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REASON FOR GOD

Dinner, Lecture, and engaging Discussion on

objections and questions about God

Tuesday and Thursday nights during IAP

January 15 - January 31, 2019 | 6:30PM - 8:00PM

Student Center, MIT

(Mezzanine Lounge-3rd Floor, or Lobdell dining-2nd Floor)

Free dinner provided

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Header


REASON FOR GOD

Dinner, Lecture, and engaging Discussion on

objections and questions about God

Tuesday and Thursday nights during IAP

January 15 - January 31, 2019 | 6:30PM - 8:00PM

Student Center, MIT

(Mezzanine Lounge-3rd Floor, or Lobdell dining-2nd Floor)

Free dinner provided

Whether you consider yourself a believer or a skeptic, I invite you to seek the same kind of honesty and to grow in an understanding of the nature of your own doubts. The result will exceed anything you can imagine.” 

― Timothy J. Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

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Energy/About


Energy/About


JOIN US EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT DURING IAP TO ADDRESS QUESTIONS AND OBJECTIONS TO BELIEF IN GOD AND CHRISTIANITY

Reason for God is for anyone (the religious, the spiritual, the skeptic, the seeker, atheists, Christians and people of any faith tradition).  

Our hope is that each session will be a safe place to explore, ask questions, disagree, and learn.  You may have questions or objections that aren't represented in the topics below, but feel free to ask about them.

Each night we will gather together to eat and analyze some of the big questions and objections that people have when it comes to the existence of God and belief in Christianity.  We’ll look at topics maybe you haven’t thought of or considered before. Are there rational reasons to believe in God? Can we make sense of God? Come seek, learn, and add your voice to the discussion.

This series has been going on for the past 6 years at MIT and it has been very well received and attended.

We hope you will join us for one or more sessions this year.  


WHAT TO EXPECT EACH NIGHT

Things kick off at 6:30pm with a FREE catered dinner. Once everyone has their food, we'll transition to our speaker for the night, followed by a Question and Answer time. We wrap up at 8:00pm, but feel free to hang out afterwards and continue talking. We'll have desserts and your choice of hot beverages.

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Cosmos/Events


TOPICS

Cosmos/Events


TOPICS

Each Session will be held in the MIT Student Center at 6:30pm - Tuesday nights will be in the Mezzanine Lounge (3rd floor), Thursday Nights in Lobdell dining (2nd Floor).

We'll post the audio from each talk on this page, as well as other resources to explore more about these questions. Check back here regularly.

 

TUESDAY
JANUARY 15, 2019

Mezzanine Lounge, 3rd floor Student Center

Does it Matter What you Believe about God? Searching for Truth in a Post-Truth Era.
KASEY LEANDER - OXFORD CENTER FOR CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS FELLOW

In a post truth era, emotions rule public discourse at the expense of facts. Yet often, it seems like conversations about God are the worst perpetrators of this trend. Given that belief in God seems like such a subjective experience, what can we hope to learn from reasoning about it? Can logic and rationality point to God's existence, or do they pose an insurmountable barrier to belief? Do the conclusions we finally draw about God’s nature mean anything? 

 

THURSDAY
JANUARY 17, 2019

lobdell dining, 2nd floor, student center

Artificial Intelligence and the Human Soul. How A.I. might lead us towards the existence of a Soul.
DR. ROSALIND PICARD - MIT Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at MIT Media Lab, co-founder of Emotion-AI company Affectiva, co-founder of Medical-AI company Empatica, and faculty chair of MIT's Mind+Hand+Heart Initiative.

Artificial Intelligence is on the rise.  What is the state-of-the-art in AI and emotion in machines, and will we see AI erase all differenceces between a human and a robot?  Does AI lead us towards or away from the existence of a Soul?  If we build an AI that functions just like us someday, will that prove that we are only machines?  Will Science eventually explain everything, therefore making God and religion obsolete? Come hear from MIT professor, Dr. Rosiland Picard, a leading expert in the field of A.I.  She will share some of her findings as a scientist as well as her perspective on Science and Faith. 

 

TUESDAY
JANUARY 22, 2019

Mezzanine Lounge, 3rd floor Student Center

Do We Need God to Find Satisfaction and Meaning in Life?
WILL TANT - OXFORD CENTER FOR CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS FELLOW

A deep human desire is to find meaning and satisfaction in life.  One way we find meaning and purpose is through our achievements.  We live in a culture that says you are what you do.  But are we more than our achievements?  Do our desires to find meaning point to God?  Or do we create meaning within ourselves?

 

THURSDAY
JANUARY 24, 2019

lobdell dining, 2nd floor, student center

Don’t God and Religion Limit Human Freedom and Our Ability to Flourish and Truly Express Ourselves?
LOU PHILLIPS - OXFORD CENTER FOR CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICSFELLOW

In a time where self-expression and self-discovery have become king, the idea of God seems like a step backwards. Religions like Christianity, and others, seem to inhibit our ability to truly express ourselves. But is that true? Is freedom the lack of any restraints or is it placing proper restraints in order to provide the most flourishing? Our society's examples of “true freedom” are often unlivable and can result in dire consequences. If the idea that “I should be able to do what I want, always” isn’t right, what does freedom even mean? Does it matter? Could it be possible that the true source of human flourishing comes from God, and in particular from from Jesus did and taught?

