Theology, graduating with high honors, and his Masters in Christian Apologetics from Simon Greenleaf University.  He is an adjunct professor in Christian apologetics at Biola University.  He hosts his own radio talk show advocating clear-thinking Christianity and defending the Christian worldview.

 Roy Abraham Varghese


Jason Jones

www.cpcmovie.com and www.movietomovement.com

Crescendo: Using short films to change the world

Jason began working in the pro-life movement while attending the University of Hawaii.  There he formed the Pro-Life Student Union and also served as State Chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, a national group of conservative student activists. He later became Chairman of the Hawaii Young Republicans, and worked as Chief-of-Staff for State Representative Mark Moses. Jason’s other pro-life credentials include: Director of Hawaii Right to Life, National Youth Director of American Life League, grassroots Director of Brownback for President, and Public Relations Director for the world’s largest international pro-life organization, Human Life International [2001-7]. Jason is the host of The Great Campaign on Radio Maria.  He has verbally sparred with pro-abortionists on ABC’s Politically Incorrect, Fox and CNN.

Jason is the Founder of HERO [Human-Rights Education and Relief Organization] a non-profit that promotes human dignity regardless of ability, age, status, race, or geography.  He spearheaded a recent HERO initiative to bring clean water to suffering refugees in South Sudan. In 2009, despite the government’s warning of unsafe travel, Jason visited Darfur and inspected 26 new water wells and distributed $2 million in food, medicine, and other aid.

Jason is Co-Executive Producer of the movie, BELLA, recipient of The People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival.  BELLA has inspired hundreds of abortion-bound mothers to choose life for their babies.

Jason’s BELLA HERO PROGRAM provides free screenings of the film in pregnancy care centers, on school campuses and in prisons.

Jason also founded “Movie To Movement,” which aims at transforming the culture with a message of beauty, truth, and love.

Jason’s other filmography credits include: Associate Producer of The Stoning of Soraya M. [2008], which won both the NAACP Image Award in 2010,and the L.A.Film Festival Award in 2009; Crescendo [2012] which has won 11 film festival awards; and Eyes to See [2010].

Anthony Horvath

www.athanatosministries.org | policyintersections.org

What does Christianity have to do with Abortion?

In many corners, the issue of ‘abortion’ is a purely political issue, and Christians are expected to keep their personal, religious views, out of the public sphere.  Sometimes, even Christians accept this notion!  But what if Christianity is actually true?

Bio:  Anthony is an author and the director of Athanatos Christian Ministries, an apologetics organization with an emphasis on life issues.  This emphasis was sharpened after he and his wife were asked if they wanted to abort their daughter, diagnosed in the womb with spina bifida.  They emphatically ‘rejected’ that choice.  This was, in part, because of beliefs and values derived from their Christian faith, and in particular, their conviction that Christianity was actually true, and corresponded to reality, and was not just a ‘personal’ opinion.

His research into the high abortion rates of children with disabilities led him to discover that there are another group of people imposing their religious views on America culture:  the atheists, the liberals, the progressives, the secular humanists, etc.  On their view, a human is not particularly special.  A human is just one kind of animal with the same kind of value of all the other animals.  Why should this view be allowed full expression in our government, and not one that sees humans as intrinsically valuable?  He founded the Policy Intersections Research Center in 2012 to make that case.

One of its first projects was to release a new translation of a 1920 German book that proved to be a catalyst for the holocaust, in that it justified allowing the destruction of ‘life unworthy of life,’ by Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche.

Jamie Greening


Not a Burden–How Church Can Reinforce the Value of Children

For several decades children have been portrayed as a burden and obligation, and often the church feeds that lie.  This session will investigate how children are a blessing and not a burden while uncovering ways local churches can align their ministry to emphasize the blessing of children.

Bio: Pastor Jamie Greening has served as a local church pastor for over 17 years.  He is the author of The Haunting of Pastor Butch Gregory (Athanatos) and contributor to Bardandbook.com, the Abingdon Worship Annual and an avid blogger (jdgreening.wordpress.com).  Jamie enjoys movies, cooking, and making snarky comments on Twitter and Facebook.

