Kids in our homes and in our church started asking questions that we didn’t feel like we had good answers for. Not the easy soft-ball inquiries like what was the name of the giant that David killed or how many people were on the Ark with Noah, but real questions. Real tough questions, like:
· “Dad, how do we know that Christianity is right?”
· “How do we know the Bible is true?”
· “Why would God allow bad things to happen to the good people that we love?”
We knew that the research said that 70% of kids raised in the church, in good Christian homes and who had parents who loved the Lord, would leave the faith by the time they finish college. And we wanted to do something about it.
So, a few of us got together and started studying the Bible to find answers to these questions. We found out the Bible had a LOT to say. If anything, we were overwhelmed by the amount of content we found in the Bible, and actually struggled to consume and digest and synthesize it all into easy to convey answers. That’s when we also found some great resources online from guys like Greg Koukl and Jeff Durbin, lots of informational materials as well as practical examples of what this looks like in real life. And along the way, we learned a few things:
· The Bible does have answers. Good answers. Really clear and consistent answers.
· It’s better to teach people to find the answers themselves than to have them rely on you for everything.
· Not all questions are good questions, sometimes people need help to ask better questions.
And so the ministry was formed: Christians who had gained the confidence that there were answers, finding them and teaching others how to also find them, and engaging with a confused world that often doesn’t even know how to think and ask good questions in the first place.
What we Do
The Ambassador’s Forum is a local Northwest Christian Apologetics ministry that exists “to make God known, AS HE IS”. Our ministry has been creating and presenting its own original content in the areas of science, scripture reliability, worldview, world religions, current social topics, and more.
We also host large Oregon apologetics conferences every year with nationally known speakers to bring the community around Portland together to discuss and engage matters of truth in a relevant environment.
We have a special emphasis on youth, because we know THAT is where this spiritual battle will be won or lost!
Meet the Team
Roy is passionate about Jesus! From day one Roy has challenged his own faith with piercing questions and relentless examination. He thinks that anything worth believing in should be able to stand up to any question or doubt, and encourages everyone he meets to put the Bible to the test and go where the data leads. Of course that means you have to start by actually reading the Bible!
Roy is the leader of the Ambassadors Forum, a local Northwest Christian Apologetics ministry that exists “to make God known, AS HE IS”. This ministry has been creating and presenting its own original content in the areas of science, scripture reliability, worldview, world religions, and current social topics. They also host large conferences to bring the community around Portland together to discuss and engage matters of truth in a relevant environment. Roy especially loves engaging with youth, because they still have the chutzpah to call out failed ideas!
Roy earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. He has worked in the R&D sector of the Semiconductor Industry for over 20 years (and still does), has published papers and presented at conferences, and has over a dozen patents. Roy is married, with seven kids (5 girls and 2 boys) and lives near Portland, OR.
Herb is an Oregon lawyer whose interest in apologetics subjects and the importance of a Christian worldview dates back to his youthful fascination with American and European history, especially history reflecting the impact of ideas on nations and cultures. In addition to many years of teaching church classes about issues and his regular law practice, Herb has extensive professional experience involving challenges to traditional Judeo-Christian values in policy and law from over 26 years of litigating free speech, religious liberty and conscience cases arising under the U.S. and Oregon constitutions, including defense of traditional marriage, parents’ rights, the transgender agenda in public schools and the Sweet Cakes by Melissa case. He is a member of the national board of directors for the Christian Legal Society and has long been an allied attorney affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom. Herb is admitted to and regularly practices before Oregon trial and appellate courts, the U.S. District Court for Oregon, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
Kari Denker is the founder of Stone Soup for Five, a blog dedicated to encouraging women to grown in their spiritual lives in practical, hands-on ways. Kari has taught two years of Jr. High and High School apologetics at their homeschool co-op and is the author of the Journal and Doodle Bible studies and creator of the I Will Meditate Bible journals. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and has survived raising three sons.
Adrian Toader is a member of the Southwest Hills Ambassador’s forum who has been teaching on apologetics topics for over 10 years. He is a former public school teacher with a Masters in teaching and has extensive experience engaging the secular culture.
Rob enjoys equipping people to share their faith more effectively. He is a member of Southwest Hills Baptist Church and is a member of the Ambassadors Forum. He also is involved with a parachurch organization “Training Leaders International” which helps train pastors overseas with little or no access to theological education. Rob is a M. Div. graduate of Talbot School of Theology. He has been married to his wife, Beate for twenty years and has a 12 year old son.
Charles Jackson is a member of Southwest Hills Baptist Church. He has been married to his stellar wife Royale for 23 years and they have 4 superlative children: Erin, Nick, Hope and Markus. Charles is available to talk about critical theory, progressive theology, sex in the modern culture and the violent parts of the Old Testament. And out of all folks in the Ambassador’s Forum, he is the tallest.
Dr. Stephen Van Horn
Born and raised in So California.
Moved to Oregon to serve with Campus Crusade 1972 to 74; Moved back to Oregon permanently Aug 1981
Experience: 1972-78 served on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ; 1981-96 Lead pastor, Faith Bible Church, Aloha, OR; 1996-2005 Associate pastor, Calvary Chapel Worship Center, Hillsboro, OR; While on staff at Calvary Chapel, taught as adjunct professor at Nairobi International School of Theology (now International School of Theology) 1998-2003; 2003 Founded International Training & Equipping Ministries (ITEM), serving as Exec Director 2003 to present.
Education: BS, Mathematics, California Baptist College (now university) 1971; MDiv, International School of Theology 1981; Dmin in Leadership, Western Seminary (Portland), 1996
Married: 1970, Spouse-Brenda, two daughters, six granddaughters, two great grandsons.