 

TUESDAY
JANUARY 29, 2019

Mezzanine Lounge, 3rd floor Student Center

Why I Am a Theist: A Physicist's Perspective on Theism and Atheism
TOM RUDELIUS - POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER, INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES (PRINCETON)

What really is theism? How does is compare with Naturalism and Atheism. In this talk Tom will discuss various aspects and questions about God as a scientist. We’ll look at questions like, “If God created the universe, what created God?" "Why not believe in leprechauns or the tooth fairy?" "Isn't atheism simpler than theism?" "Why do we need God when we have science?”

 

THURSDAY
JANUARY 31, 2019

lobdell dining, 2nd floor, student center

What Would Sherlock Holmes Say about Jesus? Taking a Look at the Hard Evidence that points to God and Christianity
MATTHEW MITTELBERG - OXFORD CENTER FOR CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS FELLOW

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Organisms/Speakers


SPEAKERS

Organisms/Speakers


SPEAKERS

 

KASEY LEANDER

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Kasey Leander is a Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA). Prior to his time at OCCA, Kasey earned an undergraduate degree in history and PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) from Taylor University. While at Taylor, Kasey served in various leadership roles on campus and was active in student government. He has also worked briefly in politics, serving as an intern in the US Senate in Washington, DC.

A love of discussing the big questions of life has led Kasey to his current job. As an OCCA Fellow, he enjoys speaking on topics such as the need for God in moral reasoning, the philosophical underpinnings of popular culture, and the historical basis of the Christian message. In a world of increasing ideological divergence, Kasey’s great joy has been exploring the peace, truth, and clarity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Kasey originally hails from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is a huge fan of hiking, Chipotle, good books, and ultimate frisbee.

 

DR. ROSILAND PICARD

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Rosalind is a MIT Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at MIT Media Lab, co-director of the Media Lab's Advancing Wellbeing Initiative, and faculty chair of MIT's Mind+Hand+Heart Initiative. Picard also co-directs the MIT Autism and Communication Technology Initiative. The author of over two hundred peer-reviewed scientific articles in multidimensional signal modeling, computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, and human-computer interaction, Picard is known internationally for pioneering research in affective computing and, prior to that, research in content-based image and video retrieval. She is a graduate with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds Masters and Doctorate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. Picard is an active inventor and her group's inventions have been twice named to "top ten" lists, including the New York Times Magazine's Best Ideas of 2006 for their Social Cue Reader, Used In Autism, and 2011's Popular Science Top Ten Inventions for a Mirror that Monitors Vital Signs. She interacts regularly with industry and has consulted for many companies including Apple, AT&T, BT, HP, i.Robot, Merck, Motorola, and Samsung.

 

MATTHEW MITTELBERG

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Matthew Mittelberg is a Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA). He earned a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Business from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. Matthew also received his Certificate of Theological Studies at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University.

He has spent an extensive amount of time studying the philosophical underpinnings of various worldviews. Matthew loves thinking about the intersection of faith and reason, and how these topics affect the deepest questions of life. He has spoken at colleges, churches, societies, and training events and is passionate about helping everyday people understand that faith in God can actually make sense.

Matthew also enjoys spending time with friends, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and eating authentic Japanese ramen. 

 

DR. TOM RUDELIUS

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Tom Rudelius is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. His research focuses on string theory, early universe cosmology, and the relationship between the two. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in physics, mathematics, and statistical science from Cornell University.

 

WILL TANT

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Will Tant is an OCCA Fellow based in the New England area. Prior to his time at the OCCA (Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics), Will was a professional surfer. For over ten years, Will traveled and competed all over the world including Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Central and South America, as well as Europe and the UK. During this period, Will served as an ambassador for a variety of humanitarian causes, most notably SurfAid International.

Will was educated at Columbia University and the University of Oxford. After his surfing career, he studied at Columbia University in New York City where he earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and several academic awards, to include Phi Beta Kappa, School of General Studies Honor Society, and the Philolexian Centennial Washington Prize. Following his studies at Columbia, Will earned his master’s degree at Oxford University where he studied Christian Ethics. While at Oxford, he completed his training in Christian apologetics at OCCA.

Will is interested in the topics of identity and success, race and reconciliation, ethics and moral reasoning, and human flourishing.

 

LOU PHILLIPS

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Lou studied at Grove City College where he earned a bachelor of science degree double majoring in Molecular Biology and Political Science. After college, he interned for the Heritage Foundation at their Center for Health Policy Studies and then became the Health Policy Legislative Correspondent for Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

He received his Certificate of Theological Studies from Oxford University (Wycliffe Hall) and was trained at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA). As a Fellow, Lou enjoys speaking on subjects of sexuality, identity, purpose, and the intersection of science and faith.