Alan's Speaking Topics

Ambassadors for Christ: The Essential Skills
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:20 that we are all ambassadors for Christ. That means we represent Jesus in everything we do and say. If that’s true, how well do you represent your King? What kind of ambassador are you for Jesus? Alan will explain our identity in Christ and three essential skills that are necessary to represent Him in a persuasive, yet winsome way.

Tactics in Defending the Faith
Have you ever been tongue-tied in a conversation about your faith or convictions? Are you ever unsure how to respond when someone challenges your religious beliefs? You’re not alone. There are some simple tactics – tools to maneuver in conversation – that can help you engage people on any topic. In this talk, Alan will show you how simple questions can help you productively advance a conversation about your faith. You’ll walk away feeling more confident and better equipped to make an impact on any topic and with anyone.

Homosexuality: Truth and Compassion
What should our relationship with friends and family who identify as gay or lesbian look like? Alan will help you answer that question in a way that’s faithful to the truth, but with grace. He’ll clarify what both Scripture and science say about homosexuality and then offer practical principles that will help guide your interactions with friends and family in an uncompromising, yet compassionate way.

Transgender: Truth and Compassion
More people are questioning whether to identify with the gender of their biological sex. This creates a lot of questions for Christians who desire to understand the truth and reach out with compassion. Alan will help demystify this new phenomenon by looking at what Scripture and science say about it and provide some biblical principles that can help navigate your relationships and guide your conversations in an uncompromising, yet compassionate way.

Same-Sex Marriage and the Future of Family
With the legalization of same-sex marriage, the future of family and, consequently, the health of our civilization is at stake. This is not only a problem for Christians, but for anyone who cares about the future of the family. Because same-sex marriage is a public policy question, Alan will provide public policy concerns. He’ll also explain what’s wrong with the legal decision that led us to where we are and demonstrate whey even those who identify as gay and lesbian should reject same-sex marriage.

Is God Anti-Gay?
What does Scripture say about homosexuality? Does God condone or condemn same-sex relations? Are men and women who identify as gay the enemy? Alan will answer these questions and clarify what several biblical texts say about sex, gender, and marriage. In the process, you’ll learn the latest arguments for pro-gay theology and what’s wrong with them. 

Making Abortion Unthinkable
According to Planned Parenthood’s own data, there are 2,899 abortions each day in the United States. About a quarter of those abortions are done by self-proclaimed Christians. That means even Christians are killing their own children. This presentation will help you make abortion unthinkable. Alan will equip you with powerful and proven tactics of pro-life persuasion. Instead of debating this issue, you’ll learn how to dialogue —how to graciously persuade people of the truth on the most important ethical issue of our day.

Tactics in Defending the Pro-life View
Once you’ve learned how “Making Abortion Unthinkable,” you’ll want to focus on tactics. These are logical and conversational skills that will enhance your ability to communicate your pro-life convictions and respond to challenges. Alan will walk you through each tactic with real-life examples that demonstrate how simple, yet powerful questions can change minds even on abortion. 

Pro-life 201: Advanced Pro-life Apologetics
Once you’ve mastered the basic pro-life skills in “Making Abortion Unthinkable,” you’ll want to take the next step. This advanced pro-life class will help you understand and respond to the more sophisticated academic arguments. You’ll learn how to respond to various forms of the bodily rights arguments like Thomson’s Violinist, as well as non-standard arguments like twinning/recombination, brain death as a case against embryonic life, the legal/moral implications of capital punishment, and many others. Alan will also teach you his strategy to answer every defense of abortion with just three types of arguments.

Pro-Life Field Training / Pro-life Mission Trip
Whether you're a pro-life beginner interested in learning the tools of persuasion, or you'd like to become a more effective advocate for the unborn, or you're simply looking for a unique option for a retreat, Alan has created an immersive pro-life experience for your student or adult group. The training—a mixture of classwork and in-the-field experience—provides rigorous instruction in the art of pro-life persuasion using proven scientific and philosophical arguments, role-play of common abortion-related conversations, and real-life engagement/discussion with abortion-choice advocates. At the end of the classwork portion, your group will be taken to a local urban area to survey pedestrians about their views on abortion, creating opportunities for you to practice your newly-learned pro-life skills. It's an event that's certain to test, sharpen, and strengthen your pro-life ideas and arguments. (Length of time: two to four days. Groups in Southern California need not schedule the training on consecutive days.)

Making Sense of Bioethics
Stem cell research and cloning are cutting-edge issues, but ones that can be confusing to many Christians. With this training, Alan will help you understand the basic science behind these technologies and why scientists are keen on using them. Once you understand the procedures, it will become clear why some medical technologies are helpful and why some are hurtful. Plus, you’ll learn to persuasively share your convictions in a way that takes biblical and scientific principles on these issues seriously.

A Closer Look at Islam
Islam is the faith of nearly 20% of the world’s population. In this talk, Alan will demystify what Islam really teaches and examine how it stacks up to Christianity, giving you a better understanding of Muslims and their faith. He’ll also explain how to begin a conversation that can naturally lead you to introduce Jesus and the Gospel.

Possible subtopics to integrate or add to this presentation:
  • How to reach your Muslim neighbor
  • Is the Qur’an a Word from God?
  • Islamic jihad vs. Christian Jihad
  • Women in Islam
  • How to Reach Your Muslim Neighbor

About one in five people on the planet is a Muslim. That’s a lot of Muslims! Sadly, few Christians are prepared to reach them with the truth. Alan will teach you a powerful tactic to help reach your Muslim neighbor in a way that builds common ground, respects their faith, and leverages their own beliefs to point them to the Jesus and the Gospel.

