COURSE SYLLABUS. Course Description

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1 COURSE SYLLABUS AP 601 Introduction to Christian Apologetics Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary South Hamilton Campus Fall Semester 2015 Mondays, 2:00 PM-5:00 PM Phone: Course Description This course is designed to be a basic introduction to the biblical, theological, historical, and philosophical foundations of Christian apologetics. Attention is given to the differences between Christian thought and select examples of non-christian thought. It explores some of the assorted challenges to Christian belief and provides a survey of resources for thinking about those concerns. It highlights the kind of Christian virtues that need to be cultivated in contemporary apologetics given the religious and philosophical diversity and volatile social dynamics that characterize our world. There is an emphasis on effectively and graciously employing the discipline as an aid to the holistic mission of the church. Required: Course Textbooks Taylor, James E. Introducing Apologetics: Cultivating Christian Commitment (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006). ISBN: $39.00 Guinness, Os. Fool s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2015). ISBN: $22.00 Learning Outcomes The student who successfully completes this course should have the ability: 1. To demonstrate the plausibility of the Christian worldview that integrates biblical, theological, philosophical and historical truth. 2. To reason, weigh evidence, present and critique arguments for and against the Christian faith. 3. To engage in conversational apologetics. 4. To integrate apologetics in the context of the local church. 5. To minister with passion, humility, and Christian integrity while showing respect for the other in commending the faith.

2 Course Requirements 1. Assigned Readings some of the reading material is covered in class. However, there are elements that will not be brought out in class but are still essential to gaining an understanding of the material and successfully completing the course. Therefore, the reading provides a rich and necessary component of the learning experience. a. Textbook Reading- The students will be responsible for reading the assigned sections of the course textbooks by the assigned dates stated below. b. Reading Handouts- Students are also responsible for reading all handouts, essays, and articles reserved by the instructor. These essays serve as a necessary supplement to the material discussed in class Students are to indicate in writing how much of the assigned reading was completed on the final exam. 2. Short Interaction Papers students will be responsible for writing two short interaction papers over the course of the semester. The papers are to be essays on portions of a text or select articles assigned for the course. The course instructor will provide the questions from which students are to generate the paper assignments. The details concerning the length and format of the paper is provided on the question sheet. Students are to use these written assignments as the basis for class interaction for the participation aspect of the course. No late papers will be accepted in the absence of mitigating circumstances deemed so by the instructor. 3. Final Exam Each student is responsible for taking a comprehensive final exam at the end of the semester. Course Grading The student s grade will be determined as follows: Reading Report/Attendance 10% Interaction Papers (2) 40% Final Exam 50% Grade Achievement Quality Points A Work of exceptional quality 4.00 A B B Work of commendable quality 3.00 B C C Work of acceptable but minimal quality

3 C D D Substandard and barely passing work 1.00 D F 62-below Failure 0.00 Grading Rubric: After all the requirements of the course have been completed, the instructor will use the following rubric for the assignment of grades, based on the overall performance of the class. The grades assigned will represent the instructor s interpretation of the following standard: A = Outstanding mastery of the subject: excellence is evident in preparation for and attendance in class sessions; unusual ability to retain, analyze and synthesize the material; with a positive attitude making productive contributions to the learning community in the classroom. B = Superior mastery of the subject: sincere effort in preparation for and attendance in class sessions; ability to master the essential aspects of the material; with a mostly consistent attitude in making contributions to the learning community in the classroom. C = Basic mastery of the subject: inconsistent effort in preparation for and attendance in class sessions; engagement with the material but difficulty in grasping some of its aspects; with occasional contributions to the learning community in the classroom. D = Inadequate mastery of the subject. F = Failure: course must be repeated. Warning on Plagiarism: Helpful guidelines on plagiarism can be found on the Indiana University website This document has the official recognition of the Gordon-Conwell faculty and provides very helpful tools to guide you as you prepare for your assignments. If a student is caught plagiarizing, the student will receive the consequences of this act according to the process established by the seminary. Intellectual Property Rights: To protect the professor s intellectual property rights with regard to classroom content, students are asked to refrain from audio and video recording of classes, as well as audio, video, and written publication (including internet posting and broadcasting) or live transmission of classroom proceedings. Internet Usage: Students are asked to refrain from accessing the internet at any point during class sessions, unless otherwise instructed by the professor. Surfing the web, checking , and other internet-based activities are distracting to other students and to the professor, and prevent the student from fully participating in the class session. 3

4 Course Schedule Date Topic Reading/Assignments Week 1 September 14 Introductory Issues/ Biblical Reflections Chapters 1-4 Week 2 September 21 Week 3 September 28 Week 4 October 5 Reading Week #1 Week 5 October 19 Biblical Reflections (cont.)/ Faith and Reason Faith and Reason (cont.) On the Coherence of Christian Theism Constructing a Cumulative Case for Christian Theism Chapters 1-4 Chapters 5-7, 24 Chapters 8, 16, 14 Completed Reading Chapters 1-5 in Os Guinness, Fool s Talk *Assignment Due: Short Paper (1) Chapters 9, 10, 25 Week 6 October 26 Constructing a Cumulative Case for Christian Theism (cont.) Chapters 13, 15, 20 Vinoth Ramachandra, The Jesus Enigma, Faiths in Conflict, pp

5 Week 7 November 2 Reading Week #2 Week 8 November 16 Week 9 November 23 Challenges to Christian Faith & Practice No Class Meeting Challenges to Christian Faith & Practice Challenges to Christian Faith & Practice Chapters Kwame Bediako, How is Jesus Christ Lord? Evangelical Christian Apologetics amid African Religious Pluralism Jesus and the Gospel in Africa, pp Mary Jo Sharp, Is the Story of Jesus Borrowed from Pagan Myths? In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture, pp *Reading Assignment: Completed Reading Chapters 6-10 in Os Guinness, Fool s Talk Read Ahead especially for Week #8 Chapters 11, 12 Paul Copan and Matthew Flannagan, The Ethics of Holy War for Christian Morality and Theology (Posted in Sakai) Robert Stewart, Holy War, Divine Action and the New Atheism: Philosophical Considerations (Posted in Sakai) *Assignment Due: Short Paper (2) Chapters

6 Week 10 November 30 Week 11 December 7 Dialogical Apologetics, Respecting the Other, and Being a Good Citizen in a Pluralistic World Dialogical Apologetics, Respecting the Other, and Being a Good Citizen in a Pluralistic World General Background Reading: David Clark, Dialogical Apologetics, Chapters 6-7 (Posted in Sakai) General Background Reading: David Clark, Dialogical Apologetics, Chapters 8-9 (Posted in Sakai) Completed Reading of Guinness, Fool s Talk Finals Week December 14 18, 2015 FINAL EXAM DUE: December 18,

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