Current Issues in Apologetics – APOL 630

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

Course Description

An investigation of current issues and trends in apologetics, such as the intersection of science and religion, the problem of evil, atheism, or secularism.

Prerequisite

APOL 500

Rationale

This course uses the categories of morality—moral goodness, moral knowledge, moral obligations, moral rights, moral freedom, moral responsibility, moral transformation, and moral rationality—to equip the student with resources to defend the truth of theism and Christianity. It shows that a Christian framework, in particular, can explain each of these phenomena better than secular ethics can.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify versions of moral arguments that have been given in the history of philosophy.
  2. Describe the strengths of and challenges to theistic ethics.
  3. Evaluate various Euthyphro-inspired objections to divine command theory.
  4. Articulate and defend a four-fold variant of moral apologetics.
  5. Critique secular ethics and its efforts to explain moral facts, moral knowledge, moral transformation, and the convergence of happiness and morality.

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 (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will create 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 will reply to the threads of at least 2 classmates. Each reply must be at least 200 words. (Outcomes: A, B, C, E)

Interview Assessment

The student will write an assessment of at least 600 words on David Baggett’s interview with John Shook in current Turabian format. (Outcomes: B, C, E)

Debate Evaluation

The student will listen to any online debate between a theist and an atheist on God and ethics. The student will then write an assessment of at least 600 words on the debate in current Turabian format. (Outcomes: A, B, C, E)

Article Critique

The student will write a critical assessment of at least 600 words on George Mavrodes’ article “Religion and the Queerness of Morality” in current Turabian format. (Outcomes: A, B, C, E)

Letter to a Friend

The student will write a letter to a friend (real or hypothetical) of at least 900 words, laying out a version of the moral argument in an irenic, friendly, conversational manner for evangelistic purposes. The assignment must be in current Turabian format. (Outcomes: B, D, E)

Book Critique

The student will write a critical assessment of at least 900 words explaining whether or not he or she agrees with the assessment of Lewis’s The Abolition of Man provided in Chapter 8 of God and Cosmos. The assignment must be in current Turabian format. (Outcomes: A)

Research Paper

The student will write a 3,000–3,600-word research-based paper that identifies all 4 components of the moral argument. Following this, the student will spend the rest of the paper explaining and replying to objections to 1 of the 4 components of the moral argument. The assignment must be in current Turabian format. (Outcomes: B, C, D, E)