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Based on the enthusiasm expressed by some attendees, the recent Dig and Delve Conference in Ottawa, Canada was a huge success. Over lunch University of Ottawa students Noah Galbraith, Sebastian Tansil and Alex Hoffmann discussed what they saw as personal highlights of the conference.

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Photo of Dr. John Patrick courtesy of Mark Peterkins for Spark Ottawa

Noah Galbraith was particularly impressed by Dr. Fazale Rana’s conference opening lecture entitled, “Finding Adam: Is There a Scientific Case for a Historical Adam and Eve?”

“I was impressed by the way he (Dr. Rana) integrated mainstream science with biblical teaching. And he used accessible language. You didn’t have to be a biology major to follow what he was saying.”

Dr. Rana presented evidence from the fields of microbiology and genetics, which indicates that all of humanity descended from a common ancestral couple—the Biblical Adam and Eve. Furthermore, the current scientific literature on this topic acknowledges this common descent from our first parents.

This is the second annual Dig and Delve Conference and it took place at Dominion-Chalmers United Church on Friday evening November 13th through Saturday the 14th.

George Sinclair of Church of the Messiah is the chairman of the organizing committee. He was pleased with the tenor of the conference and the growth in attendance.

“Last year we had 275 attend our inaugural conference, but this year by my estimation we doubled that number. It took a step of faith. We moved to a larger venue and looking back we can see it was the right move.”

Reverend Sinclair went on to explain that the committee’s goal is to grow this annual event into one of the premier world class conferences on Christian apologetics.

“We want to do apologetics humbly, not in a confrontational style. It should be an event where skeptics can ask their questions and get a respectful answer without hostility.”

The theme of this year’s conference was BEING HUMAN: Scientifically? Uniquely? Sexually? Freely? Really?

The organizers felt that, “With many contradictory voices at play it was important that we create a hospitable conference to reflect on the tough questions of human origins, sexual and gender identities, and most importantly a Biblical perspective on what it means to be the image of God in the world today. We hope that our conference will stir healthy conversations that push us toward lives of integrity as we follow Jesus.”

Back at the lunch table three university students were engaged in one of those healthy conversations. They were soon joined by a fourth friend Michael Tan.

Sebastian Tansil commented that he gained a lot from Dr. John Patrick’s lectures. “I realized we need to know how to think about these topics. We need to know the questions to ask.”

His friend Alex Hoffmann found John Stackhouse’s lecture on a survey of worldviews particularly meaningful. “Unlike the notions of karma, the Christian worldview makes it clear that because of our sin nature we are incapable of our own salvation.”

Michael Tan added that the real meat is the gospel. “We need to broaden our approach to the gospel. All these questions are avenues by which we can engage with others.”

It’s these conversations and the ones that will follow in the months ahead that will determine if Dig and Delve 2015 has truly hit its target.

Next year’s Dig and Delve Conference is slated for November 4th and 5th.

This report by David Kitz originally appeared in Spark Ottawa.