SEAN MCDOWELL

Speaking Topics


Apologetics Talks:

TRUE FOR YOU, BUT NOT TRUE FOR ME
Our culture is deeply confused about the nature of truth. People often say, “That may be your truth, but it’s not mine,” as if truth changes based upon what we believe about it. In this session, we will consider why truth is vital, learn how to properly define it, examine objections against its knowability and existence, and grasp the powerful implications of truth for our daily lives.

THE BEAUTY OF INTOLERANCE
While intolerance can be immoral and harmful, intolerance can also be good. We are all intolerant of something. Jesus was intolerant of hypocrisy, Martin Luther King, Jr. was intolerant of racism, and Bono is intolerant of poverty. The key issue we will look at in this session is: How do we properly understand and live out a biblical view of intolerance?

IF GOD WHY EVIL?
The problem of evil and suffering is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges raised against God. Christians must respond empathetically, but also with truth. Sean begins this session by providing a helpful road map for personally helping people who are suffering. He then tackles the intellectual challenge of evil, showing that the existence of evil itself is actually a positive proof for the existence of God, and that the so-called “problem of evil” does not pose a trenchant problem for the Christian faith.

IF GOD, WHY HELL?
Hell is one of the most common and troubling questions people raise. If God truly loves, how could he send someone to Hell for eternity? In this session, Sean brings clarity to the biblical teaching on Hell, and responds to some of the most common objections skeptics often raise against it.

UNDERSTANDING INTELLIGENT DESIGN
In this session we will explore the most recent scientific data in cosmology, physics, biochemistry, and biology that point toward an Intelligent Designer. David was right that the heavens give us knowledge about God (Ps 19:1-2). Those who open their minds to the possibility of an explanation beyond the natural world will find the design hypothesis best accounts for the scientific evidence. This talk is based upon Sean’s book Understanding Intelligent Design (co-written with William A. Dembski)

SHATTERING THE MYTHS OF EVOLUTION
Despite its wide cultural acceptance and appearance of invulnerability, significant challenges can be raised against the viability of Darwinian evolution. This session is a cross-examination of the most common evidences given in favor of Darwin’s theory. When both sides are heard, the case for evolution is not as strong as many take it to be.

ATHEIST ENCOUNTER
How well can you defend your faith? What would you say if an atheist challenged your deepest convictions about God and the Bible? In this session Sean will role play an atheist, raise tough questions against the faith, and see how well the audience can defend their faith. Then Sean will step out of character and help students directly learn from the experience. This is a hands-on experience where you will walk away motivated and equipped to more lovingly and intelligently make a case for Christianity.

THE CASE FOR THE NEW TESTAMENT
In this session, Sean presents the historical evidence for how accurately the New Testament has been preserved through history. Even though publicized opinions often claim there is reason for skepticism, recent findings actually strengthen the case for the reliability and trustworthiness of the Scriptures.

THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS: FACT OR FICTION?
The Christian faith is built upon the historical resurrection of Jesus. There is compelling historical evidence that Jesus existed, died, was buried, and appeared to many people after the third day. This talk is based upon Sean’s book Evidence for the Resurrection (co-written with Josh McDowell).

THE CASE FOR MARRIAGE
Marriage is important to God. The Bible both begins and ends with a marriage. And yet a proper understanding of marriage, as well as its importance, continues to slip away in our culture. In this session, Sean provides both the biblical and non-biblical evidence for defending natural marriage. And he provides some practical steps for how the church can build a marriage culture.

IS CHRISTIANITY A COPYCAT RELIGION?
One of the most common objections to the Christian faith today is that it was copied from pagan “mystery” religions of the Ancient Near East. This objection is rampant on the Internet, in recent books, and was the central theme of The Da Vinci Code. Were there “dying and rising” gods such as Osiris, Mithras, and Adonis long before Jesus? The answer, as you will see in this session, is a resounding “No.”

THE CASE FOR PRO-LIFE
Abortion is one of the most hotly debated subjects in culture today. In this lecture, Sean graciously and yet persuasively provides scientific and philosophical evidence to demonstrate that life begins at conception. He also provides a roadmap for how to respond to the some of the most common objections raised against the pro-life position.

THE FAITH IS NOT BLIND
One of the most common myths about faith is that it is irrational, foolish, and blind. Movies typically portray faith as a leap into the dark. And the New Atheists portray faith as dangerous. Yet this could not be further from the truth. Biblical faith is best understood as trusting what we have reason to believe is true.

DID THE APOSTLES REALLY DIE AS MARTYRS?
One of the most common evidences given to trust the reliability of the apostles is their willingness to die as martyrs. And yet, what is the evidence for their fates? And what about others who have died for their beliefs? In this session, Sean examines the historical evidence for the deaths of the apostles and shows how this powerfully confirms their conviction that Jesus rose from the dead.

EVIDENCE FOR THE SOUL
The Bible teaches that humans are both body and soul (Matt 10:28). And yet many in our culture doubt that the soul is even real. In this session, Sean explores the philosophical and scientific evidence for the soul and shows how this relates specifically to Christian living.

Relationship Talks:

HOMOSEXUALITY: COMPASSION AND CLARITY
The issue of homosexuality is here to stay. There’s no avoiding it. The key question is how Christians will respond to this critical issue. Sean will offer a biblically informed yet gracious answer to help us respond with clarity and compassion.

EXPERIENCING THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF FORGIVENESS
In Matthew 18, Jesus tells a story about the extent Christians should go to forgive others. Forgiveness is not offered as a suggestion, but is given as a command. This talk explores why forgiveness is so important, what it really means to forgive someone, and how to practically begin the process of forgiveness.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT PORNOGRAPHY?
Pornography is more accessible, accepted, and aggressive than ever before. It is a HUGE problem for young people, including Christian teens. Studies show that viewing porn affects how we view ourselves, other people, and God. It even physically changes the structure of the brain and hurts the ability of young people to develop loving, lasting relationships. This session will provide insight, hope, and direction for young people to avoid the snare of pornography.

Biblical Teaching:

ETERNAL LIFE: THE DEEPEST YEARNING OF THE HUMAN HEART (JOHN 17:1-5)
In his final meeting with his disciples before his arrest, Jesus spoke some of his most important words. Having eternal life, according to Jesus, is to know the only true God. In this talk, Sean explores what these words mean and clarifies why Jesus is the only way to God.

RUNNING THE RACE OF FAITH (PHILIPPIANS 3:12-4:1)
Living the Christian life is not easy. We have all experienced times when we want to quit. In this lesson, Sean considers common reasons why people quit running the race of faith, and provides practical steps and encouragement to finish well.

JESUS WAS NO MORALIST (MARK 2:15-17)
Jesus built relationships with "sinners" and others despised by society. He never compromised truth, but he spoke truth graciously and lovingly. In this teaching, Sean unpacks the teaching and example of Jesus in Mark 2:15-17, and offers some specific lessons for evangelism today.

KNOWING GOD’S WILL (UP TO A FOUR-PART SERIES)
One of the questions people ask most often is, “What is God’s will for my life?” In this session we will explore common myths about God’s will, what the Bible actually says about God’s will, and how to make wise decisions in all aspects of life.

Focus on Adults:

CONNECTING WITH THE HEART OF A YOUNG PERSON
Despite many appearances to the contrary young people truly are interested in connecting with significant adults in their lives. Recent studies show that the central factor for the healthy development of young people is the relational connections they make with their parents, teachers, pastors and coaches. In this session we will explore five connecting points to help adults enter the minds of today’s youth and help guide them to their destiny.

EQUIPPING YOUNG PEOPLE WITH A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
Roughly 40-59% of Christian teens disengage the church when they leave for college. While there are many reasons, one of the top reasons is that they have not been trained in a biblical worldview ahead of time to anticipate the intellectual and moral challenges of life beyond high school. Youth who learn to think like Jesus are more likely to act like Jesus. We will consider the nature of a biblical worldview, why it is so important, and practical steps to help young people develop a biblical worldview.

PASSING YOUR FAITH TO THE NEXT GENERATION
How do I raise my kids in the faith? How can I parent my children so they will embrace Christianity? While there are many great books recently exploring this topic, the best advice comes from the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 6:1-4 provides a roadmap for passing our faith to the next generation. This session is filled with personal examples and stories from the McDowell family that will encourage and equip you for your own. This talk is both motivational and practical for those concerned in raising kids according to the biblical model.

UNDERSTANDING MILLENNIALS
What do Millennials believe? What unique beliefs do they hold? In this session, Sean provides a glimpse into the beliefs of Millennials in contrast to other generations, and provides a roadmap for how to best reach equip, challenge, and reach this generation.

WHAT SKEPTICS WISH CHRISTIANS KNEW
Many skeptics are open to genuine dialogue with Christians. In this session, Sean shares about his visit to skeptic group and the lessons he learned about how Christians can more effectively engage skeptics. And he will provide a specific roadmap for having genuine dialogue with skeptics and other non-believers in a constructive and positive manner.

Focus on Non-Believers:

WHY ANY SERIOUS RELIGIOUS QUEST SHOULD BEGIN WITH CHRISTIANITY
The goal of this talk is simply to persuade people that if they seriously want to know truth, then Christianity is the place to begin. The following reasons make this clear: 1) Christianity is testable; 2) Christianity offers free salvation; 3) In Christianity you get an amazing worldview fit; 4) Christianity has Jesus at the center. This is a great talk for a skeptical or non-believing audience.