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Fall 2010 Faith and Reason to Illuminate Miseries of Secular Speculation

September 10th, 2010

By Sarah Pride; poster graphic by Meredith Schultz

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

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Dr. John Warwick Montgomery in academic regalia at the 2009 Patrick Henry College Commencement exercises

Whereas secular humanists claim that chance and chaos define our world, PHC’s Dr. John Warwick Montgomery has contended ferociously in defense of the obvious signs of God’s created design through an accomplished career spanning many decades and continents. Using objective, evidential criteria, PHC’s Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Christian Thought delights in demonstrating that the historical Jesus -- much more surely than most other events recorded in secular history books as fact -- lived, died, and rose again. This English barrister and French avocat has earned eleven degrees, written more than fifty books in four languages, and has trained generations of young Christians to defend their faith as Director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

Now, Patrick Henry College has the distinct honor to announce that this esteemed scholar, author, and Christian leader will make his wealth of knowledge and experience available to the PHC community at the day-long Fall 2010 Faith and Reason lecture. Dr. Montgomery’s lecture, entitled "Speculation vs. Factuality: An Analysis of Modern Unbelief and a Suggested Corrective," will canvass many academic fields to demonstrate how shoddy speculation, rather than factual study, has led citizens of the twenty-first century into a “never-never land without hope either in this world or the next.

“I am trying to wake up the listener to the fundamental problem of our age,” explains Dr. Montgomery, “that people are not facing facts, but are creating the world in their own image. A parent helps his child mature by getting past his own wants to see how the world actually is. This is what I am trying to help us cultivate on the widest possible scale.”

Dr. John Warwick Montgomery presents a lecture at PHC

Surveying the major fields of philosophy, science, theology, literature, and law, Dr. Montgomery says he will endeavor to help audience members see for themselves how the same fallacy of speculation infects everyone in our modern secular world, producing what he terms “nonsensical speculation” in fields reputed to be among the most intellectually rigorous.

“It is easier to try and make the world conform to our own desires than to face what is in fact there,” he asserts. “And if we are willing to conform our understanding of things to the facts, the most important byproduct may well be that we come face to face with Jesus Christ.”

Recalling his own undergraduate years at Cornell University, Dr. Montgomery notes that he had a “ton of questions” about life. In the midst of his search he met an engineering student who was widely versed in apologetics, and who took him patiently under his wing to help answer the young searcher’s queries. He pointed the young Mr. Montgomery toward the works of authors like C.S. Lewis, Wilbur Smith, and Edward John Carnell. Through these materials, recalls Dr. Montgomery, he “finally came around.” His conversion to Christ also provided his life's purpose.

“In the college and university context, it became clear to me that people are not providing this kind of [apologetics] material,” he insists. “In fact, professors often assume that there are no meaningful ultimate questions.”

This coming Friday, the PHC community will be the eager beneficiary of Dr. Montgomery’s lifelong quest to identify -- and answer -- life’s fundamental questions. The public is welcome to attend the Fall 2010 Faith and Reason lecture on Friday, September 17, from 9:30-10:45am in Patrick Henry College’s Town Hall.

Click on the graphic below for a schedule of events.