Become an Apologist

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If you talk to anyone who knows me, 
they will tell you that I am an apologetics junkie. 
I have explored several programs in an attempt to get a full degree in the stuff. 
Having decided to just go the 
self-taught route and acquire some formal training along the way, 
I have still decided there are good programs out there, 
which if finances allowed, by means of a lottery or a discovery of oil in my backyard,  
I would become a full time student of.

Biola Apologetics Certificate program.

For anyone thinking about getting into apologetics, but aren’t able to leave home, 
or can’t afford a lot of money this is definitely a program worth looking into.
I stumbled on it one day doing a Google search since no Bible schools in 
Canada offer a full time apologetics program, 
but only offer the subject as a part of a Divinity, or Theology program.

For the decent price of $650.00 plus S&H and the price of reading material 
you can get a taste of Biola Universities 
Masters in Apologetics program.
It comes in 3 units. If you do the quizzes for each unit you will get 3 potential 
credits towards a Masters 
if you choose to take their program, and if you do the reading material, 
and the assignments you will get 3 additional credits towards their MA program.
At the end you get a nice wall certificate signed by Craig Hazen, 
and will feel more confident in knowing what you believe, 
and why you believe it!
It comes in 3 box sets containing CD’s totalling 24. 
Each CD has about 2 hours of lecture time by authors 
such as Lee Stroebel, William Lane Craig, Craig Hazen, JP Moreland, 
Gregory Koukl, Francis Beckwith and many more. 
You can get the course without the CD’s which is cheaper,
 but the instruction quality will not be the same by reading the outlines.

Summary of Audio Content Module 1The Case for Faith: A Personal Exploration by Lee Strobel The Absurdity of Life without God by William Lane Craig Arguments for the Existence of God by J.P. Moreland Solving the Problem of Evil by Garrett J. DeWeese Defending the Gospel Accounts of Jesus by Joe Hellerman Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ by Craig J. Hazen Christianity and the Problem of Popular Culture by John Mark Reynolds Responding to Relativism by Greg Koukl
Module 2Christianity and the Nature of Science by J.P. Moreland The Historical Jesus by Gary Habermas Contending for the Christian Worldview by John Mark Reynolds Reading Scripture with All Your Mind by Walt Russell Responding to the Cults by Kevin Lewis What About Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel? by Greg Koukl Christianity Among the World Religions by Craig J. Hazen Miracles and the Modern Mind by Doug Geivett

Module 3In Defense of the Soul by J.P. Moreland The Case for Moral Absolutes by Francis Beckwith Answers to Bioethical Challenges by Scott Rae Darwinism in Crisis by Philip Johnson, Paul Nelson, John Mark 
Reynolds, J.P. Moreland Key Issues in New Testament Textual Criticism by David Allen Black Jesus: The Smartest Man who Ever Lived? by Dallas Willard Successful Tactics in Defense of the Faith by Greg Koukl Apologetics and the Spiritual Life by John Coe
This course at first assumes you know nothing about the subject, and does a great 
job of presenting the least difficult topics to start, 
and works into the more difficult ones in the second, and third modules.
The assigned reading material is relevant, and interesting. 
They give you options for if you are not a strong reader,
or are not comfortable with the harder texts such as Reasonable Faith,
 by William lane Craig. 
If you can use the more 
difficult texts since you will learn much more. The alternatives are ‘The Case for Christ’, 
and ‘The Case for a Creator’ by Lee Stroebel.
My only problem with the assigned reading material is that some of it is not easy to find, 
and must be ordered from Amazon. 
In Canada John Warwick Montgomery’s ‘History, Law, and Christianity’ 
was very expensive ($80.00) to order from Amazon
and instead I ordered ‘Tough Minded Christianity’ as a substitute. 
(If you can get a hold of any John Warwick Montgomery book I suggest you do it. 
He was a monster in apologetics.)
The other books such as ‘Intellectuals don’t need God, and other modern myths’, 
by Allister McGrath, Relativism: Feet firmly 
planted in midair” by Francis Beckwith, and Greg Koukl, 
and “True for you, but not for me.”, by Paul Copan were difficult to order 
here in Canada. 
I ended up having to get them for my e-reader which I hate using. 
It just isn’t the same as a book. 

