Unshaken: Equipping You For the Battle of the Gods
On January 28 in Dayton, Ohio, Alisa Childers, Natasha Crain, and Frank Turek [a frequent Stream contributor] will lead a one-day Christian conference they say will be like none before. It’s the first of four “Unshaken” conferences set to take place this year. Alisa and Natasha, the primary planners of this event, answered questions from The Stream about what makes this event so important and so unique.
You’re calling this conference “Unshaken.” It sounds like you see the world being shaken in bad ways. What did you have in mind there?
We’ve all witnessed the Western world change quite dramatically, especially over the past two or three years. It goes from faith deconstruction to woke ideology to radical gender theory. Anti-Christian ideas haven’t just crept into our homes. They’ve kicked the door down and pulled a chair up to the table. Christians feel pressure to bow to social idols as the culture is being shaken up all around us.
In the past, Christians in America have benefited from the godly principles our country was founded on. Now, however, we are faced with what it looks like to stand strong in the Lord amidst a culture that celebrates all manner of sin and condemns biblical values at every turn.
Who or what are we worshiping? Are we bowing to the one true God, or to the god of self?
When we first started talking about organizing this conference, we wanted to address these issues from the perspective of worship. Who or what are we worshiping? Are we bowing to the one true God, or to the god of self? That’s why our theme for this year is “Winning the Battle of the Gods.” We hope to provide Christians with very practical information that won’t simply give them head knowledge and arguments, but real equipping and encouragement. Just because culture is shaken doesn’t mean we have to be.
Is there one key issue you see, or maybe more than one, that are destabilizing our world that way? If so, how do you hope to address it?
This year we’ll be addressing three key issues that are destabilizing our world: faith deconstruction, social justice ideology, and current sexual/gender norms. In many ways, these issues have become the cultural gods that demand obedience and allegiance.
First, we’ll lay the groundwork for the nature of truth and how we see the world. Every worldview worships something. That includes secularism: It claims to be neutral, but secularism worships the god of self.
Then we’ll dig underneath some of the cultural lies that sound good and positive on the surface, but lead to anxiety, self-obsession, and worse yet, spiritual devastation. We’ll counter these lies with the real source of truth, God’s Word. We’ll talk about biblical authority: how the Bible is still true and relevant thousands of years after it was written. Finally, we’ll address three cultural gods in turn.
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Frank Turek will address the god of sexuality, and how sex has all but replaced identity and meaning for many who bow to it. Natasha will address social justice, showing how wokeness has divided culture, how it threatens to divide the church into identity groups, and how it can mislead people into making gender, race, skin color, class, and other factors their primary focus, in place of the one true God.
Finally, Alisa will address the faith deconstruction movement, showing how the many who bow to this god seek to tear down the foundations of the Christian faith, and are leading many away from a biblical understanding of Christianity.
Would you say the things that are destabilizing us are more social, more political, or more spiritual, and why?
At this point, I think the things that are destabilizing us are social, political, and spiritual. That will naturally begin with our spiritual beliefs. Our politics and social interactions will be informed by what we think about things like the nature of truth, the reality of God, and the authority of His word.
We believe God has spoken in the Bible. We are fully convinced it is the authoritative standard for how Christians should live. That belief will naturally affect who and what we vote for, and how we socially engage the culture around us. Our society is abandoning its former Judeo-Christian ethic. Our political and social environments naturally show the effects, becoming more and more chaotic and unstable. It starts as a spiritual problem, and ripples out into all other spheres.
No one who cares about these things would ever do a conference just to do a conference. You obviously hope it will lead to change in individuals, churches, and/or communities. What are your dreams and prayers for that, over the long run?
I think our greatest prayer is to equip Christians to wake up and get bold for Christ. We are living in a pivotal time. Some Christians are being lulled into a stupor by the culture-friendly deceptions of progressive Christianity and its disguise as being all about love. Others, feeling the stress of the past few years’ social turmoil of the past few years, are frozen with panic about what to do. Many see their families and friends being sharply divided along political and social lines, and they’re trying to figure out how to navigate those relationships without compromising truth.
Above all else, we hope to point to Christ who is our Savior and place of rest.
Above all else, we hope to point to Christ who is our Savior and place of rest. Following Christ is not always easy. He calls us to stand uncompromisingly on truths that flow from His very nature and character. Nevertheless, following Christ is the only way to true peace and rest. We hope to encourage believers. If we stand on God’s Word and walk accordingly, we will always be on the right path, no matter how narrow that road becomes!
There are lots of ways a person could spend a Saturday, so why choose to come to this conference?
We have spent countless hours researching, writing about, and speaking on these difficult and nuanced topics. Our goal is to streamline that information for you. We want to funnel it to you in a way that is relatable, easy to understand, and incredibly informative.
Do you want to understand what is going on with your friend or loved one who is “deconstructing”? Do you hope to discern how to engage with a world that has shifted seemingly overnight from believing in two genders to dozens? Are you looking for resources to help you be uncompromisingly Christian in a society that is steeped in identity politics? Spend a Saturday being equipped and encouraged to win the battle of the gods. Plus, it will be fun!
After an almost 3 year hiatus from music, Alisa, formerly a singer with ZOEgirl, will be leading worship at the conference. It will be an intimate acoustic approach with a mix of old and modern hymns.
What encouragement or advice would you give a believer who can’t make it there?
Thankfully, we are living in a time in which information is readily available at our fingertips. If you can’t attend the conference, you can access our podcasts and books, as well as the wonderful resources we will be introducing at the conference and promoting online. Plus, you can subscribe to the brand new Unshaken Faith podcast, hosted by Natasha and Alisa. We’re offering weekly, 15-minute, bite-sized pieces of the same type of analysis and information we’ll be providing at the conference.
The Dayton area Unshaken conference is being presented in cooperation with Dayton Apologetics and The Apologetics Fellowship (founded by Tom Gilson), working together for event planning and church-based follow-through after the conference.
Tom Gilson (@TomGilsonAuthor) is a senior editor with The Stream and the author or editor of six books, including the highly acclaimed Too Good To Be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality.