Public Faith Conference
In the pluralistic culture we live in, what does it look like to share our faith? In our current day, some of us might be finding it harder and harder to know how to dialogue and share our faith with the relationships in our lives. As believers we are called to evangelize with those God has placed in our lives with thoughtfulness, gentleness and respect. Yet, at times we shy away from this, and it can prevent us from being “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have,” (1 Peter 3:15).
One of our “core values” is to be a church where people who are not Christian feel welcome—their questions invited and their doubts respected. How do we equip ourselves to be good listeners to our non-believing friends’ questions and winsome sharers of the gospel?
It is difficult to publicly identify as a Christian when the culture pressures people to keep their religious beliefs private. A candid account of the gospel story that is a Christian’s deepest identity can be met with dismissive or even derogatory reactions. So New York City can be a perplexing place to “go public” and talk to friends, neighbors or colleagues about our faith.
This Conference is designed to help you become more equipped to have meaningful and fruitful conversations about your faith with your friends who don’t believe. Here’s some important things participants should know:
- At Redeemer we see sharing our faith in the context of authentic relationships. We do not want anyone turning their friends into “projects”. The conference will explore how we can become better listeners and better at asking questions so that we can know and understand our friends, their doubts and their perspective.
- We want to instill the idea that sharing our faith is a dialogue, and not a canned step by step monologue. The conference will not teach you a script or system to try and “convert” someone on the spot. Rather, you will learn from experienced apologists how to become more comfortable interacting about your faith.
- We believe the most effective way to share your faith is an organic process in community. You will not be asked to join a team or go and do some kind of overt evangelism. You will be encouraged to engage with people you know in a way that allows you to have thoughtful and winsome conversations about the gospel.
Please join us for this unique opportunity to be formed to share our hope in Christ.
Speakers include: Tim Keller, Sam Allberry, Michael Ramsden, and Jo Vitale. This is the second of three marquee events in Redeemer’s Formation ministry year.
Although we are unable to offer childcare on site at the conference, we are able to offer a couple of options to offset babysitting costs. Please contact [email protected] BEFORE registering.
Timothy Keller is Chairman of Redeemer City to City and the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. For twenty-eight years he led Redeemer’s diverse congregation of urban professionals that has grown into three churches (in 2017) with a combined weekly attendance of over 5,000.
Dr. Keller grew up in Pennsylvania and was educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary. He previously served as the pastor of West Hopewell Presbyterian Church in Hopewell, Virginia, Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, and Director of Mercy Ministries for the Presbyterian Church in America.
Sam Allberry is a speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and a consulting editor for The Gospel Coalition. Prior to this he served in local church ministry. Sam is the author of a number of books on Christian belief, including Why Bother With Church?, James For You, and the bestselling Is God Anti-Gay?
Michael Ramsden is the International Director of RZIM and has been part of RZIM since its foundation in Europe in 1997. Michael is also joint Director of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Michael was brought up in the Middle East and later moved to England where he worked for the Lord Chancellor’s department investing funds.
While doing research in Law and Economics at Sheffield University, he taught Moral Philosophy and lectured for the International Seminar for Jurisprudence and Human Rights in Strasbourg. He has also been a Professor-in-Residence at the Wolfsberg Executive Institute in Switzerland. Michael has been invited to lecture in various settings including the White House in Washington, D.C. and has in the past addressed leaders at NATO HQ in Brussels, Members of the European Parliament, as well as bankers and investment managers on the current global financial crisis. Michael is also involved in a number of initiatives to equip and train emerging leaders and evangelists around the world. Michael lives in Oxford with his wife, Anne, and their three children.
Jo Vitale is Dean of Studies at the Zacharias Institute and an Itinerant Speaker for RZIM. Prior to joining the US team, Jo was a speaker for RZIM Europe, where she also served in teaching and pastoral roles at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.
During her years in Oxford, Jo graduated with a first-class degree in theology from the University of Oxford. Jo then completed an MSt in biblical interpretation and a DPhil (Ph.D.) in Old Testament studies, both at the University of Oxford. Her doctoral dissertation was on the subject of “women and beauty in the Old Testament.”
Since joining RZIM, Jo has spoken internationally in a variety of contexts, including universities, churches, schools, conferences, and radio programs. She has also been involved in leading several weeklong outreach events at universities in America and the United Kingdom. With her background in biblical studies, Jo has a particular passion for speaking on questions of biblical reliability, challenges to the character of God (including questions related to sexism, war, slavery, and judgment in the Old and New Testaments), and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ in a world of competing truth claims.
Marriott Marquis: 1535 Broadway, NY (between 45th & 46th streets)
Nearest subways stops: Times Square (1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, W, A, C, E) and Rockefeller Center (B, D, F, M).
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16
- 6:30 p.m. Doors Open
- Plenary 1: "A Culture of Public Faith" by Tim Keller
Redeemer is a church not for itself but for the city where those who doubt are welcomed to asked questions and process with friends the Christian faith. What does it mean for a church to embrace that as a culture? What does it mean for Christians in NY to live that out in their relationships?
- Plenary 2 (part 1): "Conversational Apologetics Part 1: Understanding the Question Behind the Question" by Michael Ramsden
At Redeemer we see sharing our faith in the context of authentic relationships and so we will learn how to love our friends well, listen well and know how to ask questions to better understand those in our lives. We hope to equip you with compassionate question asking and not a script nor a system to try to argue or prove.
