Introduction to Apologetics – APOL 500

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

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.

Prerequisites

None

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. Relate the issues of the inerrancy and trustworthiness of Scripture to apologetics.
  2. Defend the deity and resurrection of Jesus Christ against the claims of skeptics.
  3. Defend the concept of absolute truth against the claims of epistemic relativists, including postmodernists.
  4. Articulate the distinction between different apologetic methods.
  5. Defend the exclusivity of Jesus Christ against pluralism and inclusivism.
  6. Discuss the nature of the apologetic task and the biblical basis for apologetics.
  7. Appraise the arguments for the existence of God through a critical response to challenges to Christian theism.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. 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.

Book Summary and Critique

The student will write a 4–6-page book critique in current Turabian and LUSD formats. The Book Summary and Critique must include a summary of the main ideas and themes as well as a critique.

Apologetics Application Paper

The student will evaluate a non-Christian worldview and provide a defense of Christianity in light of that worldview. The paper must demonstrate a working knowledge of the assigned course readings as well as outside research on the chosen topic. The student will complete the paper in 3 parts. The paper will be written in current Turabian and LUSD formats.

Part 1 and Part 2

Parts 1 and 2 are designed to help the student develop a final paper that meets the requirements stated in the instructions and that accomplishes the academic goals. Each of these two parts will be submitted using the submission forms provided in Blackboard, and include the preliminary ideas and content required on those forms.

Final

The final paper will combine all the fully developed elements from Parts 1 and 2 in proper formatting. This final version of the paper will be 10–13 pages of content.

Exams (4)

Each exam will cover the Reading & Study material from the assigned modules/weeks. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 29–30 multiple-choice and true/false questions and/or 1 essay question, and have a 1-hour and 30-minute time limit. Each module/week, you will also have an opportunity to take an optional self-check quiz in preparation for the course exams; this will have no effect on your final grade.