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    Reasonable Faith UTD Schedule Fall 2017

    We meet on Thu nights at 7pm. Meetings are in the Phoenix room (SU 2.508) unless otherwise noted
    Aug 24   (Gemini room SU 2.504) Introduction to Our Group
    Can faith be reasonable? Why is that important? A preview of interesting evidences we’ll cover in future weeks
    Aug 31   Answering the Tough Questions about Christianity
    Bring your own questions but will discuss things like how could a good God allow evil?

    Origins Discussion Series
    Sept 7    Cosmological Arguments for God – Blake and Allen
    Blake and Allen will lead this discussion of leading philosophical arguments for God with a look at the scientific evidence for an origin to the universe and what that might imply
    Sept 11 (Mon 7pm in JSOM 1.118) A Friendly Debate with the Philosophy Club: Does God Exist?
    Joseph Hackenbracht and Brian Bell argue for the existence of God against Andrew Berry and Joseph Harris
    Sept 14  Do the Foundations of Science Reveal Design?  (Plinth?) Allen
    Why is there is broad agreement among physicists that the initial conditions and fundamental constants of nature had to be incredibly finely tuned for life to exist anywhere? Does this have design implications?
    Sept 21  (SLC 1.102 7:30pm) Is there Evidence for Intelligent Design in Biology?
    Biochemist Dr. Fazale Rana will make the positive case and look at some challenges to solely naturalistic evolution such as due to the Cambrian explosion
    Sept 28  Does the Origin of Life Suggest a Creator?
    Hear the evidence that convinced a Nobel Prize winner who was previously skeptical of God's existence

    Oct 5      A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature          
    Dr. Jonathan Witt will present on the book by the same name that he authored
    Oct 12    Dr. Paul Gould Presents on The Re-enchantment of the World
    Oct 19    Do Objective Moral values and Duties Point to the Existence of God?
    Charlie Holman will present this argument with lots of opportunities for discussion
    Oct 26   (SLC 2.302 7:30 pm) Is There Prejudice Against Christians in Academia?
    Dr. George Yancey, a sociology professor from UNT will discuss his research and book on this topic
    Nov 2     Student-led Night – students share their personal stories and lessons learned
    Nov 9     (SSA 14.245) How were the books of the New Testament chosen? Steve Lee
    Nov 16   Does Archaeology support the New Testament? Steve Lee        
    Nov 23   No meeting – Happy Thanksgiving! 
    Nov 30   End of the semester party!

    About the Speakers/Leaders:
    Charlie Holman – helped start our group in 2010 as a freshman; graduated from UTD with a BS in EE and a minor in philosophy (much of which he had to learn in German in the McDermott Scholar study abroad program!)
    Allen Hainline – former doubter who returned to Christianity after an evidential search; has expertise in fine-tuning with a physics degree; he blogged for a national organization, and was cited as a reviewer in a Cambridge Univ. Press book
    Blake Giunta – runs an incredible website called BeliefMap.org, has debated prominent atheists on a national stage, recently studied at Moody Bible Institute, has a good reputation among skeptics for fair-minded discourse.
    Byron Barlowe – a research associate with Probe Ministries who also served with Cru for 20 years. He worked closely with top scholars like Dr. William Lane Craig as an editor and webmaster for top sites defending the Christian worldview.
    Dr. Fazale Rana – has a PhD in Biochemistry, wrote the book which convinced Nobel Prize winning chemist Richard Smalley that life could not arise from non-life apart from a Creator. Smalley was the Father of Nanotechnology.
    Dr. Tristan Whalen – a Senior Instructor in Math at UTD and is very highly rated by students in RateMyProfessors.com. Dr. Whalen is an excellent and interesting communicator.
    Steve Lee – pursuing a PhD in philosophy of religion, he has taught for many years at Prestonwood Christian Academy and has training in philosophy and history from UNT and SWBT Seminary. He has published several articles, including for the Apologetics Study Bible for Students.
    Dr. Paul Gould – has a PhD in philosophy from Purdue University and is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Christian Apologetics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

