Today marks the first day of Cal Poly’s Veritas Forum, an Associated Students Inc. sponsored event held by Christian groups on campus to promote the awareness, education and curiosity of both Christians and non-Christians.

The two-day event includes five different speeches and an art exhibit.

“The point of Veritas is a search for truth,” said Christine Benetti, a recreation administration major and member of the Veritas planning team. “Our hope is that people will come to seek truth.”

The Veritas Forum occurs at university campuses across the United States, but each campus individualizes the event to their own liking. Speakers include religious professors, well-known scholars, religious experts and local Christian community leaders.

This year at Cal Poly, two of the event’s four speakers are locals of San Luis Obispo. Aaron Porter, a pastor at First Baptist Church, will give his lecture “God Likes Sex” on Tuesday at 11 a.m. in Chumash Auditorium. Brian Kay, pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church and occasional lecturer at Cal Poly, will also speak on Tuesday in Chumash Auditorium at 1 p.m. on the subject of “Creed and Credibility: What Is the New Testament Saying and Can It Be Believed?”

Also included are speakers Kenneth Samples and Jon Rittenhouse.

Samples, who lectures on two topics at this year’s event, is currently a professor at Providence Christian College and Biola University. One of his lectures, “Aren’t Christianity and Science Enemies?” discusses the cultural view that science and religion conflict and that possibly, the two have more in common than what popular belief says. Samples lectures at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. in Chumash Auditorium.

“Being a science major I am really looking forward to it (Samples’ lecture). I am very passionate about this subject,” said Kyle Fletcher, a physics sophomore and event planner.

Rittenhouse has spoken at over 100 university campuses and is well-known throughout the Christian student community. He will be giving the lecture entitled “Can the Bible Really be Trusted?” at 1 p.m. in Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre today where he will discuss the evidence for and against the Bible as a historically correct document.

“He is so intense,” said biology junior Robbyn Klein. “He is very passionate about what he talks about.”

The Veritas Forum at Cal Poly has been held for several years and those involved hope to make the event an annual occasion. The event did not occur last year but did happen the year before.

Multiple campus organizations, mainly Christian-based, put on the event which usually runs for one week. However, the event was cut short this year due to a lack of essential planning time, which started in October.

Involved organizations include Campus Crusade for Christ, Poly Christian Fellowship and the Asian American Christian Fellowship.

Christians and non-Christians alike are welcome, but the forum is geared to nonbelievers to show a Christian angle on modern ideas.

“Veritas is not telling people what to believe, just presenting new ideas,” Benetti said.

However, more Christians tend to be drawn to the event, Klein said.

“A lot of Christians are more excited for the event because we know what to expect. We are excited to connect with other people on campus through Veritas,” Klein said.

The last lecture, on Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, is expected to draw in the largest number of attendees. Speaking in the Performing Arts Center, Kenneth Samples will deliver “Is Jesus Man, Myth, Madman, Messiah?” The event is expected to fill up the PAC with students, faculty and the community.

Past year’s events have had over 1,500 people attend, Benetti said. The daytime lectures commonly have a turn out of roughly 50 to 100 students and faculty.

For a complete schedule and synopsis of each lecture, go to

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *