For centuries the Christian Church was the leading patron of the arts. The Christian faith was not just defended by intellectual argument but was also promoted and explained through paintings, music, and literature. This wasn’t always deliberate. It could be argued that this was simply the natural consequence of having an abundance of Christians involved in artistic expression: inevitably, the beliefs of the artists would manifest.
It is evident that the beliefs of artists continue to manifest today, only now they believe any number of different things. No longer is there a critical mass of Christians involved in the arts. Furthermore, there are many more avenues for artists to manifest their worldview, most notably through movies and through the Internet.
For this reason, it isn’t enough to simply possess the Truth or defend it cogently. Christians must be involved in the arts and the Church must re-commit to putting Christian artists into society. Christian apologists already understand how books like The Da Vinci Code are able to raise baseless doubts in people’s hearts and minds… and even believers, especially young ones. Movies, music, and literature have the power to influence and even transform whole civilizations.
This is not something to be frightened about. God made us so that we would resonate to that which we transmit and receive through the arts. Like all good things, the arts can be twisted and corrupted. For this reason, they shouldn’t be abandoned… they should be embraced. We should not cede to the Enemy territory that is rightfully ours.
In this spirit, Athanatos Christian Ministries is proud to host and sponsor this first annual online apologetics conference dedicated to inspiring Christians to either express their faith through the arts or support those that do. This year’s conference will primarily focus on literary apologetics, or promoting the Christian faith through the written word, and fiction in particular.
The dates are May 7th and 8th, 2010. The conference will be held virtually, that is, almost wholly online. Details will be added as they are firmed up.
2010 Conference Goals:
* Cast a vision for ‘literary apologetics.’
* Call upon leaders in the Church to explore ways to communicate the faith through the arts in a deliberate manner.
* Explore strengths and weaknesses to apologetics in general and apologetics through the arts in particular.
* Begin the process of laying a theological foundation for engaging in ‘literary apologetics.’
* Connect Christian artists with each other and with those who can help propel them to success.
* Robert Bowman, Jr. Institute for Religious Research.
* Dr. Angus Menuge, Concordia University Wisconsin.
* Dr. Corey Olsen, aka “The Tolkien Professor,” Washington College.
* Dr. Bernard Bull, Concordia University Wisconsin.
* Mr. Robert Velarde, Author
* Mary Jo Sharp, Confident Christianity.
* Mr. Anthony Horvath, Athanatos Christian Ministries.
* The 1st Prize winner of ACM’s 2010 Christian writing contest.