    Previous Semesters:

    Reasonable Faith UTD Schedule Spring 2017

    We meet Thursday nights at 7pm in the Libra room (SU 1.614).
    Jan 12 What does the Bible say about Creation? Allen
    Jan 19 A Physician's Perspective on the Abortion Debate - Making it Personal - Dr. Steve Arze
    Jan 26 Messianic prophecy as evidence for the truth of Scripture - John Kanter
    Feb 2 Hey Einstein! What Imagination Can Do for You Intellectually, Morally, and Spiritually - Byron
    Feb 9 Gods among men and One who is God - Justin Bass
    Feb 16 The Lord Jesus among the gods - key distinctions between Christianity & other religions – Dr. Justin Bass
    Feb 23 Problem of Pain – Dr. Tristan Whalen (click for audio)
    Mar 2 Historical Case for the Resurrection of Jesus – Dr. Tim McGrew
    Mar 9 Is the God of the Old Testament a Moral Monster? Allen
    Mar 16 Spring Break
    Mar 23 Responding to Common Skeptical Objections – discussing Skeptical Memes and Short Video Clips
    Mar 30 The Case Against Naturalism Based on Free Will and Consciousness – Allen
    Apr 6 When is Disagreement Useless, Wrong, Bad, or Even Good? Byron
    Apr 13 Different Models for Sovereignty of God and Human Free Will – Steve Lee
    Apr 20 Five Christian Lessons from Mathematics (click for audio) - Dr. Tristan Whalen
    Apr 27 End of the Year Party

    Special Events
    Friday Feb 24 @7pm in SSA Auditorium with FOCUS A Fortunate Universe - Life, the Multiverse and God By Dr. Luke Barnes, world expert on Fine-Tuning
    Sunday Feb 26 @7pm at "The Door" in Deep Ellum; A Debate on: "Is Fine-Tuning Evidence for Theism over Naturalism?" Dr. Luke Barnes vs. Dr. Matthew Titsworth, an adjunct physics prof at UTD
    Sunday Mar 5 @7pm at "The Ginger Man" in Fort Worth Dr. Tim McGrew: The Evidential Value of Acts

    Other local events

  • Many excellent conferences are available and we can provide scholarships so don't let a lack of finances stop you from going!

  • UnApologetic Conference featuring Lee Strobel and Sean McDowell
    – At Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas Jan 27-28
    Intelligent Design talk by Dr. Doug Axe – Wed Feb 22 6:30pm at Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church
    – Rides available from UTD
    Stand Firm conference March 3-4 in Fort Worth at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
    – Fri Mar 3 is a debate between John Mark Reynolds and Michael Shermer
    – Tim McGrew is giving 2 keynote speeches on Saturday March 4
    – Steve Lee, Sam Dallas and Keith Loftin (who have all taught at our group) are also speaking
    – Register at SWBTS.EDU/STANDFIRM (only $15 for students by 2/17)
    Apologetics conference at Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church in Allen on Fri-Sat April 28-29
    – Dr. Sean McDowell, Astrophysict Dr. Jeff Zweerink of Reasons to Believe will also be speaking at this conference
    – Many breakout sessions available on a wide range of topics

    Reasonable Faith UTD Schedule Fall 2016

    We meet every Thursday at 7 pm. All but the first 2 weekly meetings are in the Libra room (SU 1.614). The first 2 weeks we meet in ECCS 2.415.

Series I: Finding Truth
Aug 25 Seeking, Finding & Discussing Answers to Life's Most Important Questions (ECSS 2.415)
Sept 1  How can we know truth? (ECSS 2.415)
What can we learn from philosophy about how to properly determine what is true?
Sept 8 Libra room (SU 1.614) Skepticism: When is it appropriate and when not?
We will also discuss why God doesn’t reveal Himself more clearly?

Series II: Finding God
Sept 15 Overview of Philosophical Arguments for God’s Existence (Libra room)
Steve Lee provides an overview on key arguments with a focus on two of them.
Sept 22 Does God Exist Debate (Libra room)
Watch a debate with lots of discussion about what each side is saying.
Sept 29 Do the Foundations of Science Reveal Design? (Libra room)
Allen presents the fine-tuning argument in a similar fashion to the upcoming Fortunate Universe book (Cambridge University Press).
Oct 6 Should the History of Science Discredit Belief in God? (Libra room)
Allen presents on the history of science and religion with an emphasis on discrediting myths
Oct 13 Doesn’t Evolution show that we don’t need God? (Libra room)
Dr. Ray Bohlin discusses some shortcomings of Darwinian evolution.

Special event Daniel Rangel – “Life to the Full Through Sex?”  Friday night Oct 14 with FOCUS

Oct 20   Faculty Panel – 3 current and 1 former UTD professor share their perspectives on the issues our group discusses and will answer your questions.

Oct 27   Student-led discussions of the content of previous weeks


Series III: Finding Meaning, Finding God
Nov 3    Testimony Night – students share their personal stories
Nov 10  No meeting on campus – we’ll be going out to eat together at Palio’s Pizza
Nov 17 Argument from Desire and Beauty
Nov 24  No meeting – Happy Thanksgiving!
Dec 1     To be determined

    Other local events

    • National level conference presenting an intellectual defense of Christianity
      • Featuring top speakers like:
        • J Warner Wallace – Cold-case Homicide Detective
        • Fri night Oct 21 until Saturday afternoon at North Dallas Community Bible Fellowship
          • On Highway 190 near Jupiter (about 5 miles from campus)


    Reasonable Faith UTD Schedule SPRING 2016

    We meet Thursdays at 7 pm in the McDermott Library MC 2.410

    Series: Evaluating the Bible: Is Inspired by God? Can We Trust It?
    Jan 14         Can I Trust the Bible? Or is it a Result of the Gossip Game? Byron
    Jan 21         Is There Evidence for Divine Inspiration from Biblical Prophecy? Allen
    Jan 28         Is New Testament historically reliable? Allen
    Feb 4          Can We Trust That We Have the Right Books in the New Testament? Dr. Bass
    Feb 11        The Bible and Science: Friends or Foes? Allen
                                              
    Series: Who Was Jesus?
    Feb 18        What has been the impact of Jesus’ teaching? Byron & Allen
    Feb 25        Is Jesus the Only Way to God? Wouldn’t that be Narrow-Minded? Steve Lee
    March 3     Did Jesus Claim to be Divine? Dr. Justin Bass
    March 10  Is Jesus Unique? Byron
    March 17  Spring Break! (no meeting)                                                                                                         
    March 24  What Historical Evidence is there for the Resurrection? Steve Lee

    Series: Evaluating Other Religions – An Introduction and an Evidential Examination
    March 31  Hinduism – Raj Sebastian
    April 7        Islam
                                             
    April 14     Why Does God Allow Evil? Allen
    April 21     Worldview/Culture TBD
    April 28     End of the Year Party!


    Reasonable Faith UTD Schedule Fall 2015

    Reason and Critical Thinking Series:
    Thu Aug 27 7pm - Worldviews - Byron Barlowe
    Fri Aug 28 7:30 pm in CN 1.112 – God’s Crime Scene - J Warner Wallace
    Wallace, a cold-case homicide detective whose work has been featured prominently on Dateline, was an atheist until age 35 when he applied his skills to evaluate the evidence for Christianity and now speaks about the evidence for Christianity around the country. Wallace examines 8 critical pieces of evidence in the "crime scene" of the universe to determine if they point to a Divine Intruder.

    Sept 3 - Logic and Reason – Raj Sebastian, Byron Barlowe
    Sept 10 – How to Think Critically and Avoid Fallacies - Allen Hainline
    Sun Sept 13 6:00 pm w/ free food: Star Wars Movie Watching Party and Discussion
    Sept 17 in CN 1.112 – I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist – Dr. Frank Turek
    Frank is a dynamic speaker who has presented around the country and overseas. He makes a powerful cumulative case argument that God exists, that the Bible is trustworthy and that Christianity is true based on science, philosophy, history and archaeology.

