“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). Peter’s words ring true in today’s anti-Christian culture. In this course, learners compare biblical, historical, and recent approaches to defending faith in God, Christ, and Scripture. The course emphasizes the apologetics of Peter among Jews in Jerusalem (Acts 2), and Paul among the Gentiles in Athens (Acts 17). It compares the still influential approaches of Augustine and Aquinas, but focuses primarily on the approaches of six apologists who led in the resurgence of evangelicalism during the last half of the twentieth century.
Upon completion of this course the student should be able to:
- Explain the nature of apologetics and the need for implementing a ministry based on sound reasoning.
- Sum up relevant biblical teaching and examples of the use of apologetics, comparing and contrasting Peter’s approach to Jews and Paul’s approach to Gentiles (Jerusalem and Athens).
- Compare and contrast the approaches to defending the faith in Augustine and Aquinas.
- Describe the roots and characteristics of non-Christian belief systems and three basic worldviews that challenged twentieth century apologists.
- Compare and contrast six distinct ways of reasoning in support of evangelical Christian faith with some objectivity and fairness.
- Develop a coherent approach synthesizing the strengths of the six as the base for verifying religious beliefs and living a life faithful to them.
- Mature in the art of communicating the faith to varieties of people from radically different worldviews and their cultural expressions.
A. Technical Requirements
- Download and install a browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer. We suggest Firefox or Google Chrome.
- The E-learning system performs better with Firefox or Google Chrome browsers.
B. Academic Requirements
- Lessons (15%): Complete the weekly lessons
- Quizzes (35%): Complete the weekly quizzes. Quizzes are based on materials from weekly lessons and reading assignments.
- Final exam (25%).
- Research paper (25%):Each student is required to write a 3 -5 pages paper researching one of the topics listed below. These topics are general, so it is desired that the student will focus in on specific areas relating to the topic. The expectation is that the student’s work will conform to the school’s guidelines for term research papers.
- Research paper topic: The synoptic problem. What is the nature of the problem? What solutions have been suggested? Which solution are you more in agreement with and why?
C. Grading Scale
A = 94-100 Excellent
B = 84 – 93 Above Average
C = 74 – 83 Average
D = 64 – 73 Below Average
F = 63 & Below Failure
Groothuis, D. R. (2011). Christian apologetics: A comprehensive case for biblical faith. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic.