Liberty University Week 1 Discussions

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Module 1 Announcement and Reminders

Posted on: Monday, June 29, 2020 8:58:03 AM EDT

Greetings Class!

Welcome to the first day of APOL 500!

Apologetics 500 is an exciting course for many reasons. Let me give two reasons:

1. Through apologetics we learn to defend our faith. Now, it’s not that God needs defending; however, apologetics may be just one way that the LORD uses us to bring a person to Christ. Sometimes, people have genuine intellectual barriers that they need to work through in order to become a Christ follower. A good example of this is C. S. Lewis. It was through understanding that Naturalism/atheism was morally bankrupt, that he turned to Christianity.

2. Through apologetics we learn to bolster our own faith. Many Christians struggle with doubt. It can be one of the most emotionally painful experiences that a Christian can face. I don’t if you’ve struggled with doubt, but I have. It was through learning truth about the nature of God that helped me to overcome the doubts that I faced. So, apologetics isn’t just about unbelievers, but it’s about believers, too! Apologetics helps us to find good reasons for why we believe what we do.

As we embark on this journey called apologetics, let’s keep at the forefront of our minds what Peter says: “but in your hearts honor Christ the LORD as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15, ESV)

With each week, one thing that I would like to do is to take a part of this verse and reflect on it. I’ll call this “biblical reflection.” To that we’ll now turn.

Biblical Reflection

For this week, I want to focus on the first part “but in your hearts.” When we think of the biblical understanding of the word “heart” here, obviously we don’t mean our physical organ; rather what we have in mind is the center of who we are, that is, our intellectual, emotional, and moral core. I’m reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 6:45

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (ESV).“

In another place he says,

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, and slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone” (Matthew 15:18, ESV)

A couple of things we can take away from this: First, when we do apologetics, our heart matters. What is our motivation for doing apologetics? Why are we doing what we do? Ultimately, we want to bring honor and glory to Jesus, not to ourselves. Second, doing apologetics is never about winning an argument. Doing apologetics is about helping a person move closer to Jesus. We want to see a person move from darkness to light. Third, as we think about our heart response, we need to make sure that our lives are reflective of Jesus. We need to make sure that we’re in tune with Him and walking in step with the Spirit. We are to do the work of the apologist through, in, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Topic: The Purpose of Apologetics

Carefully consider the following 2 questions in your thread:

  • Why do we engage in apologetics?
  • What is the audience of apologetics?

In your thread, give a cohesive response to those 2 questions. Your thread must incorporate the following topics from your assigned reading:

  • A basic definition of apologetics
  • The biblical basis for apologetics
  • Internal and external apologetics

At the bottom of your thread, be sure to include a total word count.


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