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School of Divinity partners with TRBC for Refuel Conference Oct. 16-17

Liberty University John W. Rawlings School of Divinity has partnered with Thomas Road Baptist Church for this year’s Refuel Lynchburg Conference, held at the church Oct. 16-17. The event, which is presented by the Liberty Church Network, seeks to provide church leaders and members with the resources to effectively fulfill the Great Commission.

This year marks the first time the School of Divinity has assisted with the event. While cities across the country host single-day “Refuel” events through the Liberty Church Network, the conference at TRBC serves as the main event.

“The heartbeat of Refuel has always been to encourage and equip pastors as they minister to their people each week,” said Adam Lancaster, Chief Creative Director at TRBC. “We are very excited to partner with the School of Divinity this year to bring a conference centered around apologetics. Bringing this topic into the practical aspects of ministry will equip attendees with the thought tools they need to help lead people and engage in the ever-shifting culture we find ourselves in today.”

The conference will focus on apologetics, a topic that Jack Carson, executive director of Liberty’s Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement, said has been “sequestered into the halls of the academy.”

“Apologetics has become, over the last 100 years, something for professors and lecture halls. It has been pulled away from the local church.” he said. “What this conference is seeking to show is that the church is the first and most important place where apologetics happens.”

Among the full slate of speakers is Liberty Chancellor Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of TRBC, and School of Divinity professor Gary Habermas. TRBC Worship Leader and Teaching Pastor Charles Billingsley will also participate.

Other featured speakers include University of Oxford Emeritus Andreos Idreos Professor of Science and Religion Alister McGrath, author Sam Chan, and Gabe Lyons, founder and president of THINQ Media, among others.

Several “Refuel Tracks” (or breakout sessions) will be led by many different guests on Monday morning and afternoon, including Liberty Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies Dr. Mark Allen and Carson.

Noting several issues plaguing churches today, such as deconstruction (a movement to reevaluate the truths of evangelical Christianity) and a large number of church members forsaking the faith, Carson said the conference should empower ministry leaders to properly address these problems.

“One of the apologetic goals of the pastor is to shepherd his people through seasons of doubt. That can be difficult at times, and conversations surrounding doubt can stretch into all kinds of topics,” he said. “We’re going to have leaders at this conference who help equip pastors to discuss the reliability of the Bible, the historicity of the resurrection, and many complexities surrounding modern culture. We are going to help equip pastors to be the most important apologists in the lives of their congregants.”

Refuel Lynchburg is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to sign up on the conference’s website.

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