Fifth Annual ELS Apologetics and Worldviews Conference
A Culture of Deception? Equipping Christians with Truth and Love in Tumultuous Times
Hosted at Bethany Lutheran College on June 21-22, 2023 Sponsored by the Center for Apologetics and Worldviews
Wednesday, June 21, 7 p.m.
Equipped with Words and Works of Love in an Angry and Frightened World / Pastor David Jay Webber, Bethany Lutheran Church, Princeton, Minnesota
Drawing on the Biblical and Lutheran categories of creation and vocation, the two kingdoms, and the three estates—and on 35 years of experience in the ministry—Pastor Webber explores ways in which God’s Word and the Church prepare Christians, in these tumultuous times, to speak and act in their families and in their society in a manner that honors Jesus’ teaching on the two greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. … Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30–31)
Rev. David Jay Webber received a Master of Divinity Degree from Concordia Theological Seminary and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from the Institute of Lutheran Theology. In the past he served as a parish pastor in Missouri, Massachusetts, and Arizona, and for eight years as the rector and a professor of theology at Saint Sophia Lutheran Seminary in Ukraine. Since 2022, he has been the pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Princeton, Minnesota. He has been a frequent essayist and presenter at various historical and theological conferences. Over the years his writings on many subjects have been published in a wide array of journals and books.
Thursday, June 22, 10:30 a.m.
Equipped for the Worldview Battlefront in the Classroom and the Workplace / Pastor Paul Dare, author of Christians in a Woke World: A Call to Courage, Confession and Love
An old, evil ideology has become new again. It re-defines people, dehumanizes them and divides them into groups against one another. It has transformed the meaning of old words such as “woke,” “justice,” “privilege,” and more. It is arguably the most prominent ideology of our day, deserving of the full and immediate attention of Christ’s Church. In this session we will Scripturally examine the origins and aims of this ideology, often called Cultural Marxism, and learn to respond with Christian courage, a faithful confession, and otherworldly love.
Rev. Paul Dare has served as a parish pastor for more than 20 years. With a love of Lutheran education, leading Bible study is the highlight of his week. He has been published in Doxology Magazine, “Escaping Satan’s Funhouse: Believing the Truth in the Care of Disordered Souls”; a Bible study booklet, Christians in a Woke World: A Call to Courage, Confession and Love; and is currently writing a book on Church Discipline as part of the Lexham Ministry Guides. Rev. Dare has been featured in a series of interviews on the national podcast “Issues, Etc.” regarding Christians living in a society where a Neo-Marxist ideology has taken root. He also has spoken at numerous conferences across the country. He currently serves as the senior pastor at Zion Lutheran Church and School in Alexandria, Minnesota. Rev. Dare is happily married with three children.
Thursday, June 22, 1 p.m.
Equipped to Steer Difficult Conversations toward Truth, with Gentleness and Respect / Joshua Nelson, Teacher, Wisconsin Lutheran High School
Young people today are distressingly perplexed and persuaded by questions arising from raging debates concerning Wokism or critical theory: What is justice? What is oppression? What is humanity? What is gender identity? What is a pronoun? What is racism? What is bigotry? What is diversity, equity, and inclusion? And most importantly, who should decide? Culture has answers. Peer groups accept answers. Government policymakers enforce answers. Schools indoctrinate with their answers. The workplace imposes answers. Social and news media proselytize with their answers. Celebrities proudly celebrate their answers. Even many churches now preach the culture’s answers as if they are gospel. But is there transcendent truth and a God who has already addressed these matters? Has God spoken in his Word? This session will equip Christians to speak God’s truth—wisely and confidently—and live God’s love among a lonely, deceived, and hurting people.
Joshua J. Nelson, an educator currently serving at Wisconsin Lutheran High School, has worked with young adults in multiple countries and across a variety of cultures. He recognizes how different worldviews affect young people. While so many voices insist that American society is hopelessly divided by cultural differences, Christianity offers the worldview God intended: an eternal foundation for true unity—stretching back in time to our common creation in God’s image and forward in time to Christ’s return as the world’s only Savior.
Conference Poster and Bulletin Insert
Equipped with Words and Works of Love in an Angry and Frightened World – Pastor David Jay Webber
Equipped for the Worldview Battlefront in the Classroom and the Workplace – Pastor Paul Dare
Equipped to Steer Difficult Conversations toward Truth, with Gentleness and Respect – Joshua Nelson