7.5 Apologetics
7.5.1 Masters Level
Courses
7.5.2 Th.M./Ph.D. Level...

7.5.2 Th.M./Ph.D. Level Courses


AP 703 Reformed Objection to Natural Theology
Purpose:

  • To focus on the discussion of Natural Theology from a Reformed theological perspective
  • To interact with various analyses of Reformed objections to Natural Theology
  • To analyze and work toward the development of a Reformed approach to Natural Theology.

Topics covered include twentieth century philosophical analyses of the Reformed objection to Natural Theology, objections of Natural Theology from within the Reformed theological context, as well as the apologetic dimension of Natural Theology.
  Spring semester.(Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Oliphint

AP 713 Christianity in Conflict I
Purpose:

  • To study the major apologetics texts of the church in the first thousand years of its history
  • To compare the methods and arguments used
  • To assess those methods in relation to the needs in apologetics today

Topics covered include texts by Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Iranaeus, Origen, Augustine, and Boethius. The approach will generally be inductive, based on the actual texts. Some lectures will be given.
  Winter term. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Edgar.

AP 721 The Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til
Purpose:

  • To study in-depth the principles, method, and content of Van Til’s apologetic
  • To develop and critique Van Til’s apologetic approach 
  • To apply the insights of Van Til’s apologetic to current challenges  to the Christian faith

Topics covered include the impact of Van Til’s apologetic in the context of its development. There will be some attention given to critical analyses of Van Til’s position. Seminar discussions will focus on the content of Van Til’s thought.
  Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Oliphint.

AP 733 Christianity and the Arts
Purpose:

  • To understand the dynamics of art
  • To arrive at a Reformed view of aesthetics 
  • To learn how Scripture speaks about the arts 
  • To develop convictions about the proper role of the arts in daily life 
  • To explore the role of the arts in worship

Topics covered include the present state of the arts, the character of beauty, art as a vocation, the arts in the Bible, and the special dynamic of evil and redemption in the arts. Sessions will integrate guest artists; a museum visit; discussions of music, poems, novels, and paintings.
  Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Edgar.

AP 743 Christianity in Conflict II
Purpose:

  • To study the major apologetics texts of the church in the Medieval period
  • To compare the methods and arguments used 
  • To assess those methods in relation to the needs in apologetics today

Topics covered include texts by Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Peter Abelard, John Duns Scotus, Ockham, and Buridan. The approach will generally be inductive, based on the actual texts. Some lectures will be given.
  Winter term. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Edgar.

AP 753 Christianity in Conflict III
Purpose:

  • To study the major apologetics texts of the church in the early modern period
  • To compare the methods and arguments used 
  • To assess those methods in relation to the needs in apologetics today

Topics covered include texts by Luther, Calvin, Descartes, Pascal, Butler, Hume, Kant, Schleiermacher, Groen, and Kuyper. The approach will generally be inductive, based on the actual texts. Some lectures will be given.
 Winter term. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Edgar.

AP 763 Christianity in Conflict IV
Purpose:

  • To study the major apologetics texts of the church in the last two centuries
  • To compare the methods and arguments used 
  • To assess those methods in relation to the needs in apologetics today

Topics covered include texts by Machen, Chesterton, Küng, von Balthasar, Schaeffer, Carnell, the Talbot School, Tillich, Clark, and Pannenberg. The approach will generally be inductive, based on the actual texts. Some lectures will be given.
  Winter term. Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Edgar.

AP 773 Christianity in Conflict V
Purpose:

  • To study the major apologetics texts of the church in the contemporary period
  • To compare the methods and arguments used
    • To assess those methods in relation to the needs of apologetics today

We will study the apologists from the contemporary period. The textbook is, Christian Apologetics Past & Present, edited by William Edgar & K. Scott Oliphint, Crossway, 2011, pp. 581-721. The seminar will combine introductory lectures with guided discussions of the primary texts in the anthology. There will be a research paper.
Winter term. Mr. Edgar.

AP 771  Apologetics in a Global Setting
Purpose:

  • To understand the phenomenon of globalization
  • To examine the application of Reformed apologetics in a global context 
  • To study the major issues raised for the church because of globalization 
  • To relate globalization to Christian missions

Topics covered include comparative sociology, the clash of civilization, the issue of religion and violence, the phenomenon of de-secularization, traditionalism versus modernizing, contextualization, and postmodernism.
  Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Edgar.

AP 843  Intercultural Apologetics
Purpose:

  • To understand the contemporary task of apologetics in the context of global interchanges and clashes of cultures
  • To establish a proper understanding of the relationship between Christian world-and life-views and various cultural contexts in which apologists must function
  • To develop a Reformed theology of religions as well as strategies to deal with other religious challenges to Christian claims
  • To become sensitized to various non-Western expressions of Christian faith in a rapidly emerging post-European and post-North American era of Christendom
  • To give a focused attention to the contributions of Harvie M. Conn as a model of intercultural apologist

Topics covered include justification for cultural and intercultural apologetics, the definition of culture, religion and culture, towards a Reformed theology of religions, responding to the challenges of other religions to Christian faith, and unity and diversity in Christian witness to the world.
  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Park.