- Plenary 2 (part 2): Panel Discussion
- 9:45 p.m. Close
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17
- 9:30 a.m. Doors Open, Coffee
- Plenary 3: "Is the Bible Good News for Women?" by Jo Vitale
The Bible can be one of the hardest elements of the Christian faith to defend. It's often criticized for being regressive and oppressive toward women and so what does that mean for those who read it? Is the Bible really "good"? How do we reconcile the critiques of scripture?
- Plenary 4: "Sexual Identity and the Gospel" by Sam Allberry
How does the gospel fit with the latest cultural discussions around gender identity and sexual identity?
- Panel Discussion
- Plenary 5 (part 1): "Conversational Apologetics Part 2: Logic and Falsehoods" by Michael Ramsden
Building on listening well and asking questions that help us know our friends better, we will explore how to respond in ways that foster a dialogue to process the gospel together. What are ways we can foster an open conversation that starts to lead to the gospel? What are conversational pitfalls to avoid?
- Plenary 5 (part 2): Q&A and Debrief with Michael Ramsden
- LUNCH PROVIDED
- Plenary 6: "Authentic Relationships: Intentionality and Creativity" by Tim Keller
Sharing our faith requires intentionality and creativity. This plenary will give practical points on how to love your friends in a humble and inviting way.
- Closing Remarks by Tim Keller
- 4 p.m. Close
Redeemer Congregants, CTC New York Partner Churches, and Past Rise Donors*
- $50 until January 31, 11:59 p.m. EST
- $75 until February 12, 11:59 p.m. EST
- $225 until January 31, 11:59 p.m. EST
- $275 until February 12, 11:59 p.m. EST
- Individuals: $35
- Small group: $100
- Institution: $300
* This special pricing is available to Redeemer congregants through funding by the Rise Campaign
What is this conference all about?
This will be a two-day event with teaching from pastor Tim Keller and three international apologists and trainers from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM): Sam Allberry, Michael Ramsden, & Jo Vitale. This is a unique opportunity for Redeemer congregants to receive practical training on evangelism in the context of authentic relationships. There will be practices and table discussions woven into both days of the conference for all of us to better engage our friends and listen with care in sharing the gospel.
There will be practical skills building and table discussions woven into the sessions. And so, if you’re part of a Community Group, we encourage you to attend this together with members from your group. If you’re not part of a Community Group, please don’t let that stop you! There will be table discussions for everyone during the conference. We hope we will all be able to learn how to share the gospel more naturally and winsomely.
Who should attend the Public Faith Conference?
Anyone interested in developing skills to better engage, listen and share their faith more regularly and effectively in their friendships.
Why is it important for me to attend with my Community Group?
We are encouraging CGs to attend together as a way to foster a learning experience that lasts beyond the two days. By learning these practical skills together, we are hopeful you and your group will be able to revisit and continue to grow in this area.
As a small bonus, for CGs where five or more sign up and attend from the same group, each person will get a free copy of Tim Keller’s new book a devotional on the book of Proverbs. If your CG is smaller than five people or have any questions, please contact [email protected].
If you’re not part of a Community Group, please don’t let that stop you! There will be discussion groups for everyone during the conference.
What if I’m not in a Community Group?
Please come! This conference is for anyone interested in knowing how to engage friends and listen better in sharing the gospel—both winsomely and effectively in our relationships. Everyone attending the conference will be placed at a table to foster practical skills building.
If you’re interested in learning more about getting plugged in at Redeemer or joining a Community Group, please email us at [email protected].
My Community Group has five or more that have signed up. When and how can I get my free copy of Tim Keller’s new devotional on Proverbs?
That’s great! We will have them available for you and your group at registration on Friday of the conference.
What is the cancellation policy?
Full refunds minus a 10% cancellation fee will be provided until January 20th. Refunds of 50% of the registration fee will be offered between January 21-February 9. After February 9th, no refunds will be issued. To request a cancellation please contact [email protected].
Is it possible to attend for one day of the conference?
The sessions throughout the two days of the conference build on each other so we highly discourage only attending just one of the days.
When is the conference?
On Friday, February 16th, doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 9:45 p.m.
On Saturday, February 17th, doors will open at 9:30 a.m. and ending for the day at 4 p.m.
Will meals be provided?
Lunch will be provided on Saturday, February 17th. Dinner will not be provided on Friday.
How should I get there?
The conference will be held at The Marriott Marquis, 5th floor, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 (between 45th & 46th Streets). The nearest subways stops are Times Square (1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, W, A, C, E) and Rockefeller Center (B, D, F, M).
Will childcare be provided?
We will not be able to provide childcare on site but we have two options to offset those costs. Please contact [email protected] BEFORE registering.
My budget is tight. Do you offer discounts?
Please don’t let price deter you from attending the event. Redeemer offers scholarships for congregants in special circumstances. At this time we’re unable to offer scholarships for people who do not attend Redeemer. Please email [email protected] for assistance.
Who do I contact with a different question?
Reach out to [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
The Public Faith Conference marks the second of three marquee Formation events this ministry year. Learn more about the conference series below.
November 17-18, 2017
April 13-15, 2018
Formed to Work for God’s Glory (presented by the Center for Faith & Work)
*The primary mission of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries is to reach and challenge those who shape the ideas of a culture with the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Distinctive in its strong evangelistic and apologetic foundation, the ministry of RZIM is intended to touch both the heart and the intellect of the thinkers and influencers of society through the support of the visionary leadership of Ravi Zacharias.
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries is a global team of speakers with offices throughout the world in: the United States, Canada, Latin America, Africa, the United Kingdom, Spain, Romania, Turkey, the Middle East, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia.