By KELSEY WINDAS
Everything from the Bible’s explanation of the finding of dinosaur fossils to whether or not masturbation is considered a sin in the eyes of God was discussed during the recent “Hard Questions Panel.”
The Gathering Club sponsored the event on March 29 in the Great Hall.
“The club is really just a Bible study club,” said the club’s president, senior Katie Jones.
According to Jones, the club has about 10 members and is run by Mike Dudley, the pastor of Student Ministries at River of Life Worship Center in Spotsylvania.
The event was intended to give students the opportunity to anonymously ask their “hard questions” regarding just about anything including sex, evolution, abortion and the validity of the Bible.
“We wanted an open forum for people to address their core issues or questions about the Bible and Christianity,” said Jones. “I think the event served that purpose.”
Upon entry to the event, students were given a sheet of paper instructing them to text their questions to the given phone number once the panelists had been introduced. Once questions started coming in, Dudley read the selected texts aloud and then allowed the panel of experts to present their answers to the audience.
In addition to the anonymous texted questions, Dudley also allowed students to directly ask the panel their questions using the microphone at the front of the room.
The panel consisted of three Christian experts: Phil Nelson, a pastor at Lakeland Church in Carbondale, Ill., Daniel Trementozzi, a pediatrician in Ladysmith, and Bob Davis, an astrophysicist living in Spotsylvania.
Each member of the panel used his personal area of expertise to answer the incoming questions.
The event flyer for the Hard Questions Panel indicated that no questions were to be dodged and that no excuses were to be made. This promise was certainly kept.
Panelists were forthright in their answers and used various passages from the Bible to support their responses.
Overall reactions to the event were positive.
“We could not have been more pleased with the turnout,” said Dudley. “There was close to one hundred people.”
Dudley, who is known as Pastor Mike by his congregation and members of The Gathering, hopes to continue “The Hard Questions Panel” tradition.
“We are looking to hold this type of event first semester next year,” he said. “Next year we hope to add a Christian attorney to the panel.”
In addition to “The Hard Questions” events on campus, The Gathering is also working towards allowing students to ask their questions online.
“We are in the process of setting up ‘The Hard Questions’ web site,” Dudley said. “It will give the students the ability to post hard Biblical questions and get answers from different Christian experts.”
Students are encouraged to send their “hard questions” to firstname.lastname@example.org where they will be read and answered by experts in the Christian field.