    Fri Sept 18 6pm At Preston Ridge Conf. Center at Collin College in Frisco– Debate : Did Jesus Claim to Be God? Dr. Justin Bass vs. Dr. Bart Ehrman
    Sat Sept 19 – Conference at Watermark Church lead by world class Biblical scholars such as Daniel Wallace, Mike Licona, and Darrell Bock
    Sept 24 –“The Soul: A Review of Neuroscience and Near Death Experiences” Beau Bishop

    Existence of God Series:
    Oct 1 – Moral Argument – Charlie Holman
    Oct 8 – Cosmological Arguments – Allen Hainline
    Oct 15 – Intelligent Design - Tim Farage (Senior Instructor in CS dept at UTD)
    Oct 22 – Limits of Biological Evolution - Dr. Ray Bohlin (PhD in Evolutionary Biology)
    Oct 29 – Problem of Evil - Steve Lee
    Nov 5 – Tying it All Together – Review and Discussion of Series
    Fri Nov 6 7pm CN 1.112 Evidence for God from Physics - Dr. Mike Strauss (joint event with FOCUS)

    Nov 12 – Cultural issue (TBD)
    Nov 19 – Brief student lead discussions
    Nov 26 – Thanksgiving
    Dec 3 – End of Semester Party
    Dec 18 – See Star Wars 7 “The Force Awakens” Movie on Opening Night!

    All meetings Thursdays at 7 pm in the McDermott Library MC 2.410 unless otherwise specified. If the time is left out, it starts at 7pm.

     

    Here is the schedule for previous semesters in case you're interested:

    Reasonable Faith UTD: Schedule Spring 2015

  • Jan 15 "The Nature and Consequences of Christianophobia" Dr. George Yancey (UNT Sociology Prof)
    7pm Jan 22 – Are Unborn Humans Worth Protecting? Dave Sterrett – FN 2.102
    Jan 29 – How to interact with people on controversial topics? – Steve Lee
    Feb 5 – How Do We Know Jesus of Nazareth was a Historical Figure? – Steve Lee
    Tue Feb 10 – Dr. Frank Turek at SMU - I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist
    Wed Feb 11 – Turek speaks at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall at Man Church at 7pm
    Feb 12 – How Reliable are the New Testament documents? Dr. Tim McGrew via Skype
    Feb 19 - Is the Universe Finely-Tuned for Life and Discoverability? Allen & Blake
    Feb 26 – The Moral Argument for God’s Existence - Dr. John Ferrer
    Mar 5 – Intelligent Design in the Origin of Life? - Allen
    Mar 12 – Intelligent Design or Darwinism? - Blake
    Mar 19 – No meeting because it’s Spring Break!
    Mar 20-21 – Stand Firm Conference at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth (featuring Cold-Case Homicide Detective J Warner Wallace)
    Mar 26 – Jesus's Prophecies - (with emphasis on Mark 13) – Dr. Justin Bass
    April 2 – The Positive Impacts of Biblical Christianity on the World - Allen
    April 9 – Historical Evidence for the Resurrection – Blake Giunta
    April 16 – Answering Atheism's Top 10 Objections – Blake
    April 23 – Q&A – Blake and Allen
    April 30 – End of The Year Party!

    All meetings at 8:30 in Phoenix (SU 2.508) unless otherwise specified
    Special local events in italics not on campus

Previous Semesters:

    Reasonable Faith UTD: Schedule Fall 2014

    Sun Aug 24 – Kick-Off Party FN 2.102               
    Aug 28 – Can Faith be Reasonable? Garrett Engel & Allen Hainline FN 2.102
    Sun Aug 31 6pm – Debate: Does Science Point to God? Allen Hainline vs. Lydia Allan (Live Oak 1311 Lipscomb in Fort Worth)
    Sept 4 - New Testament: Reliable or Myth? – Jonathan McLatchie (click for audio) FN 2.102
    Sept 11 - Epistemology – How Do We Gain Knowledge? Beau Bishop GR 2.530 (click for audio)
    Wed Sept 17  7pm – Arguments for the Existence of God and Q&A - Dr. William Lane Craig via Skype (JO 3.516)
    Sept 18 – Is the Universe Finely-Tuned for Life? Allen Hainline
    Sat Sept 20 - 6 pm Debate: Does God Exist? – Blake Giunta and Justin Schieber (CN 1.112)(click for video)
    Sept 25 – Divine Hiddenness – Why Doesn’t God Make Himself Clearly Known? - Steve Lee

  • Oct 2 – Is Free Will in Conflict with Naturalism? - Allen Hainline (click for audio)
    Oct 9 – Are Humans More Than Just Matter? – Beau Bishop
    Oct 16 – The True Myth: Christianity through the eyes of Tolkien and CS Lewis – Dr. Justin Bass
    Oct 23 – Introduction to Philosophy and the Christian Worldview (click for audio) – Blake Giunta
    Oct 30 – Cosmological Arguments for the Existence of God (click for audio) – Blake Giunta
    Wed Nov 5 7pm “New Proofs For God’s Existence” – Dr. Robert C Koons (CN 1.120)
    Nov 6 – Bible Difficulties – Blake Guinta and Allen Hainline
    Nov 13 – Christian Particularism – Are Christians Narrow-Minded? - Steve Lee  (click for audio)  FN 2.102
    Nov 20 – End of the semester Game Party bring your favorite board or card games! Come hungry as food wi;ll be provided!
    Nov 27 – No meeting – It’s Thanksgiving!

  • All meetings in Phoenix Room in Student Union (SU 2.508) unless otherwise noted. All meetings are on Thursday unless otherwise noted.

  • PREVIOUS SEMESTERS:

    Schedule for Spring 2014

    Jan 16 – Faith and Epistemology - Allen Hainline
    Jan 23 – Evidence for Christianity from Early Church Fathers - Dr. Justin Bass
    Jan 30 – Differences Between Jehovah's Witnesses and Christians - Dr. Justin Bass
    Feb 6 – Quantum Mechanics, Miracles and Materialism - Dr. Neil Shenvi via Skype
    Feb 13 – Evidence for Resurrection – J Warner Wallace via Skype
    Feb 20 – 4:30 Intelligent Design Jonathan McLatchie in FN 2.102 (Food provided)
    Feb 27 – Archaeological Corroboration of the Bible - Ted Wright
    March 6 – Archaeology and the Bible – Allen Hainline
    March 13 – No meeting due to Spring Break
    March 20 – Human Free Will and God’s Sovereignty - Steve Lee (FN 2.102)
    March 27– How Can a Good God Allow Evil? Allen Hainline
    April 3 – What if Atheists are Right? Beau Bishop
    April 10 – 7:00 William Lane Craig Skypes in for Q&A  (larger room – TBD)
    April 17 – 7:30 Evidence for the Resurrection - Steve Lee (Joint meeting with Intervarsity in JSOM 1.118 (Davidson auditorium)
    April 24 – Review and special discussions

    May 1 – End of the year party
  • Schedule for Fall 2013

    Aug 22 Meet and Greet Party   Libra Room SU 1.614
    Aug 29 How can we find answers to life's most important questions? GR 2.302 audio

  • Series: Does God Exist?
    Sept 5 Cosmological Arguments Phoenix Room SU 2.508 audio
    Sept 12 Moral Argument – Steve Lee   Libra Room SU 1.614 audio
    Sept 19 – Fine-Tuning of Universe for Life – Allen   Libra Room SU 1.614 audio
    Sept 26 – What About Arguments for Atheism?  - Libra Room SU 1.614
    Fri Sept 27 6pm – Debate with ASH: Which Worldview Best Explains Reality? - CN 1.102
    Fri Oct 4 6pm – Debate with ASH: Which Worldview Best Explains Morality? - CN 1.112

