Growing in Apologetics
One of the great challenges facing church leaders currently is equipping their fellow-believers to give solid reasons for the hope they have, and to answer the challenging questions they get asked. In this section you’ll find an apologetics course with accompanying resources, ready for you to adapt for your own situation and reuse.
Introduction to Apologetics
Answering Tough Questions
‘Answering Tough Questions’ is a course on the reasons for faith and the big questions we often get asked.
The course is designed as four sessions of about an hour and a half each:
Session one includes:
-What about science and faith?
- How can you believe in miracles?
- And why do you believe in God anyway?
Session two includes:
-How could a good God allow so much suffering?
- Faith may be nice for you but I’m happy without it.
- Why do you believe in the resurrection anyway?
Session three includes:
- Isn’t the Bible full of mistakes?
- Isn’t the church evil?
-Why those four gospels anyway?
- Doesn’t the Bible teach that God hates homosexuals?
- Why do you believe in that Bible anyway?
And the final session includes:
-Our society has many sincerely-held faiths; how can you think your Jesus is the only way to God?
- Doesn’t that attitude cause fights?
- Anyway what about those who have never heard your gospel?
-Why do you believe Jesus was God anyway?
In the last decade the truth of Christian faith has come under attack in a way we haven’t seen for many years. Secretly, many people in our churches are losing their nerve. The need to train our fellow-believers in this area and give them back their confidence is as huge as ever. But we know that busy church leaders often don’t have the time to do the background reading that will enable them to feel confident in carrying this through.
So: there are lots of great books and great apologetics websites available like www.bethinking.org; but what we’re providing here, as with other resources on this site, is material pre-adapted for use in a church setting by a busy church leader, ready to adapt further for your own situation and then teach, straightaway from the web. (Bear in mind though that as Bible-believing, evangelical Christians there are some apologetics issues – evolution, for example, or the fate of the unevangelized – that we don’t all agree on, so you may want in particular to adapt what we’ve provided on these issues for your own situation.)
What you’ll find in this collection here is three things:
a) The main thing: A group leader’s outline that you could use or adapt to teach each session, including full notes for talks.
b) Handouts for parts of the first two sessions where it might be especially useful in helping your group focus on the flow of the argument.
c) A set of notes you can send out to participants afterwards, covering (in most of the course) very similar material, but ready for you to circulate straight after the session. In some sections (particularly in 1 and 4) they contain some extra details more suited for personal reference than for reading aloud in a group session. But please be sure to credit the author and Living Leadership if you do reproduce or circulate these materials.
Four sessions of about an hour and a half each may sound long, but in practice we’ve found it works; providing we are sure to break for some caffeine in the middle, and providing (as you‘ll see) we combine upfront teaching with small group discussion. But the material could equally well be spread over eight or more sessions.
May God bless you as you use, adapt and improve it for your own situation!
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