Muslim Followers of Christ?
There's a movement among American missions to encourage Muslims to retain their religious identity in their journey following Christ. But is this approach biblical? Alan makes sense of all the competing arguments and explains the concerns with this approach.

The Muslim Challenge
How well would you fare in a conversation about your faith with a Muslim? Want to find out? Alan will role-play a Muslim for your group so they can interact with Islam’s ideas and arguments. You’ll quickly find out whether Christians are prepared to respond to the challenges raised by Muslims. Not only is this experience eye-opening, but it will motivate people to learn more about reaching Muslims with the truth.

Euthanasia: The Ethics of Life and Death
Everyone dies. Sometimes, however, how one dies can get complicated. We’ll make the topic less confusing by giving Christians some handholds on the issue—some basic tools to navigate through different end-of-life scenarios. By keeping some important distinctions in mind, you’ll be able to apply biblical principles of human dignity to the topic of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in a way that makes sense.

The Death of Humanness
Advancements in stem cell research, cloning, physician-assisted suicide, and euthanasia have muddled moral distinctions about human value. As a result, some human beings can be killed with impunity. Which ones? What characteristics are required and who decides? Not only does Alan reveal the answers, but he also explains why you won’t always make the cut.

Why Should We Trust the Bible?
It’s popular to beat up on the Bible these days, but many critics are uniformed and pass on urban legends about its unreliability. Since the Bible is foundational to our faith, it’s helpful to be equipped to answer these challenges. Alan will help you sort through the nonsense and provide a helpful mnemonic so the facts undergirding the reliability of the Bible are – literally – at your fingertips.

Never Read a Bible Verse
Are you interpreting the Bible correctly? Though anyone can pick up the Bible and learn from it, it’s also possible to miss the meaning of some passages because they were written in a different time, culture, and language. In this presentation, Alan will show you how to apply three simple principles to everyday Bible reading so you accurately interpret God’s Word. You’ll be amazed how proper biblical interpretation will help you glean new insights from familiar passages, correct mistaken understandings of the text, and deepen your appreciation for Scripture. This is a must-take class for every Christian eager to accurately understand and be transformed by God’s Word.

Philippians Read the Right Way
If you’re reading Philippians like a book, there’s a good chance you’re missing its main message. Books can be read in multiple sessions, one chapter at a time. But letters are meant to be read in one sitting. When you read Philippians like a letter, you get the big picture of what Paul – and the Holy Spirit – was intending to communicate. In this talk, Alan will teach you about Philippi and the relevant historical context that clarifies the point of this epistle. In the process, you’ll learn a few important principles of biblical interpretation and discover the significant application God has in store for His followers today.

Bad Arguments against Religion
There might be some good arguments against religion, but these aren’t them. We’ll look at some of the most common arguments offered against religion and show what’s wrong with them. Arguments like, “God can’t exist if evil exists,” “science has disproved religion,” “there is no truth,” or “Christians are intolerant” are just a few that you’ll be equipped to address.

If God Is Good, Why Is There Evil?
The problem of evil is the atheist’s favorite objection to God. If God is good and all-powerful, how can He exist if He allows evil to continue? Though this sounds persuasive, it’s riddled with difficulties. Alan will walk you through the solutions to this challenge and explain why the problem of evil is not only a problem for theists, but also for atheists. Far from undermining God’s existence, the presence of evil turns out to be powerful evidence that God is real.

Dead Men Rise
“If Jesus did not rise, then your faith is worthless.” The Apostle Paul’s sobering words make the point clear: The Christian faith hinges on the resurrection of Jesus. What reasons, then, do we have for believing this foundational doctrine? Alan equips believers with the knowledge to be confident in the resurrection and know how to share it with others.

Truth and Tolerance in a Whatever World
“It’s true for you, but not for me.” That’s relativism in a nutshell, but it’s also the motto that represents the reigning belief system in our country. Alan will explain how relativism has infiltrated morality and religious belief, and how we’re being pressured to follow the culture’s lead. Plus, he’ll show how the culture has defined tolerance in a way that is almost opposite the true definition. Finally, he’ll offer some tools that make it easy to show others what’s wrong with the relativistic approach to reality.

Why I’m Not an Evolutionist
Evolution is a controversial issue. To many, those who deny evolution are in the same class as flat-earthers. In this talk, Alan carefully outlines why he rejects evolution—not for religious reasons, but for scientific ones. He exposes the weakness of the two essential pillars of Darwinism in a way anyone can follow. There is no need to pit “faith” against fact to refute evolution. All you need is an awareness of a few scientific realities to show why you may not be an evolutionist either.

The Case for Intelligent Design
What is the best explanation for complex organisms or the information in DNA? Can a natural and evolutionary mechanism account for them or is an intelligent mind needed? Drawing on the latest scientific trends, you’ll learn the most compelling reasons many scientists embrace the idea that an intelligent Designer best explains the evidence found in biology.

Bulletproof
When your students leave the comfort of a Christian home or education, who is waiting for them at college? Are they prepared? Virtually every study says they’re not. Students are typically ill-equipped to handle the challenges to their Christian convictions. Alan will explain what is causing students to ditch their faith and what we can do about it. With the right training from teachers, parents, and church leaders, young believers can withstand the assault and make a positive impact for Christ. Alan will equip you with a four-part strategy for training young believers so that their faith is bulletproof.

Note: this presentation is geared for parents, youth leaders, teachers, school staff, or pastors.

How to Succeed at Speaking
Do you have a passion for equipping believers for the defense of the Gospel? Would you like to achieve that goal through your ministry, part-time work, or professional speaking? Alan Shlemon of Stand to Reason has over a decade of professional speaking experience, having delivered over a thousand presentations to churches, universities, and conferences. He’ll share his insights and tips on how to become an effective speaker and build a platform that can leverage your gifts for effective ministry.