  • Series: Evidentially evaluating Christianity and other religions
    Oct 3 – Comparing and Contrasting Islam and Christianity – Dr. Justin Bass  Libra Room SU 1.614 audio
    Oct 10 – Why a Former Atheist Detective Became a Christian - J Warner Wallace (via Skype)   Libra Room SU 1.614
    Oct 17 - A Homicide Detective Analyzes Evidence for Christianity - J Warner Wallace (via Skype)  GR 2.302
    Fri Oct 18 @7pm – Changing your Worldview - Afshin Ziafat - CN 1.112
    Oct 24 Comparing and contrasting Mormonism & Christianity – Sam Dallas - Phoenix Room SU 2.508
    Oct 31 Discovering and Discussing Truth – Allen  – GR 2.302
    Nov 7 Can we trust the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus? – Dr. Justin Bass - Libra Room SU 1.614 audio

    Nov 14 "Grill a Christian"- Q&A with Philosopher Dr. Keith Loftin GR 2.302 audio
    Nov 21 Origin of Life – Dr. Nils Confer - Libra Room SU 1.614 audio
    Nov 28 – No meeting - it's Thanksgiving!
    Dec 5 – End of semester party!  Phoenix Room SU 2.508

    All meetings are 8:30-9:30 Thu nights; All rooms are in Student Union except for GR (Cecil Green Hall) and CN (Clark Center)


Notes on Some Topics:
Origin of Universe:
Most scientists agree that the universe came into being a finite time ago – does this imply a Creator?
We'll discuss how new evidence relates to the classical cosmological argument for the existence of God. More details

Origin of Initial Conditions of Universe:
Presentations Our universe had to have begun in a very special way to result in an orderly universe rather than one dominated by black holes. Oxford physicist Roger Penrose marvels at "how precise the Creator's aim must have been, namely to an accuracy of one part in 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power." What are possible naturalistic explanations for this and other interest facts about the early universe?

Origin of Finely-Tuned Laws of Physics:
Virtually all scientists agree that only a tiny fraction of logically possible universes would have been life-permitting – what are the implications of this, does it point to God or to multiple universes? More details

Origin of Life:
What are the latest theories for a naturalistic origin of life? Does the evidence point more toward some type of supernatural involvement or does it seem to be an inevitable consequence of the laws of nature?

Origin of Morality:
Does objective morality exist? Are some things really wrong independent of a person or culture's opinions about it? If so, what is the basis for saying that something is objectively wrong? We'll explain arguments of philosophers on both sides of this issue.

Origin of Evil:
Is the existence of evil or suffering evidence against God? Why would an all-powerful God who is good allow evil to exist?

Other Origins topics:

  • Origin (and History) of Various Religions

  • Origin of the Bible (Is it of God or of Man?) – A Multi-week series
  • Are there any Biblical statements that contradict science or that were ahead of the science of that time?
  • Does archaeological evidence support the accuracy of the Bible?
  • The Bible makes predictions that are documented in texts dated well before the fulfillment (and many apply to the current day – such as cities never to be rebuilt).
  • We'll examine a case made by some Cornell scientists using Bayesian probability analysis that fulfilled prophecies are too improbable to have happened by chance
  • Who determined what books go in the Bible and how was this done?
  • Is the Bible we have now what was originally written? Has it changed substantially? How does it compare with other ancient literature?

  • Origin of Christianity
  • What historical evidence is there for Jesus and the truth of his claims? (including discussion of sources outside of the Bible)
  • How do resurrection claims hold up using the rules historians use?

  • Origin of the Species
  • Are there limits to what biological evolution can accomplish?
  • What is the best evidence for or against the theory that all of life's diversity resulted from unguided natural processes?
  • What is Intelligent Design? Is there support for the theory? What do critics say about this theory?
  •  

    Below is a brief synopsis of some of the arguments and evidence that we'll be discussing:

    Cosmological argument

    Fine-Tuning of Initial Conditions

    Fine-Tuning of Laws

    Multiverse?

    Origin of Life

    Bible Inspired

    Resurrection


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