Videos of the 2017 Relevant Series at the University of Toronto

It was a great honour and joy to again co-lead the University of Toronto mission week, this time with my friend Logan Gates of RZIM. Last semester during the Relevant Series week, 1500 students attended 17 talks. Wycliffe College was generous to film and edit a number of the talks. Here are all of the videos we recorded below. Click on the individual talk titles to access the videos.

IS GOD SEXIST? WITH MICHELLE TEPPER

Is the Bible misogynistic? Wasn’t the Bible written by primitive men who were flagrant sexists? What is God’s design? What leadership roles did Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Rahab, Lydia, and others have in the storyline of the Bible? How did Jesus treat women? How is Christianity good news for women?

IS GOD AGAINST MY FREEDOM? WITH DR. ANDY BANNISTER

Does God want to keep me from enjoying the good things in life? To call certain things “off limits” that bring me happiness? Shouldn’t I have the right to choose how I want to live? What is the connection between freedom and virtue? Imagine leadership without character, business without ethics and science without human values—in short, freedom without virtue. Why did Jesus say that he came to bring freedom? What did he mean by this? Why is this good news?

IS CHRISTIANITY IRRATIONAL? A DIALOGUE BETWEEN AN ATHEIST AND A CHRISTIAN

Is Christianity the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence? Is Christian faith belief in spite of the lack of evidence? Is it a belief system made up to avoid dealing with the harshness of the universe? What makes something rational? If Christianity is rational, what is the evidence for it? And if there are good reasons, would this be something we would even want to be true? Hear two great intellectuals dialogue on this important subject.

DOES RELIGION POISON EVERYTHING? WITH DR. ANDY BANNISTER

Richard Dawkins said: “Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where’s the harm? September 11th changed all that.”From war, to child abuse, to slavery, to racism, to its treatment of women, to academic progress, doesn’t everything religion touches fall apart? Isn’t religion the great virus that our society needs a cure from?What if the problem is not religion, but human beings themselves? What are some of the great things that religion has inspired from music, to social justice, to health care, to science, to scholarship, to literature, to education, to human rights, to economic reform? Why is religion on the one hand such a force for good in the world and on the other hand often such a force for evil? Listen to this fascinating talk with Q&A.

WHERE IS GOD WHEN LIFE HURTS? WITH DR. SHARON DIRCKX

If God is in charge and is loving, why is life filled with so much purposeless pain? Why doesn’t he step in when injustice occurs? Why would he make the world if he knew how much suffering there would be? If God is good, how does he bring meaning and hope in the midst of suffering? How is he going to finally end suffering? What assurance do we have that this true?

VIDEO CLIP FROM THE Q&A OF “THE BIBLE: FACT OR FICTION?”

Is the Bible a myth? Does it describe real events in history? Hasn’t it been corrupted so the original message has been lost? If not, what is the evidence that it can be taken seriously?

MUSLIM, CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE ON “WHO IS GOD?”

Who is God and what should our response be as human beings? How should we love our neighbour? Christians and    Muslims share these two great questions, but have different approaches to answering them. Watch a rich dialogue between a Muslim and a Christian as they speak on their faith’s understanding of the nature of God, and how these differences play out in terms of what they offer to a hurting world in need of hope.

ARE ALL RELIGIONS BASICALLY THE SAME? WITH ABDU MURRAY

Aren’t all religions beautiful myths based on faith that all teach basically the same thing? Be a good person, love your neighbour, care for the poor, practice justice? Isn’t it bigoted and ethnocentric to say that one religion is more true to reality (science, history, the human condition) than another? Can tests of truth even be applied to religion? If so, what would they be? If religions don’t all teach the same thing, that they are fundamentally different, yet superficially the same, where do they differ?

SEXUALITY AND IDENTITY? WHO AM I? WITH SAM ALLBERRY

Why do we often look to sex to build our sense of worth and value? Does sex bring us the fulfillment we are looking for? Is one’s sexuality too fragile to build an identity on? What is something more lasting and empowering and freeing than our sexuality to determine who we are?

The Relevant Series (www.relevantseries.com) was sponsored by the following campus groups: Wycliffe College, Power to Change, Chinese Christian Fellowship, Agape Impact, Network of Christian Scholars, Inter-Varsity, Everynation Campus, and Athletes in Action.

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