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Who We Are

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Who We Are

The Institute for Religious Research (IRR) is a nondenominational, evangelical Christian ministry of apologetics—the reasoned defense of the faith. We produce resources based on thorough, fair-minded research in response to various alternative religious and anti-religious movements. Our focus is on explaining and defending what Christianity has historically understood the Bible to teach about Jesus Christ as well as defending the reliability of the Bible. For further information, please see the page about What We Believe.

IRR was founded by Roger Hansen, a Christian businessman. Originally known as Gospel Truths Ministries, IRR was established as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization in 1986 and officially changed its name in 1989. From that time until his passing in November 2007, Luke P. Wilson was IRR’s Executive Director. Throughout those years and continuing until early 2022, Joel B. Groat served at IRR, focusing especially on IRR’s international ministry. From 2008 until 2018, Robert M. Bowman Jr. served as the Executive Director. After a hiatus of three years, during which he wrote two new books and over a dozen new articles for IRR’s website, Rob rejoined the staff and is now the president of IRR.

Dr. Bowman is an evangelical Christian apologist, biblical scholar, author, editor, and lecturer. He has lectured on biblical studies, religion, and apologetics at Biola University, Cornerstone University, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Rob is the author of over sixty articles and the author or co-author of fifteen books including Jesus’ Resurrection and Joseph’s Visions: Examining the Foundations of Christianity and Mormonism, Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ, co-authored with J. Ed Komoszewski, and Faith Has Its Reasons: Integrative Approaches to Defending the Christian Faith, co-authored with Kenneth D. Boa. Dr. Bowman holds the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in biblical studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and South African Theological Seminary. He is widely regarded as the leading evangelical scholar addressing the uses and interpretations of the Bible by such religious groups as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. If you are interested in having Dr. Bowman speak at your church, school, or conference, please contact us.