The Capturing Christianity ‘Btw, God Exists Conference’ is an interactive apologetics event happening in Houston, TX. This 2-day conference gives attendees the opportunity to see a live debate between a Christian philosopher and an atheist, hear cutting-edge presentations from Christian thinkers on the evidence for God’s existence, and be part of the discussion through various Q&A sessions and panels. Oh, and btw, we’re having delicious Texas-style BBQ catered on Saturday.
- General Admission: Includes conference admission (Friday & Saturday) and lunch on Saturday
- All Access (SOLD OUT): The All-Access Pass is available to Capturing Christianity Patrons only and includes: Thursday night invite-only mixer with conference guest speakers, conference front row seating Friday & Saturday, and Saturday lunch
- Dr. Luke Barnes
- Dr. Liz Jackson
- Dr. Braxton Hunter
- Benjamin Blake Speed Watkins
- Trent Horn
- Dr. Sy Garte
- Dr. Josh Rasmussen
- Lee Strobel
6-8 PM – Mixer with Speakers and All-Access ticket holders
3-4 PM – Main Session, Dr. Luke Barnes
The Universe is No Accident – The universe has the appearance of design. Earth and its life give the impression of being arranged for a purpose. What does modern science have to say about the arrangement of the world?
4-5 PM – Main Session, Dr. Liz Jackson
Should We Want God to Exist? – There’s evil in the world. This is a fact that no one denies. In this talk, I examine two explanations for the evil in the world: the theistic one and the atheistic one. Instead of examining the question of which gives a better explanation of evil, I focus on a different question: which explanation of evil should we want to be true? I argue that we should prefer the theistic explanation. Then, I argue that, in certain evidential situations, this provides a reason to believe in God.
5-7 PM – Break for Dinner
7-9 PM – Trent Horn vs. Benjamin Blake Speed Watkins Debate: Does God Exist?
- 15-min Openings
- 7-min First Rebuttal
- 5-min Second Rebuttal
- 30-min Moderated Dialogue
- 30-min Q&A
- 5-min Closings
8-9 AM – Main Session, Dr. Sy Garte
Evidence for God from Biology – There are many scientific arguments for God related to physics, but biology has traditionally been more resistant to apologetics, largely due to evolutionary theory. I will present a case for life as God’s creation and discuss why purely naturalistic explanations for life are scientifically untenable. I will cover teleology and design in biology, the genetic code and systems biology, and introduce the theology of the origin of life.
9-10 AM – Breakout Session A
10-11 AM – Main Session, Dr. Braxton Hunter
The CORE FACTS of Christian Defense – In this time together, Braxton will lay out some of the most well known arguments for the existence of the Christian God in a way that is understandable and easy to remember. Not only will you get the arguments and evidences, but you’ll also learn a simple phrase that will allow you to recall those arguments for those moments when tough conversations arise.
11:00 AM-12:30 PM – Break for Lunch (Catered)
12:30-1:30 PM – Breakout Session B
1:30-2:30 PM – Main Session, Dr. Josh Rasmussen
A New Ontological Argument for a Perfect Being – Rasmussen develops a new argument for God from reason. This argument has its seeds in the classic idea that God is too great not to exist. Rasmussen considers obstacles to developing this sort of argument, and he charts a new way forward. Rasmussen’s argument builds on his latest work on modal-cosmological arguments.
2:30-3:30 PM – Main Session, Lee Strobel
Btw, Miracles Happen – After two years of research, Lee Strobel concluded that God is still in the miracle business today. He’ll be defining miracles and defending them as real; he’ll talk about how we can discern if something miraculous has occurred; and he’ll give accounts of well-documented healings. In fact, you will witness an actual healing during his talk!
3:30-5 PM – Full Speaker Panel Q&A
Each speaker below will be giving the same talk at both breakouts. You can choose 2 out of the 5 to attend.
Dr. Braxton Hunter
Evangelistic Apologetics – Should the average Christian know how to have worldview conversations with those who are not yet part of the Christian faith? Are there biblical examples of believers using Christian defense in order to reach others with the gospel message? Can you do it? This talk is aimed at helping anyone who thinks apologetics is just . . . too complicated, or feels they might make serious mistakes that will only hurt the kingdom. Braxton’s goal is that even if you have never heard of Christian apologetics before, you’ll be able to leave this short time together as a confident Evangelistic Apologist!
Dr. Josh Rasmussen
You are More than Material – Rasmussen makes a case for the thesis that a complete physical description of your body and brain is not a complete description of you. He considers certain features of consciousness. Rasmussen surveys the main theories of consciousness in the philosophy of mind, and he argues by a process of elimination that the best theory recognizes an irreducible aspect of consciousness. Rasmussen closes with some reflections about what this result might imply about your ultimate origin.
Dr. Liz Jackson
Philosophy and Formal Education – In this breakout, Liz discusses the pros and cons of pursuing a philosophy degree. This includes questions such as: should I major or minor in philosophy? Are there benefits of being a philosophy major if I don’t want to go to grad school? What are the pros and cons of getting an MA or PhD in philosophy? What does grad school in philosophy look like, practically speaking? What’s the application process like? What do you spend your time on for 5-7 years? How do you pay for it? We’ll talk about Christian vs. secular institutions, whether it’s a good idea to go to grad school just “for fun”, and even a bit about applying and interviewing for philosophy professor jobs and what it is like to be a professor. If you’ve considered formal education in philosophy (or a related field), this breakout is for you!
Dr. Sy Garte
Biological Design, Evolution, Abiogenesis and God – This talk will focus on chemical and biochemical problems with a naturalistic origin of life, the evidence for “Divine Design”, the scientific arguments against gene centrism and neo-Darwinism, and the truly miraculous processes of living cells and creatures.
The Argument from Motion – In this talk Trent will share what St. Thomas Aquinas considered “the most manifest” way of proving God exists: the argument from motion. Along with explaining the argument’s substance, Trent will explain its unique contribution to natural theology and answer common objections to it.
Wanna’ stay in Houston for the conference? Stay in one of the Capturing Christianity blocked rooms while you stay in Clutch City! Single rooms and double rooms (just in case you want to split a room with a buddy who will also be attending) are available. Both hotels also serve breakfast each morning so you can start your morning off right before you head to the conference! Both locations are right in the heart of Houston and just a few miles from the conference venue.
La Quinta Inn & Suites Houston Galleria
1625 West Loop South
Ask for the Capturing Christianity Block for Aug. 25-29
$90.53/night Must book before August 4 for block rate
Best Western Galleria Inn & Suites
6229 Richmond Avenue
Houston, Texas 77057
Ask for the Capturing Christianity Conference Block for Aug. 25-29
$85/night Must make reservations by Aug. 18
Who should I contact if I have any questions, have trouble booking hotel rooms, or need to make changes to my reservation?
Contact our event coordinator Brittany Bertuzzi: brittanybertuzzicc [at] gmail [dot] com
Is there anything fun to do in Houston?
Yes! We put together this little graphic will all sorts of fun stuff for you to do. Check it out!
Will the conference be live streamed?
Only the debate on Friday night will be livestreamed. However all sessions will be recorded and available at a later date.
Will refunds be allowed?
The refund period is now closed for CCv1.
What public transportation is available in Houston?
There is so much to see and do in Houston! With the venue being a short drive from several Houston tourist destinations and hotels, we recommend Uber, Lyft, or a rental car to get around during your stay. Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz car rental services are offered at the Houston Intercontinental Airport.
What do I do if I have dietary restrictions?
There are many choices around Houston that cater to any and every diet you could imagine. Feel free to search and explore on your own as there are many places right in the area of where the conference is. On Saturday, lunch will be provided at the conference. In the coming months a survey will go out to ticket holders asking about dietary restrictions you may have in order to make meal selections for the Saturday lunch.
Will I get to attend all of the breakout sessions?
There will be 2 breakout times during the conference however 6 sessions will be happening simultaneously. You will get the choose 2 of the 6 sessions to attend. This will be first come first served. A survey which will include the speaker and the session titles will go out to all ticket holders in order to select which session you would like to attend. You will choose your top 2 sessions and 2 alternative sessions. Sessions will be filled in the order in which the surveys are received.
Because of the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, registrations are open at full capacity and masks are optional. We will provide masks upon entry (again, optional), sanitizer stations will be setup throughout, and you can still social distance if you’d like.
- Thursday Night Mixer (Patreon Event)
August 26, 2021
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- Friday Conference
August 27, 2021
3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- Saturday Conference
August 28, 2021
8:00 am - 5:00 pm