My conclusion: I give this program 4/5 stars. It lacks a star for one reason, 
and that is they don’t have alternate texts for 
what some people might find difficult to get a hold of. 
There are plenty of great authors out there, and 
finding out of print texts shouldn’t be an 
assignment in itself, then again, maybe it should be an assignment in itself,
since we, as apologists, need to be good at investigating and finding things.
I won’t take a star off for this point, but the real disappointment was 
finding out I couldn’t take the full 
program with out a bachelors degree of some sort. 
I would love to see the full program offered at a higher certificate 
level for those who don’t have a bachelor’s,
 but have taken the time like I have to study the subject on their own in previous years. 
I understand, because of accreditation issues, they cannot give 
Master’s degrees to people without a Bachelors. 
The full MA program is fully offered through correspondence 
and I would like to see Biola someday offer a Bachelors in Apologetics 
through correspondence, so people, 
such as myself, who live out of Country/State, 
can become more thoroughly equipped in defending their faith.
Take this course! If you are just a regular guy like myself who loves apologetics, 
and wants to become more intellectually 
involved with your faith this is the place to start. If you are a Jr Pastor less 
familiar with the subject, take this course. 
If you are a layperson who teaches Sunday schools or serves on an elder 
board, take this course.
I would love to see more Christians competent in defending their faith, 
and this is the place to start.
As a follow up I would always suggest more reading, and writing just 
for the enjoyment of it. 
In addition I have also done the workbook for 
William Lane Craig’s ‘Reasonable Faith’, which was a requirement 
to become involved with Craig’s Reasonable Faith Chapters program. 
I found it to be just as useful as Biola’s certificate program.
Here is a link to Biola’s Apologetics department, and the staff there 
will be more than helpful in setting you up.
Biola Apologetics

Veritas Evangelical Seminary

Definitely a program worth looking into if you are looking to cut costs 
and still learn apologetics. 
I have done 3 of their many courses in apologetics and found every 
one of them made me more competent in defending my faith. 
The program is by no means as developed or as prestigious as Biola's, 
but offers the same teachings at half the cost. Another plus is, 
unlike Biola, their certificate program is identical with their masters program, 
therefore you do not need to hold a Bachelor's 
degree prior to getting equipped with the skills necessary to be an apologist.

Here is a link to their site.

Other Schools.

I have heard of other institutions which are great. 
One program I am eager to look into is SouthWestern Evangelical Seminary's 
Science and Apologetics certificate. 
This, I believe would be a great asset in answering the evolution debate 
and having a good conversation with those who are well versed in the 
so-called scientific objections to our faith. If I take this program, 
I will be sure to write all about my learnings.

Self-Taught

Let's face it, we all have rational minds and the textbooks that are available to students 
are just as available to the lay-person. 
Who says we need the structure of a classroom to learn about philosophy or apologetics? 
One of the things I enjoy the most about finishing a course is that I am free of the 
syllabus and am able to study up on my personal interests and to blog as I please. 
It is actually the goal of the site to be a one-stop-shop 
for all your apologetics needs and to help you find the best resources on Christian 
philosophy and apologetics out there.
I will be sure to post book reviews on this site, allowing you to go beyond the scope 
of my posts.
Here are the basic topics every Christian apologist should be equipped to defend,

1.  The truth about reality is knowable.
2.  Opposites cannot both be true.
3.  A theistic God exists.
4. Miracles (from 3) are possible.
5.  Miracles confirm a truth claim by a messenger of God. 
(Joseph Smith and Muhammad, I am shaking my finger at you!)
6. New Testament documents are reliable.
7.  As witnessed in the New Testament, Jesus claimed to be God.
8.  Jesus' claim to divinity was vindicated by a unique and unprecedented      
convergence of miracles.
9.  Therefore, Jesus is God in human flesh.
10. All that Jesus, who is God, affirmed as true, is true.
11. Jesus affirmed that the Bible is God's word.
12. Therefore, the Bible is God's word and 
all that is opposed to Biblical truth is false. (From 2).)

So I hope the contents of this site piques your interest in defending your faith, 
or if you are not a believer, 
I hope this site gets you thinking about the possible reasons that exist 
for belief in God, rather than non-belief.
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