Dr. Andy Bannister, former Canadian Director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) , has become the new full-time Director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity from 1st September 2016. Building on the work of David Robertson whom he succeeds in this role, Andy will lead the Solas team in their drive to carry the Christian message into the public square and to train and equip churches across Scotland and further afield to articulate the relevance of faith in Jesus Christ.
Andy and his family are moving to Scotland from Toronto where he has headed the revitalisation of RZIM Canada, an organisation dedicated to engaging sceptics, doubters and seekers with the Christian message, as well as equipping Christians to articulate what they believe with clarity, conviction and compassion. Andy will continue to serve RZIM as an adjunct speaker. Before Canada, Andy was based near Oxford and has a background in philosophy and theology—including a PhD in Islamic Studies from Brunel University.
An experienced speaker, writer and teacher, Andy has spoken widely—including at universities across Canada, America and Europe, as well as in business and parliamentary settings, in churches and on TV and radio. He has also been involved in numerous interfaith dialogue events, especially with the Muslim community, including a recent dialogue at Canada’s second largest mosque in Toronto. Andy enjoys addressing audiences both of Christians and those of all faiths and none on issues relating to faith, culture, politics and society.
Andy is the author of two books: “An Oral-Formulaic Study of the Qur’an” [http://bit.ly/2csUaY2], a ground-breaking study that applies computerised analysis to the Arabic text of the Qur’an to demonstrate how it was first composed; and “The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist (or: The Terrible Consequences of Bad Arguments)” [http://www.theatheistwhodidntexist.com], a fast-paced mix of comedy and theology that untangles some of arguments advanced by popular media atheists like Richard Dawkins. Andy also wrote and presented the documentary series Burning Questions for Canadian television.
Solas was founded in 2010 by David Robertson, who will remain very much involved with the organisation. David writes: “I am delighted to be handing over the leadership of Solas to Andy Bannister and to continue my own work as Associate Director. This is a major and exciting development and something for which I have been praying for a long time.” David Randall, chairman of the Solas Board, also welcomes the appointment and believes that Andy’s gifts and energy will strengthen the mission of Solas to communicate the gospel in today’s public square.
Andy has long had a love affair with Scotland, being an avid mountain climber, hiker, and landscape photographer. He and his family are thrilled to be moving from Canada to Scotland and looking forward to engaging in conversations about faith in the public square, serving the Scottish churches and Christianity community, and helping equip Christians to speak persuasively and confidently about Jesus Christ to their friends, neighbours and colleagues.
For more information about Solas, Andy Bannister, or David Robertson, please contact:
Solas Centre for Public Christianity
Swan House, 2 Explorer Road, Technology Park, Dundee, DD2 1DX
Or call 01382 525 021 or visit www.solas-cpc.org.