AP 861  Theodicy
Purpose:

  • To understand the problem of evil from a biblical point of view
  • To be familiar with the major options as expressed through the ages 
  • To develop apologetic answers for the problem of evil

Topics covered include key biblical texts; the doctrines of God’s power, goodness, and justice; examinations of the classical writings on the subject by Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Leibnitz, Moltmann, Plantinga, Blocher, and others.
  Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Edgar.

AP 883  The Problem of Knowledge and Christianity
Purpose:

  • To focus on various problems of epistemology
  • To seek to demonstrate the necessity of a consistent Christian epistemology 
  • To develop principles necessary if one wants an adequate account of knowledge

Topics covered include foundationalism, coherentism, and the justification of knowledge.

  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Oliphint.

AP 891  Jacques Ellul as an Apologist
Purpose:

  • To be thoroughly acquainted with the work of the French sociologist Jacques Ellul
  • To interact with his views on power, ethics, Scripture, politics, economics, and technique

Topics covered include the study of several of Ellul’s books, using an inductive approach. Special emphasis will be on the major themes in his writings, such as technique, propaganda, economics, and power.
  Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Edgar.

AP 903 Cultural Analysis
Purpose:

  • To develop proper tools for the study of culture
  • To interact with various theologies of culture 
  • To understand the relation between Christian faith and the public square 
  • To find culturally aware ways to do evangelism  

Topics covered include an in-depth look at two cultures, American and one other; H. Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture and his critics; methodology for a biblical approach to understanding cultural dynamics; demographics; and popular culture.
  Fall semester. Mr. Edgar.

AP 923 The Apologetics of C. S. Lewis
Purpose:

  • To become familiar with the theological and apologetic writings of C. S. Lewis
  • To understand Lewis in the context of his time 
  • To understand and critically evaluate the major features of Lewis’s theology and apologetic strategies

Topics covered include the context of C. S. Lewis, Lewis’s idea of pre-evangelism, his understanding of the key theological themes, religious psychology, and literary imagination.
  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Park.

AP 931 Philosophy for Theologians
Purpose:

  • To understand past and current discussions in the philosophy of religion
  • To develop a Reformed response to various aspects of natural philosophy 
  • To critically analyze the traditional approach to religious philosophy

Topics covered include theistic proofs, arguments from religious experience, the problem of evil, miracles, the relationship of faith and reason, religious pluralism, and other subjects that interface with theology and philosophy. Seminar discussions.
  Fall semester. Mr. Oliphint.

AP 953 The Challenge of Islam
Purpose:

  • To study the history and presence of Islam in the world
  • To understand the major tenets of Muslim belief and practice
  • To develop effective apologetics strategies toward Muslim people
  • To investigate strategies for statecraft in the face of the presence of Islam
  • To explore ways to welcome Muslim converts to Christian faith in the church

Topics covered include the origins of Islam, its major caliphates, Wahhabism, the text and character of the Qur’an, religion and violence, a visit to a local mosque, and special presentations from scholars called to respond to various facets of Islam.
  Fall semester. Mr. Edgar.

AP 963 Warrant and Christian Epistemology
Purpose:

  • To understand the epistemology of Alvin Plantinga
  • To critically evaluate and analyze Plantinga’s epistemology as a Christian epistemology 
  • To develop principles for a Reformed epistemology in light of current discussions

Seminar discussions will include foundationalism, coherentism, and reliabilism, as well as proper function epistemology. Special attention will be given to the development of a Reformed approach to a theory of knowledge.
  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Oliphint.

AP 981 Theology of Science
Purpose:

  • To develop a framework for understanding and evaluating science within a biblically-based worldview, utilizing resources from systematic theology, presuppositional apologetics, and biblical theology
  • To interpret Genesis 1-3, weigh rival views of its meaning and implications, and consider its bearing on modern science 
  • To interact critically with modern approaches to the relation of science and Christianity, and with treatments of particular issues such as the age of the earth, uniformitarianism, evolutionary theories, intelligent design, the origin of man, and Noah’s flood

Topics covered include theology of creation and providence; the word of God in providence; interpretation of Genesis 1-3; the relation of general and special revelation; the bearing of presuppositional apologetics on analysis of science; the influence of Christianity on the rise of science; inductivist, instrumentalist, materialist, and relativist influences on thinking within and about science.
  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Poythress.

Courses listed for other concentrations which may be counted as concentration courses in Apologetics: OT 903, NT 931, NT 951, ST 701, ST 761, ST 773, ST 791, ST 803, ST 901.