 Glenn Jones


A Reformed Perspective on Suffering, Evil and God’s Sovereignty

Glenn Jones is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary. He is the Managing Director of the ACM Online Academy of Apologetics and lives in Chattanooga, TN, with his wife and two children. This topic will cover “A summary apologetic from my own personal experiences of suffering, as well as a Biblical and Confessional basis for how Christians in the Reformed tradition view God’s sovereign decree of whatsoever comes to pass.”

 Nick Kaminsky

Church Control or Birth Control’: Margaret Sanger’s Anti-Catholic Propaganda

This presentation looks at the way Margaret Sanger saw her birth control crusade as a moral revolution against the unchanging structure of morality most clearly represented by the Catholic Church and examines the way in which she waged a propaganda campaign against the Church in which she portrayed it not only as the sole enemy of birth control, but by extension as the enemy of liberty and science. By linking her birth control revolution with the history of the American Revolution through the use of patriotic and anti-Catholic rhetoric, she depicted her fight for birth control as a struggle for American freedom against the tyranny of the Catholic Church.

Letitia Wong


“The Measure of a Man”

Just what is a man and who decides?

Letitia received her BS in Health Sciences with a Minor in Religious Studies from Purdue University in 1997. She went on to complete her Medical Technology certification at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. She has had over 15 years of ministry experience including serving as student Evangelism Coordinator for Purdue University’s undergraduate chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and as ministry coordinator and teacher at Arizona State University’s chapter of Campus Ambassadors. In 2009, she attended CrossExamined Instructor Academy at Southern Evangelical Seminary in preparation for public speaking in apologetics.  Currently, she is one of three hosts of the Pro-Life Fridays Radio program that can be heard on BlogTalkRadio online.


Greg West


Community Apologetics: What it is, why it’s needed, and how you can help’.

Bio:  Greg West is the founder and editor of The Poached Egg, a website which has been described as “The Drudge Report of Christian apologetics”. Greg grew up in a Christian home but as a young adult became an agnostic as a result of experiencing doubts about Christianity. After recommitting to being a Christ follower after nearly ten years as an agnostic, Greg decided to investigate the truth claims of Christianity to see if they could stand up to the closest scrutiny and began an intense and ongoing study of apologetics. Greg now teaches apologetics to small groups at his church, and is a speaker and a vocal advocate on the need for apologetics in the church, in youth ministry, and on the college campus. The Poached Egg recently merged with the Ratio Christi Student Apologetics Alliance (RatioChristi.org) and Greg is their International Internet Apologetics Outreach Director.

Mark Riser


Behind Marble Walls: A layman looks at the Supreme Court and the story of Roe v. Wade

Mark became a Christian at the age of 17 and quickly developed a very deep interest in defending the Christian faith.  After pursuing other ministry opportunities, he returned to apologetics in 2005.  He holds a BA in Music from Northeast Louisiana University, a MA in Religious Education from Southwestern Theological Seminary and the Certificate in Apologetics from Biola University.  Also, Mark is a Volunteer Apologist with Reasons To Believe, serving the Shreveport Chapter as President.

Dave Sterrett


The Fatal Fallacies: An examination of scholarly pro-abortion arguments and how you can refute them.

DAVE STERRETT is the author/co-author of six books, including the Christian best-seller, “I Am Second” (Thomas Nelson, 2012), and “Why Trust Jesus?” (Moody, 2010). Sterrett has loved and ministered to hundreds of youth leaders in Africa, orphans in Russia and hopeless young women walking into abortion clinics in America. Sterrett is an evangelist and apologist for a new generation. He teaches philosophy, theology and liberal arts at San Diego Christian’s honor program, Rivendell Sanctuary in Minnesota. CNN, USAToday, CBN, ESPN and Christianity Today are some of the major media outlets that have mentioned Sterrett’s books, ministry or life. Dave has taught, equipped and preached through evangelistic organizations including I Am Second, Liberty University, Josh McDowell Ministry, and Prestonwood Christian Academy. Sterrett has co-authored four books with Josh McDowell. Dave graduated with honors from Southern Evangelical Seminary with a M.A. in Apologetics and is finishing his M.A. in Philosophy at the University of Dallas. As a pro-life leader, Dave serves on the national board for 40 Days for Life.