Dr. Paul Gould was confronted with the truth of the gospel when he was just 18 years old, a freshman in college.
“Someone shared the gospel with me, and I realized that if what that person was saying was actually true, then I had missed the boat,” said Gould. “I had grown up in church, but I just didn’t have an understanding of the gospel, and I didn’t know Jesus personally.”
A faith journey
This evangelistic encounter sent Gould on a journey as a freshman in college, and he began going to an apologetics class with a friend.
“I know that going to an apologetics class as a non-believer is not normal,” Gould explained, “but I was just impressed with the evidence that was presented week after week… The class ultimately removed all of my intellectual obstacles or objections to the faith. I was able to see that it was really a moral issue, and I did not want to bend my knee to God. I realized, though, that I needed to bend my knee to God. The class played a huge role in my conversion to Christ.”
Gould’s passion for apologetics and philosophy stemmed from his time in college, and he and his wife, Ethel, began working for CRU, a national college ministry where they were campus ministers at Purdue University (PU) for 16 years. Gould quickly realized that he was drawn toward intellectuals, and he loved having conversations about the gospel within the context of ideas. His passion for learning and defending his faith led to the pursuit of a Ph.D. in philosophy, which he earned from Purdue University. In 2020, Gould started working at Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA) University, where he still resides as an Associate Professor of Philosophy of Religion and is the Director of the M.A. in Philosophy of Religion program.
Coinciding with its mission to equip students to grow in wisdom, lead with conviction and serve God boldly, PBA will now offer a new certificate program in Cultural Apologetics. There is a great need to equip Christians to faithfully defend the brilliance and beauty of Jesus and the gospel through apologetics and Christian philosophy, and this six-class certificate is structured to do just that. Additionally, due to a generous donor, PBA is able to offer the Paul Copan Scholarship to qualifying leaders in the church and culture.
Designed to raise up thoughtful Christians and future Christian apologists to serve the church and bear witness to Jesus, this program is an opportunity to learn from PBA’s three philosophy of religion professors in the School of Ministry: Dr. Gould, Dr. Paul Copan and Dr. Brandon Rickabaugh.
Faithful Witness Conference
PBA is also hosting their second annual “Faithful Witness” apologetics conference on October 27-28. The Christian story is true — and we want to be able to defend and articulate that truth to those in culture. But, it is also good and beautiful. In Jesus, all the deep longings of the human heart for meaning, purpose and identity are satisfied. PBA is assembling leading scientists, philosophers, theologians, pastors and public intellectuals to discuss a variety of topics, ranging from the existence of God to the relationship between faith and science, and more.
“I really believe PBA is positioned strategically to make a huge impact in the culture, in South Florida, in our country and in the world at large,” Gould said. “I love that it is a Christ-first university – they have planted their flag on Jesus and on the gospel for life. On top of that, the fact that PBA is located in South Florida, which is becoming such a strategic hub financially, makes it a place where a lot of influence is congregating. I believe that PBA is poised to have a voice in that.”
You can learn more about the Faithful Witness Conference and the Certificate in Cultural Apologetics program at pbaapologetics.com
Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, a physician, researcher and innovator, is president of Palm Beach Atlantic University. (www.pba.edu)
For more articles by Dr. Schwinn, visit goodnewsfl.org/author/dr-debra-a-schwinn/