This course is designed to introduce students to the field of Christian apologetics. Attention will be given to the rationale for apologetics and its place in contemporary multi-religious society. Students will be introduced to different methodologies, and character qualities needed in responding to questions about the Christian faith, practices and community. How to discover local questions and sources of opposition and strategies for finding appropriate responses will be developed. Both Classical and Contemporary issues in apologetics are addressed briefly: the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, the authority of the Bible, the supremacy of Christ, the existence and purpose of humanity, current world views such as post-modernism (free thinker/agnostic which is the current western religion) and religions found close to the student. The answer of a good character will be emphasized. The use of visual arts and music as an apologetic tool will be explored.
When Christians dialog with others many questions are raised. Some come from a moral rejection and some from competing worldviews that challenge the very basis of Christianity. A Christian should not respond from pride using answers as a weapon to prove they are right. However, the example of Jesus shows us that many people need clear answers to difficult questions so they can consider His claims. Apologetic answers allow a Christian to use the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, etc to reply with integrity and Christian grace to those who truly search for the truth. Respect flowing from holy love for our neighbor must inform all our best responses. At the same time the positive expression of the arts must be encouraged as a means of communicating the Christian worldview to contemporary culture. For example, painting that celebrates beauty and wholeness communicates the goodness of God in creation. Music that penetrates the heart and imagination can change the perspective of a hostile individual.
Program Outcomes from APR SOO
CN-1 Ability to describe the basic story of the Bible.
CN-5 Ability to identify and explain the main characteristics of the theological foundations of Christianity.
CN-6 Ability to explain how the theological foundations of Christianity proceed from Scriptures.
CN-27 List and access key resources on crucial perspectives of and developments in apologetics.
CN-28 List the primary concerns and objections to Christianity from a variety of global cultures, religions and non-theistic positions
CP-1 Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with cultural relevance.
CP-4 Ability to teach the Word of God.
CP-6 Ability to present the Gospel in a clear and Biblical way.
CP-30 Analyze and describe the critical rationales for the Christian faith in a postmodern, pluralistic and multi-faith world. Communicate respectfully, gently and clearly with a loving spirit when talking with people who disagree.
CH-1 Ability to take responsibility for one’s own spiritual growth with the goal of becoming like Christ.
CH-5 Ability to demonstrate oneself consistently in public Christian ethics, in decision making, and in conducting oneself as a Christian in a pagan society.
CH-6 Ability to give value to the interrelated aspects (ethical, personal, social, and environmental) in the development of persons in any social structure.
CX-1 Ability to identify and describe the events, personalities, and main themes of national history in the context of world history and Asia-Pacific history.
CX-2 Ability to identify in current events some main trends in science, politics, and civil education.
CX-4 Basic ability to analyse and describe communities and churches.
CX-5 Basic ability to identify elements of culture.
CX-6 Ability to support missionary and trans-cultural principles.
CX-7 Ability to distinguish between world views – Local, Biblical, and Western.
CX-8 Ability to make an integrated presentation of divine creation.
CX-9 Ability to interpret Christian positions that are relevant from the modern Asia-Pacific context regarding issues like magic, spiritism, demonic possession, ancestral veneration, divine cure, and medicine.
CX-14 Demonstrate how to help people move from an intellectual understanding to personal, transformational encounter with Christ.
Program Outcomes from APR SOO and Others
CN-12 OTH Demonstrate how loving God with all the mind is expressed in loving our neighbors as ourselves.
CN-19 EVA Demonstrate dialogue using personal history of our spiritual journey to build rapport with a non-Christian. (One of the 5 culturally appropriate ways)
Outcomes by Total and Percentage
Content 6 25%
Competency 5 21%
Character 5 21%
Context 8 33%
Survey 2 individuals from each of the categories: Christian, Free-thinker, Different religion, Unknown.
Question: “Do you believe God exists and why/why not?
Write your response to each on one side of a 3×5 index card.
|2.||Uniqueness of the Bible
One page response to, “The Bible is no different than any other religious book.”
As you respond to a conversation about Christianity they began, they might become: defensive, hurt, angry, violent, or have other responses. Invite a friend who is hostile to join.
Attend a religious service from two different religions.
Ask a non-believing friend(s) to evaluate/give you a grade and ask 3 questions in response to your 5-minute presentation of:
a. The uniqueness of Christ
b. The impossibility of a human meeting the demands of Christ
(Note: this must be a different individual.)
One page paper explain the difference between knowing about God and knowing God.
Answer the question “Why do you believe?”
- Introduction and Methodology
- Classical Questions of Existence
- The Universe
- The Universe
- How a Buddhist views the world
- Freedom/Deterministic and Materialist Systems
- Problem of Evil and Suffering
- Biblical Authority and Reliability
- Christian Hope
- Hindu Hope
- Muslim Hope
- Buddhist Hope
- Uniqueness of Christ
- Responding other religions questions
- Post-modern, agnostic and atheistic objections
- Reason and Faith