By David Dawson
Baptist and Reflector
NASHVILLE — With his arm raised high and his inquisitive mind racing, a 7-year-old boy was eager to ask a question to a real-life scientist.
“How big is the Earth?” the boy asked when he was called on.
The reply came from astronomer and author Danny Faulkner, who was the featured guest at this year’s Apologetics Conference at the Adventure Science Center in downtown Nashville on Sept. 19.
Faulkner responded to the question — and many more like it — with a simple, but thorough, answer while blending together scientific facts with verses of Scripture.
The Q-and-A session with Faulkner was among the highlights of this year’s conference, which also included a viewing of the movie The Created Cosmos in the Sudekum Planetarium.
“When the topic is astronomy, wow, you just can’t find a better guy than Dr. Danny Faulkner,” said TBMB evangelism specialist David Evans, who helped direct the event. “I mean, the guy has answers. And what he does is, he takes a real-life astronomy scientific fact and takes the Bible — and he just has a beautiful way of marrying the two. And then he demonstrates how a passage from the Bible explains this scientific fact.”
This year’s conference, the third of its kind, had a new format. The evening was divided into two sessions that were held simultaneously.
While one group of attendees was touring and participating in the interactive displays in the science center’s “tower” section, another group watched the movie — which was a presentation by Answers in Genesis — inside the planetarium. Midway through the evening, the groups switched.
“This was the first time that we’ve had two sessions going on at once,” said Evans. “We didn’t have enough space to fit all the attendees into one session, so we divided it. And the feedback we got from the night was really encouraging.”
Another change this year included a longer Q-and-A session with Faulkner.
“Last time, (Faulkner) did a presentation, and then opened things up for questions,” said Evans. “But the questions were just so robust and long that we had to cut it off because we ran out of time. And we hated to have to do that because the questions were really good. So, this time, he went right into question and answer.”
Evans said Faulkner made sure that none of the questions were dismissed on the basis of being too elementary.
“He took the questions very seriously,” said Evans. “He understands that these are foundational questions. It’s important. Somewhere in their brains, they are seeking an understanding. So, Dr. Faulkner was just like, boom, here’s the answer. And the kids loved it.”
Evans said Faulkner embodies the spirit of apologetics as a whole.
“Apologists should be dripping with grace,” said Evans. “When people think of apologists, they think of this hotly-contested debate. But that’s sad to me because that’s not really what apologetics should be. Apologetics should be about being the embodiment and ambassador of Christ and being full of elegance, grace and mercy.”