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SOUTHERN EVANGELICAL SEMINARY 3000 T ILLEY M ORRIS R D M ATTHEWS , NC 28105 C

SOUTHERN

EVANGELICAL

SEMINARY

3000 TILLEY MORRIS RD MATTHEWS, NC 28105

COURSE SYLLABUS

Winter 2014

AP 501 Introduction to Apologetics

Norman Geisler, Ph.D. Daniel Janosik, Ph.D.

djanosik@ses.edu

(704) 847–5600 x. 207

  • I. DESCRIPTION OF THE COURSE

3 credit hours

This course is a study of the principles involved in the science of apologetics. The course

examines the reasonableness of the evidence for Christian Faith, with emphasis placed on the 12-step approach taken in apologetics and basic considerations of each.

II.

FORMAT OF THE COURSE

This course has been designed as a Modular/Hybrid course, which will run from January

  • 6 th through March 1 st , 2014. The first week of class (January 6-10) will meet face-to-face

on campus, Monday through Friday evenings from 7-9:30 pm. Distance students will be able to participate during these sessions through online live-streaming. (Students who will not be able to be present at these live sessions will still be able to sign up for the course and watch the recorded streaming sessions as part of the online portion of the class). During the face-to-face portion of the course (Jan. 6-10), Dr. Geisler will teach and lead discussions. During the remaining portion of the course (Jan. 20-March 8), Dr. Janosik will act as the facilitator in the hybrid format. During these weeks, there will be weekly online videos/lectures by Dr. Geisler and Dr. Janosik, reading assignments, online forums, live web sessions (Q&A), quizzes, assignments, a final exam based on the 12 Step approach and a final paper. All of these things will be done online through our Moodle course management system. (Note that there is an extra week between the time of the module (Jan. 6-10) and the beginning of the online portion, which begins on Jan. 20. You may want to use this week to begin your reading for your book critique).

III. OBJECTIVES

After completing the course, the student should be able to:

  • 1. Explain the 12-Step Approach to apologetics to a thinking and concerned unbeliever.

  • 2. Present a logical, systematic approach to Apologetics.

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  • 4. Present historical, scientific and archaeological evidence for the authenticity of the Bible and the resurrection of Christ.

  • 5. Give credible reasons for rejecting macro-evolution as an explanation of origins and present evidence that supports the views of Intelligent Design.

  • 6. Develop critical thinking skills through evaluation and analysis of opposing viewpoints.

  • 7. Develop a personal apologetic for Biblical Christianity that will stimulate a deeper walk with the Lord and a life-long study in these areas.

IV. RESOURCES FOR THE COURSE Required Books for the course:

Geisler, Norman and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 2004. [ISBN: 1-58134-561-5]

Suggested Books for the course and Book List for the Book Review:

Craig, William Lane. A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity, and the Bible. Chicago: Moody, 2013. [ISBN: 978-0802405999]

Feser, Edward. The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism. South Bend: St. Augustine's Press, 2008. [ISBN: 9781587314520]

Geisler, Norm. Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988. [ISBN:

978-0801038228]

Geisler, Norman. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998. [ISBN: 978-0801021510]

Geisler, Norman. A Handbook of Worldviews (www.BastionBooks.com).

Geisler, Norman. Miracles and the Modern Mind (www.BastionBooks.com).

Groothuis, Douglas. Truth Decay: Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism. Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press, 2000. [ISBN:

9780851115245]

Habermas, Gary R. The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ. Joplin:

College Press Publishing, 1996. [ISBN: 9780899007328]

Keller, Timothy. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. Riverhead/Penguin, 2008. [ISBN: 978-1-59448-349-3]

Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. San Francisco: Harper, 2009. [ISBN: 978-0060652920]

AP501: Introduction to Apologetics

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Lewis, C.S. Miracles. Nashville: B&H, 2000. [ISBN: 9780805493948]

McGrath, Alister. Mere Apologetics: How to Help Seekers & Skeptics Find Faith. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2012. [ISBN: 978-0-8010-1416-1]

Moreland, J. P. Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1987. [ISBN: 9780801062223]

Nash, Ronald. The Gospel and the Greeks: Did the New Testament Borrow from Pagan Thought? Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2003. [ISBN:

9780875525594]

Strobel, Lee. The Case for Faith. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000. [ISBN: 978-

0310234692]

V. REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE

  • 1. Reading. Read carefully the assigned portions of the text for each week’s assignments. There will be a weekly online assessment to keep track of all reading.

