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Apologetics Course
Grace Center for Biblical and Theological Studies

Course Syllabus

Christian Apologetics: An Introduction and Exploration

Biblical Basis

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. . . 1 Peter 3:15

Then Paul, as was his custom, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, at the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ." And some of them were persuaded;(Acts 17:2-4a)

Course Description
This course is a thorough introduction to Christian apologetics and is meant to equip the student to declare the Christian truth with integrity and clarity and to defend Christian truth with scholarship and boldness. In order to accomplish this end result the course will help the student interact with the major assaults on the Christian faith from an pluralistic world using the four major apologetic systems (classical, evidential, fideism, presuppositional) and how they accomplish the fourfold task of apologetics (proof, defense, offense, persuasion). This will primarily be accomplished through a thorough reading and interaction with the reading material and the application of appropriate Biblical data.

Course Objectives

To acquaint students with significant systems or methods of Christian apologetics in order to discern their value and implement their strengths for intellectual Christian ministry and witness. This will involve an understanding of their components, strengths and weaknesses. (lecture material, reading assignments)
To grasp and implement the spirituality of apologetics as well as the philosophy and methodology of apologetics. (lecture material, reading assignments, prayer, bible study)
To understand and appreciate the central issues and problems of Christian apologetics. (lecture material, reading assignments)
To thoroughly familiarize students with the most important debate within Reformed apologetics- the presuppositional / evidential discussion - and will be able to articulate their own stance on the subject and defend it by good and necessary inference from the Scriptures. (lecture material, reading assignments, paper)
To enable the students to articulate their own approach to the defense of the Christian faith in light of the key contemporary discussions and thought forms, and demonstrate skill in communicating this approach. (lecture material, reading assignments, class discussions, paper)
To confirm Christian students in the faith by giving them increased confidence in Christian worship, prayer, proclamation and defense of the faith.

Course Requirements
1. Attendance at class sessions
2. Participation in class discussions
3. Reading of required textbook in coordination with class sessions
4. Writing of a paper on (1) one of the following areas:
a. A book review of one of the major works by a modern Christian apologists setting forth a particular approach to apologetics.
b. A research / term paper that sets forth the major apologetic schools of thought in terms of definition, methodology, evaluation of strengths and weaknesses. A title page and bibliography with endnotes or footnotes is required.
c. Define your particular apologetic view and construct an dialogue paper showing how you would respond to an unbeliever using that approach in at least three key areas of questioning.
d. Construct a sermon that is apologetic in nature and uses the argument of one of the primary apologetic systems in expounding the scripture(s) on one of the following topics: existence of God, creation versus evolution, historicalness of Jesus of Nazareth, resurrection of Jesus Christ, miracles of Christ, reliability of the Bible as divine revelation.

Class Procedure
Usual class actions will consist of biblical passages pertinent to the topic under consideration with hymn and prayer, lecture material that covers introduction, definitions and where applicable life situations and questions to be addressed, class discussion on reading material and / or presentation by students.

Course Textbook(s)
Primary Text

Kenneth D. Boa and Robert M. Bowman, Jr. Faith Has Its Reasons An Integrative Approach to Defending Christianity. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2001.

Supplemental Text
Steven B. Cowan, ed. Five Views on Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan,2000.

Be ready to give an answer to those who ask!