Fall 2011 EPS President’s Update

Greetings, EPS Members!

My school—Palm Beach Atlantic University—is eagerly anticipating Alvin Plantinga’s coming this Sunday! He’ll be here for several days of lectures and conversations with faculty and students here. I’m reminded of the splendid time we had with him at our EPS annual meeting and apologetics conference last year in Atlanta.  

We are blessed to live in these days, being able to stand on the shoulders of philosophical giants like Plantinga. I recently received the latest issue of Faith and Philosophy (though please do keep subscribing to Philosophia Christi!) Therein, Nicholas Wolterstorff reflects on Plantinga’s remarkable career, beginning with the time they were sophomores together at Calvin College some sixty years ago. Wolterstorff notes how the today’s landscape in the philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and epistemology—so utterly different from sixty years ago—clearly evidences Plantinga’s distinctive influence.  As Christian philosophers and apologists, we are the beneficiaries of the groundbreaking, bold ideas and writings of Plantinga and Wolterstorff—and we could add many more.

Annual Meeting

Next month we look forward to gathering again, this time in San Francisco. We’ll have another influential veteran philosopher as our plenary speaker, Dallas Willard. God has used him to train a generation of philosophers, help awaken the church to the life of the mind, and remind us of the importance of the spiritual disciplines to transform character. Also at our EPS annual meeting, we have another excellent lineup of papers, and we’re grateful to Jeremy Evans as program chair for managing this so ably.

Apologetics Conference

We’ll be having our annual apologetics conference at the historic First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley. Our engaging plenary speakers include Dallas Willard, whose topic will be, “Jesus: The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived,” as well as J.P. Moreland, Craig Hazen, and Greg Koukl. We’ll have a lot of our “regulars” presenting at the breakout seminars—William Craig, Frank Beckwith, Doug Geivett. You’ll see some newer faces as well—such as Holly Ordway (a former atheist and author of Not God’s Type), the kiwi philosopher Matt Flannagan (a rising star in the sky of philosophical theology), Mike Licona (the author of a landmark book on The Resurrection of Jesus), Mike Horner (a veteran Canadian apologist), and I’Ching Thomas (an apologist who works with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Singapore). Register at www.epsapologetics.com. We look forward to seeing you at these events—as well as at our reception on Wednesday night and business meeting on Thursday night (16 and 17 November).

AAR/SBL Meeting

And don’t forget: just following these events, the EPS will be hosting a session at AAR/SBL on Saturday, 19 November at 7:00 PM. J.P. Moreland, Angus Menuge, and Kevin Corcoran will be presenting on the matter (!) of “Prospects for Body/Soul Dualism Today.”  This should be an exciting, substantial exchange on an important topic.   Each November is a highlight in my academic year—hearing thought-provoking papers, talking philosophy into the wee hours, enjoying the fellowship of old friends, meeting new philosophical comrades-in-arms, poring over the newest (discounted!) books in philosophy, apologetics, theology, and biblical studies.   I pray this will be a time of intellectual challenge and spiritual revitalization for us all so that we may return to our places of learning, teaching, writing, and ministry to serve Christ and his kingdom more effectively.

Warmly in Christ,

Paul Copan

EPS President