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Episode 116 The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics

The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA) is ably directed by Charlie Styles.  He was in Houston recently to be part of a panel discussion ahead of Mark Lanier’s lecture, October 8, 2022, Atheism on Trial

It was Styles’ first trip to Texas so he rode in a pickup truck, and got a pair of cowboy boots and an awesome cowboy hat.  He looked the part but didn’t quite sound the part.

Charlie sat down with David Capes on “The Stone Chapel Podcasts” to talk about the Oxford Centre (the proper way to spell “centre”).  After spending a number of years as an Anglican minister, Charlie joined OCCA about a year ago as director.

OCCA was started in Oxford in 2004.  Alister McGrath, a friend of the Lanier Library, was its first director.  Over the last 20 years OCCA has run a learning centre that has trained over 350 people.

In truth, the world comes to Oxford.  As one of the top universities in the world for hundreds of years, it is a magnet for the nations’ best and brightest.  Ultimately, the influence of Oxford University is felt around the world. 

Charlie describes OCCA’s mission as twofold: to engage the world and equip the church.  It is not just an academic centre, but it exists to listen to the best academic voices and tries to popularize them without simplifying too much. 

Associate speakers address church leaders, of course, but also speak to groups in homeless shelters, YMCAs, Parliament, and prisons. 

The biblical verse that directs OCCA is 1 Peter 3:15:

15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 

Charlie Styles is married to Sophie, and they have three children.  They live in a stone cottage in the Cotswold’s.

For more information about OCCA go to:

Click here to watch Mark Lanier’s lecture, Atheism on Trial

Click here to watch the Panel discussion Atheism, Agnosticism and the Rise of Unbelief.

Click here to watch a video by Alister McGrath on C. S. Lewis.

For more Stone Chapel Podcasts, click here.

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