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President's 2008 Year-end Recap

Dear EPS friends,

It was a joy to see many of you at our EPS annual meeting in Providence last month.  Each year I eagerly anticipate making that pre-Thanksgiving pilgrimage to EPS for the stimulating papers and conversation, the Christian fellowship, and the opportunity to serve together with many of you at our annual apologetics conference.

We have many reasons for rejoicing in what God is doing within the EPS.  Let me mention a few of them.

  • At this time last year, Philosophia Christi subscriptions were down considerably due to an outdated, inefficient website.  As many of you know, back in 2005 I had begun discussions to spearhead a plan to completely upgrade our website. Chad Meister, Scott Smith, Joe Gorra, Craig Hazen, and others worked long and hard on this project alongside our new webmaster Lenny Esposito.  Finally, in October 2007, our sharp-looking, efficiently-working, cutting-edge website was launched.  In one year, we have received over 500 new subscriptions (now over 1,570) - with fifty more were added at our recent apologetics conference.  What a marvelous difference this year has made!
  • Earnestly Contending, our sixth annual apologetics conference, took place in Smithfield, RI in conjunction with the EPS's annual meeting. This conference drew nearly 800 attendees?an excellent showing for New England. During that weekend, forty pastors were expected to attend a luncheon to receive encouragement and practical training in promoting the role of apologetics in local churches.  Well, over 110 showed up! In fact, the pastors' response was so positive that we're planning on hosting these luncheons every year.  And how encouraging that over 100 attended the various youth sessions.  Bill Craig, who takes the lead in organizing the conference each year called Earnestly Contending "among the top three conferences we've held so far!"  The host church pastor, Rev. Steve Boyce, said that all the initial reports he's received "have been just rave reviews!"  Thanks to Bill and to Pastor Steve and his volunteers at the Worship Center for helping to bring all of this together.
  • After the apologetics conference, Bill Craig, Gary Habermas, Jim Sinclair, and I were able to sit down for over two hours with a couple of atheists who had crashed the party.  It was an excellent time of discussion and building relationships with them. One of them wrote a note to me afterwards, mentioning that the conference was "excellent" and that, despite our philosophical differences, "there is just something irresistible and winsome about Christian friendship."
  • Chad Meister has helped coordinate another international outreach effort scheduled for next fall at Hokkaido University in Japan.  For health reasons, though, Chad is stepping down as EPS vice president and as international outreach coordinator, but I want to thank him heartily for his energy, resourcefulness, wisdom, and graciousness. Please pray for him as well as this upcoming venture.

While we're on the topic, I'd like to say thanks to Stewart Kelly, Bob Stewart, Rich Davis, and Bob Larmer for their service on the EPS executive committee, and we welcome four new members to our EC: Jeremy Evans, Craig Mitchell, Bill Dembski, and Bruce Little.

Again, as I recently wrote, I would ask you to support the EPS with your prayers and financial gifts.  Indeed, God is at work in and through the EPS!  May we remain faithful co-laborers with him in a remarkable movement that he has wrought!
Advent blessings to you all!

Paul Copan,
EPS President

Christian Philosophers and the Secular Academy Christ-Shaped Philosophy Project