  • 2. Attendance. Since this is primarily an online course, it is very important that you make every effort to keep up with your weekly assignments and reading. Each student should plan to put at least 12-15 hours a week into the course over the 8- week period (135 hours total for a 3 credit hour course). Please see the breakdown on the Assignments and Time chart located in your Documents folder online.

  • 3. Quizzes. There will be on-line quizzes given as appropriate. These quizzes will be comprised of objective questions based on the reading and the lectures. The lowest quiz will be dropped.

  • 4. Examinations. There will be a Final Exam focusing on the material covered by the reading, lectures and quizzes. This will be comprised of both objective questions and essay questions. This will include a knowledge of the 12-Point Approach to Apologetics.

  • 5. Projects. There will be two projects (see Guidelines below, Part IX). (Project #1): Research Paper (Project #2): Book Critique

  • 6. Forum discussions:

These will cover various topics in apologetics and will help you formulate ways to reach out to others using apologetics. Instructions for each discussion will be online.

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VI. GRADING

Grading Scale

A = 97-100%

B- = 86-87%

D+ = 75-77%

A- = 94-96%

C+ = 83-85%

D = 72-74%

B+ = 91-93%

C = 80-82%

D- = 70-71%

B = 88-90%

C- = 78-79%

F = below 70%

Grade Percentages:

Assessments

Percentage

Approximate time

Reading (texts, articles, web links)

5%

40 hours (20 pgs/hr)

Completion of Lectures, Online Participation

5%

15 hours for the module, 20 hours for the remaining time

Forum Discussions

15%

  • 10 hours

Quizzes

15%

  • 10 hours

Final Exam

20%

5 hours (3-hour exam)

Project #1: Research Paper

25%

  • 20 hours

 

15%

  • 15 hours

Project #2: Book Critique Total Time:

100%

135 hours

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VII. OUTLINE OF THE COURSE

The 12-Step Approach to Apologetics. The overall argument in defense of the Christian Faith can be put in twelve basic propositions. They flow logically one from another:

  • 1. Truth about reality is knowable.

  • 2. Opposites cannot both be true.

  • 3. The theistic God exists.

  • 4. Miracles are possible.

  • 5. Miracles performed in connection with a truth claim are acts of God to confirm the truth of God through a messenger of God.

  • 6. The New Testament documents are reliable.

  • 7. As witnessed in the New Testament, Jesus claimed to be God.

  • 8. Jesus’ claim to divinity was proven by a unique convergence of miracles.

  • 9. Therefore, Jesus was God in human flesh.

    • 10. Whatever Jesus (who is God) affirmed as true, is true.

    • 11. Jesus affirmed that the Bible is the Word of God.

    • 12. Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God and whatever is opposed to any biblical truth is false.

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VIII. 2014 SCHEDULE FOR INTRODUCTION TO APOLOGETICS

         

Week

Date

Class Topic

Text Reading

Assignments/

1

Quizzes

Day 1

1/6

Syllabus and Overview of Class 1. Truth about reality is knowable.

Geisler, N. L. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (BECA):

Forum #1: Getting Acquainted

2. Opposites cannot both be true.

“Nature of Truth” “Agnosticism” “Logic” “First Principles”

Day 2

1/7

  • 3. The theistic God

BECA:

 

exists.

“Evidence for God”

  • 4. Miracles are possible.

“Miracle”

  • 5. Miracles performed in

connection with a truth claim are acts of God to confirm the truth of God through a messenger of God.

Day 3

1/8

Science and Christianity:

BECA:

 

Is Evolution Science? Is Evolution Supported by the Evidence? Are Problems with Evolution Real?

“Cosmological Argument” Teleological Argument” “Moral Argument”

Janosik, “Intelligent Design

Day 4

1/9

  • 6. The New Testament

BECA:

 

documents are reliable.

