Monday, March 29, 2010

Redeemer Ministry School - Apologetics

On Wednesday in Redeemer Ministry School I will begin teaching my Apologetics class.  The word "apologetics" does not mean learning how to say things like, "I'm really sorry I'm a follower of Jesus" (as your shame-filled head hangs down). The Greek word apologeo is found in 1 Peter 3:15: "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." Here in the NIV apologeo is translated as "to give an answer." It can also be translated as "to make a defense," or "to make an argument."

I love teaching apologetics! As a new Jesus-follower (40 years ago!) one of the first books I read was C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. I was fascinated by Lewis's reasoning. It had such an impact on me that I changed my college major from music theory to philosophy. "Philosophy" was where the action was in terms of addressing the big questions of life. To this day, this has not changed for me. (I will add theology and religious studies, of course.)

William Lane Craig was my campus pastor, and began introducing me to apologetics. I have followed Bill's career and writings since then, and often thank God for the opportunity to be mentored by him in my early philosophical days.

On this Wednesday I am going to present, to my RMS students, an extranbiblical defense for the resurrection of Jesus. I'll follow a lot of Bill's reasoning here, plus add some other things.

For the second part of my Wed. class I will present the case for the existence of Jesus. A current internet-atheist thing is to claim, and argue for the idea that Jesus never existed. I'll show our students why such reasoning is specious.

(If you are intersted in attending Redeemer Ministry school for our 2010-2011 school year, please check out the information here.)