Trinity Baptist Church: Sunday School

Apologetics

Feb. 15, 2009 April 12, 2009

 

Leaders:

Neil Shenvi

Jim Hebda

 

Course description:

Does God exist? Why is there evil and suffering in the world? Aren't all religious claims equally true? Is the Bible historically accurate? Doesn't science eliminate the possibility of miracles? In this class, we will study topics in apologetics, the branch of theology concerned with providing a rational defense of the gospel. We'll outline biblical answers to modern objections to the central tenets of Christianity in order that we may "be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks [us] to give the reason for the hope that [we] have" (1 Pet. 3:15). The course material will be based on the book Reason for God by Tim Keller (which I highly recommend to everyone, regardless of whether you take this class!). The book is available in the book stall.

Week 1: What is apologetics (1 Pet. 3:15-16, Acts 17:15-34)? What is the Biblical basis for apologetics?

Week 2: The existence of God (RFG, Ch. 8 and 9). How do we know that God exists? What can we know about God from nature? Is faith in God reasonable?

Week 3: Pluralism and relativism (RFG, Ch. 1). Is all truth relative and culturally determined? Are all religious claims equally true? Is there such a thing as absolute morality?

Week 4: The problem of evil, suffering, and divine judgment (RFG, Ch. 2, Ch. 5). If God is good, why is there evil in the world? How can a loving God send people to hell?

Week 5: Religion versus the gospel (RFG, Ch. 3, Ch. 11). Isn't religion responsible for oppression and injustice? Does religion take away one's freedom?

Week 6: Creation and evolution (RFG, Ch. 6. Guest teacher: Jim Hebda). What does the Bible say about the origins of life, the universe, and everything?

Week 7: Engaging other religions (Guest teacher: Jim Hebda). What are the differences between historic Christianity and the beliefs of other groups like the Mormon church or the Jehovah's Witnesses?

Week 8: The historicity and authority of Scripture (RFG, Ch. 7, Ch. 13). Is the Bible historically accurate? Did the Resurrection really happen? How do we know that the Bible is trustworthy?

Week 9: Miracles and quantum mechanics. Does modern science prove that miracles cannot occur? Doesn't science adequately explain all natural phenomena?