“Historicity of New

  • 7. As witnessed in the

Testament”

New Testament, Jesus

“New Testament

claimed to be God.

Manuscripts”

  • 8. Jesus’ claim to

“Deity of Christ”

divinity was proven by a unique convergence of miracles.

  • 9. Therefore, Jesus was

God in human flesh.

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Day 5

1/10

  • 10. Whatever Jesus (who

BECA:

Quiz #1

is God) affirmed as true,

“Miracles in the

is true.

Bible”

  • 11. Jesus affirmed that

“Trinity”

the Bible is the Word of God.

“Jesus’ View of the Bible”

  • 12. Therefore, it is true

that the Bible is the Word of God and whatever is opposed to any biblical truth is false.

Week

Date

Class Topic

Text Reading

Assignments/

Quizzes

 
  • 2 1/20-25

(1,2) Epistemology: Is

I Don’t Have

Quiz #2

Truth knowable? Geisler video

Enough Faith to be an Atheist (NG/FT):

Forum #2

Lecture: Worldviews

7-32; 35-67

Lecture: Traditional Christian Apologetics Lecture: Always be Prepared Online Video: Ravi Zacharias on “Toward an Evangelical Understanding of Postmodernism and Mission”

BECA: “Types of Apolotetics” ; Daniel Janosik, Apologetics

 
  • 3 1/27-2/1

(3) Theology: Does God

NG/FT: 73-112;

Quiz #3

exist? Geisler video Lecture: 20 Arguments for the Existence of God Lecture: Faith and Reason Lecture: Problem of Evil Online Debate: William Lane Craig – “ Does God Exist?”

389-401

Forum #3

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  • 4 2/3-8

Ontology: How did we

NG/FT: 113-193;

Quiz #4

get here? Geisler video Lecture: Fossil record of man Online video: PBS special on Evolution

Janosik, “How to Think about Evolution and the Fossil Record of Man”

Forum #4

 
  • 5 2/10-15

(4,5) Are miracles

NG/FT: 197-217

Quiz #5

possible? Geisler video Lecture: Miracles

Forum #5

 
  • 6 2/17-22

(6) Historicity: Are the

NG/FT: 221-324

Quiz #6

New Testament Documents reliable? Geisler video Lecture: the authenticity of the Scriptures

Forum #6

 
  • 7 2/24-3/1

(7-12) Christology: Is

NG/FT: 327-388;

Quiz #7

Jesus really God?

“Uniqueness of

Forum #7

Geisler video Lecture: The Uniqueness

Christ” – Janosik; Gary Habermas,

of Christ Lecture: Objections to the Resurrection Online interview: Gary Habermas on the Resurrection

Resurrection

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8

3/3-3/8

(12) Christianity and other religions: Is Christianity true? Lecture: Origin of Religions Lecture: How to Explain the Trinity to a Muslim Online Video: Ravi Zacharias on “Toward an Evangelical Understanding of Postmodernism and Mission”

NG/FT: 402-408; Janosik, “Explaining the Trinity to a Muslim”

Final Exam Due: Project #1 Due: Project #2 Course Evaluation

IX GUIDELINES FOR PROJECTS AND DISCUSSIONS:

  • A. Guidelines for Forum Discussions:

    • 1. Forum discussions will provide opportunities to explore the material covered on a more student oriented interactive level. The student will usually first post his own response to the assigned questions and then later return to the forum area and provide responses to other posts. The general format will be to submit the first post by Thursday night and then respond to at least two other posts by the Saturday midnight deadline.

    • 2. To submit a post, the student should log into the Moodle site and either access the appropriate forum discussion through the weekly venue or under the Forums tab at the top of the web page. The student should then click into the discussion link provided by the professor. After reading the directions, the student should submit their response by clicking on the “reply” link in the lower right-hand corner of the instructor’s post and then typing the response in the box that appears (or pasting the response from Word).

    • 3. In replying to another student’s post, first click into the appropriate student’s post and then click on the “reply” link within that post. This will keep the “threads” together in an organized fashion. You may note that there are four views by which to view the posts.

