Monday, August 25, 2008

It Was Like Being At The Oscars!

Wait for it….

August 15 and 16, the Friday and Saturday before this past, I attended the 2nd annual Hawai‘i Apologetics Conference. It was held at the International Baptist Church in Nu‘uanu. I was invited to go with Uncle Mike and Aunty Shirlynne because they know that I have an interest in apologetics. All I’m gonna say is, I went to the conference by myself.

But there were other familiar faces in attendance. Friday night, KUC Elder Mr. Nagasaki sat in front of me with his family. Several former KUC-ans who had left with church plants were there, Pastor Owen and his wife, Jon Ching, Uncle Wayne, and others. Mr. Hugh Dunn happened to sit next to me. The last time I really got to talk to him, he had 2 kids. Hugh and Joanna now have FOUR little ones! I’ve missed a lot. Saturday night I went also by myself, but sat with Ms. Kawamura, Clara and Nobu [KUC].

The speakers for both nights were Dr. Norman Geisler and Pat Zukeran, two very intelligent men full of good humor. On Friday, Dr. Geisler spoke on the reliability of the Bible; Pat Zukeran gave answer to whether or not Christianity borrowed from pagan myths. On Saturday, they spoke on the attacks on the Bible and conspiracies of the cross.

Both nights were full of good information and thinking. I had heard before of the issues that they had addressed, and had heard pieces of the answers here and there from various sources, but it was very helpful to have the answers together in one concise session. I had wondered what is the truth about the pagan myth argument, so that was very good for me to hear. They went a little quickly, but hopefully I retained enough of their teachings to be able to pass them on later.

To illustrate a very small part of the humor during the conference, during the Q&A session they were asked, “why did God create the forbidden tree?” After giving the straight answer, Dr. Geisler added, “It wasn’t the apple on the tree that got us into trouble; it was the pair [pear] on the ground!”

Tables were set up outside with books by both men. Pat Zukeran is also a radio host for the Evidence and Answers program; some CD sets on various topics handled on the show were also for sale. I had browsed the tables on Friday night, but decided to wait and come back on Saturday to purchase anything. I was aware of Dr. Geisler’s books and had wanted to purchase a particular one for some time, but with the Big D I haven’t had much time for leisure books.

Good thing I waited. On Saturday before the conference began, I picked up one book from both authors. As I paid for them, Dr. Geisler came outside. He signed my book, asked my name and shook my hand! I met Dr. Geisler! That’s my big “celebrity” moment. I didn’t even have to ask for his signature :D . But then that made me a little hesitant to ask for a photo with him, he having already been gracious with his time. Still, that was cool!

That’s not the Oscar part yet; here it comes. On Saturday, they had everyone put their name in a bowl. Between the sessions, they pulled names for door prizes. Two breaks, three prizes of one CD set handed out each break. The third name called…was MINE! Seriously, I was sitting there hoping my name would be called ‘cuz hey, who doesn’t wanna win free stuff? But also, it’s my kinda “geek” prize. I’d rather win the CD set than a store gift card or something.

So I went up for my prize which happened to be one of the sets I was considering buying. It’s a 4-CD set on Islam. If anyone would like to borrow it and find out why Islam is different from Christianity, let me know! You might have to leave a deposit so that I’m assured of having the set returned though!

Then during that break, people were coming up to me to congratulate me! Even people I didn’t know! Small kine self-celebrity moment! :D

During the second break, three more names were called. One of the winners was Clara, another KUC-an. Then Uncle Wayne won a set also! So KUC [and related persons] came out with 3 of 6 prizes, 50% of the wins!

The highlight is still having met Dr. Geisler. I’m a geek, I love smart people! What can I say? Other than one of my history professors who taught us from the book he authored, this was the only time I was able to meet an author in person!

Next year’s conference will focus on the cults and world religions, definitely something I want to learn more about the differences. Anyone interested? The conference was free and the chance to meet well-known authors and speakers like Dr. Geisler right here in Hawai‘i is a chance worth taking.


Links to Dr. Geisler and Pat Zukeran's ministries
Dr. Norman Geisler