Introduction to Apologetics – APOL 500

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

This course surveys the basic issues in apologetics such as apologetic method, the biblical basis for apologetics, and the relationship between faith and reason. Then it turns to consideration of various apologetic issues, including the inerrancy of the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the existence of God. Finally, the student will be exposed to major worldviews extant today and will consider responses to modern apologetic challenges to Christianity, such as postmodernism, and religious pluralism.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

Scripture states, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15 [NKJV]). Throughout this course, the student will be equipped with different methodologies and approaches to apologetics which will give him/her a foundation for defense in the face of various worldviews and religions.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Examine key issues related to the field of Christian apologetics.
  2. Construct Christian apologetic arguments to defend the teachings of historic, orthodox Christianity.
  3. Critique worldviews contrary to historic, orthodox Christian teachings.
  4. Communicate Christian apologetic arguments with respect toward other positions.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words (MLO: A, B, C, D).

Self-Selected Apologetics Argument: Thesis Statement - Opening Stage Assignment

The student will design a thesis statement that expresses a clear, precise, and concise critique of a worldview opposed to orthodox Christianity and a defense of Christianity against that worldview. It will be one sentence (25 to 75 words) long accompanied by a title page in current Turabian format. For optimal points, the student will submit a draft thesis statement to the professor for input before submitting a final thesis statement. This thesis statement will be foundational to the research, writing, and final stages of the "Self-Selected Apologetics" argument assignment (MLO: A, B, C).

Self-Selected Apologetics Argument: Analysis and Critique - Research Stage Assignment

The student will analyze and critique a self-selected worldview building upon the previously submitted thesis statement. A template will be used. The completed template must demonstrate a working knowledge of the worldview selected by the student and a critique based on course readings as well as outside research on the chosen worldview. The template will be completed with footnotes in current Turabian format. Inserted content should range from 125-375 words  (MLO: A, B, C).

Self-Selected Apologetics Argument: Expansion and Defense - Writing Stage Assignment

The student will expand significantly on the previously submitted analysis and critique as well as construct a defense of Christianity against the opposing worldview. This assignment builds on the previous "Self-Selected Apologetics Argument" assignments and will be the bulk of the final assignment to which later an introduction and conclusion are added. A template will be used. Although no title page is required, footnotes and bibliography according to current Turabian format are required. At this point, the length of the paper will be about 1950-2350 words (MLO: A, B, C, D).

The student will add an introduction and conclusion to the final argument, making any adjustments necessary based on faculty feedback on the previous "Self-Selected Apologetics Argument" assignment. The final argument submission will be 2200-2600 words long submitted in a paper format according to current Turabian formatting format (MLO: A, B, C, D).

This assignment, using a template will be completed in three parts:

1. A short argument for the existence of God to be used in an actual conversation.

2. A report on the logistics of the conversation.

3. A reflection on the conversation. 

(MLO: A, B, D).

This assignment, using a template will be completed in three parts:

1. A short argument for the reliability of the New Testament's account of Jesus to be used in an actual conversation.

2. A report on the logistics of the conversation.

3. A reflection on the conversation.

(MLO: A, B, D).

This assignment, using a template will be completed in three parts:

1. A short defense or theodicy related to the problem of evil to be used in an actual conversation.

2. A report on the logistics of the conversation.

3. A reflection on the conversation.

(MLO: A, B, D).

This assignment, using a template will be completed in three parts:

1. A short defense of Christianity against a specific cult to be used in an actual conversation.

2. A report on the logistics of the conversation.

3. A reflection on the conversation.

(MLO: A, B, D).

In this short argument, the student will argue for the uniqueness of Jesus in a 4-5-page paper (not counting the title page or the bibliography) in current Turabian format. The student will choose a topic and using course materials and further research, construct a short argument as a short academic paper (MLO: A, B, D).

In this short paper, the student will present God's answer to the problem of evil and suffering in a 4-5-page paper (not counting the title page or the bibliography) in current Turabian format. The student will  use course materials and further research for this short academic paper (MLO: A, B, D).