    • 4. The first post generally should be at least 300 words and proper grammar and literary style should be employed. The student’s grade will be reduced for inadequate responses or poor writing. Remember, others will read your posts, so do your best.

  • B. Guidelines for the Research Paper: Each student must submit a research paper on an apologetics topic of his choice. You may choose from the following broad categories, or on any other topic directly related

  • AP501: Introduction to Apologetics

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    to the course material. You may seek guidance if you are not certain of the category or topic you have selected. Please focus your topics and avoid merely duplicating or summarizing the material from the class. Your approach should further clarify an issue or add something new to what has been taught.

    Area of Topic:

    • 1. On the nature and knowability of Truth

    • 2. On the existence and nature of God

    • 3. On the creation/evolution controversy

    • 4. On the nature and possibility of miracles

    • 5. On the historicity of the New Testament

    • 6. On the deity of Christ

    • 7. On the Trinity

    • 8. On Apologetic systems

    • 9. On the problem of evil

      • 10. On one of the objections against Christianity brought up by non-Christians. (For example, Muslims will say that God cannot be a Trinity, Jesus was not God, the Bible is corrupt and untrustworthy, and that Jesus did not die on the cross – and therefore could not have risen from the dead). Your argument should be couched in the context of that religion or viewpoint.

    Guidelines for Writing:

    • 1. The paper must be written from an apologetic point of view.

    • 2. Make sure that you have a strong thesis, well-developed ideas with good, specific support, and a conclusion that not only brings resolution to the issue, but also fulfills the directives of your thesis. You should review the rubric used for this paper (posted on Moodle) in order to better understand how these elements contribute to the paper and to the grading of the paper.

    • 3. Use appropriate research format (Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers, 7 th edition), especially for footnotes and the bibliography. (Please do not use endnotes).

    • 4. Include your full name, course name, project name, and date, all at the top left side of your first page. Center your title underneath your heading (flush left is also fine to use). Do not worry about paginating the title page. Begin your numbering on the second page and keep the format consistent throughout the paper, including the bibliography (top right or bottom right are preferable).

    Example:

    Alexander Student AP501: Introduction to Apologetics Project #2: Research Paper May 2, 2014

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    • 5. Write your paper using double-spacing, at least a 12-pitch font and include a separate page for your bibliography.

    • 6. The body of your paper should be between 12-15 pages in length (approximately 4,000 words).

    • 7. You should use at least 6 different sources (and your internet sources should not make up more than 50% of your sources). Be sure to list these sources appropriately in your bibliography.

    • 8. Remember to utilize footnotes whenever quoting or citing a source.

    • 9. Format your final paper as a Word document. (If you use a different word processor, then save your final version as a Word document).

      • 10. Upload your paper digitally on Moodle in the appropriate drop box area.

      • 11. Use an appropriate form for your document’s file name that includes all pertinent information. (For example, proj1.ResearchPaper.your name).

        • C. Guidelines for the Book Critique:

    Use the following criteria adapted from the Oxford Journal submission standards in order to write a book critique on one of the books listed under that suggested resources in your syllabus.

    Standard Book Reviews should be no longer than 2,000 words (5-6 pages), although depending on the book being reviewed they may be shorter or longer. All book reviews should be prepared and submitted following the general Instructions to Authors of this journal.

    The following information should be given about the book being reviewed at the start of each review:

    Author / Editor Name, Book Title, Publisher, Year of Publication, ISBN: 000-0- 00-000000-0, Number of Pages, Price

    Book reviews should consider the following:

    Author background, education and apologetic orientation (apologetic methodology)

    The intended audience for the book and who would find it useful

    The main ideas and major objectives of the book and how effectively these are accomplished

    Constructive comments about the strength and weaknesses of the book (be sure to use examples, quotes and specific evidence to back up your critique)

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    Explain how the book would be a valuable resource for lay people involved in apologetics and be sure to give examples

    Your critique should be double-spaced and use a 12-point Times Roman font (or similar font type).

    Use Turabian format and save your document as a Word file. Upload your completed book critique on Moodle in the appropriate drop box.

    • X. BIBLIOGRAPHY (a bibliography will be placed online)