Apologetics in a Secular Age – APOL 310

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 06/06/2022

Course Description

This course develops an apologetic approach which takes into account the values and plausibility structures of the late modern, secular age. Particular emphasis will be given to understanding current cultural movements and values and constructing a person-centered approach to the apologetic task.

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

Rationale

Apologetics is an important area of study for all believers. It serves a dual role of not only providing answers to the tough questions people ask but also strengthening one’s own faith along the way. In order to communicate the Christian story/narrative effectively, we must be able to understand the “air we breathe” as a culture – knowing/understanding both how we got here and how to move forward. This course teaches the characteristics of the current culture – what the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor calls the “Secular Age” – and how to craft an effective apologetic response.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the current plausibility structures of late modernism.
  2. Understand the importance of presuppositions in a worldview and where they can be challenged.
  3. Recognize the complexity of belief and the need for a person-centered apologetic.
  4. Develop effective apologetic strategies for engaging current cultural plausibility structures.

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 the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other classmate's thread. (MLOs: A, B, C, D)

Reading Reflection Assignments (7)

Throughout the term, the student will compose 7 Reading Reflections centered on the respective Module: Week's reading assignment. Students will respond to particular claims made by a hypothetical atheists and have a chance to present a Christian response. This will give students the opportunity to apply that module/week’s reading in an apologetic scenario. Each reading reflection must be at least 8 sentences in length and demonstrate course-related knowledge. (MLOs: A, B, C, D)

Worldview Comparison Project Assignments (3)

The student will write a research-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on the application of apologetics in the Secular Age. The paper must include scholarly references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. The project will be completed in 3 phases:

  • Topic and Bibliography Assignment: Pick a topic, Selected Bibliography
  • Outline Assignment: Develop a Summary, Thesis Statement, Outline, Annotated Bibliography
  • Final Paper Assignment: Final Draft

Each phase will be graded separately and will be due in intervals throughout the course. (MLOs: A, B, D)