An exploration of fundamental issues lying at the heart of religious belief and practice. These will include alleged difficulties regarding God’s attributes, the meaningfulness of religious language, God and the meaning of life, the relationship between faith and reason, and the justification of religious belief itself. These issues will be examined with the underlying purpose of more effectively communicating and defending Christian faith in a postmodern world. Students will be exposed to both current and classical writings in the Philosophy of Religion and will be expected to read the assigned writings and be prepared for active discussion in class.
An orientation to the language and process of apologetics. Specific areas covered include a history of apologetics activity, definitions and purposes of apologetics, the relationship of apologetics to evangelism, the role of the Holy Spirit in the apologetic task, a survey of some contemporary apologetics issues, how postmodernism affects the way apologetics must be done, and various apologetics approaches.
An examination of postmodernism and some of the challenges to Christian faith in a postmodern culture. Specific areas studied will include postmodern understandings of truth, reality, reason and community, Christian exclusivism, religious pluralism, hell, the plight of the unevangelized, the God of the Old Testament, and how an effective apologetic can be carried out in a postmodern culture.
This course gives the student an opportunity to do focused study in a specialized area of Christian Apologetics. It will help students to broaden and deepen their knowledge of the field, challenge them to do in-depth critical research of current issues and concepts, and promote growth in skills that are relevant to the discipline.
This course assists students in understanding both the necessity of and strategies used in making the case for the existence of the Judeo-Christian God in a postmodern world. The nature of theism, atheism, and agnosticism are studied along with questions concerning burden of proof. Major theistic arguments are also evaluated. In addition, this course seeks to provide convincing responses to some of the foremost challenges to Christian theism such as the problem of evil, alleged contradictions in the concept of God, and difficulties with religious language. Prerequisite: CAP 550 and CAP 560
On what basis do we hold confidence that the Bible is a faithful witness to the life of Christ and the character of God, infallible in all matters of faith and practice, a canon by which we can evaluate our doctrines and behavior? How can we be sure that the Bible is reliable? In this course we will examine the foundation for the reliability of Scripture and interact with critics of biblical reliability both within and without the church. Our constant goal will be to establish confidence in the scriptures as reliable, true, and trustworthy for all time. Prerequisite: CAP 550 and CAP 560
An exploration of the evidence for the historical Jesus and his relationship to “the Christ of faith.” Areas of inquiry include key challenges to the quest for the historical Jesus, the reliability of the New Testament documents, the resurrection of Jesus, and strategies for making the case for the historical Jesus in a postmodern world. Prerequisite: CAP 550 and CAP 560
This course examines a number of prominent current social and moral issues in western culture. These include ethical relativism, the question of the objectivity of moral truth, foundations of morality, tolerance, and specific moral topics such as euthanasia, genetic engineering, gay rights, environmental ethics and animal rights. Prerequisite: CAP 550 and CAP 560
This course examines the problem of evil. First we will seek to understand the nature of the challenge to Christianity that is represented by this problem in both its logical and probabilistic forms. Secondly, we will examine the kinds of responses that are offered to it. Our underlying goal through this entire process will be to increase our effectiveness in presenting the message of Christianity in a manner that is compelling, accurate, and credible for the sake of both Christians and non-Christians.
An examination of epistemological and related methodological issues that affect the work of the Christian theological scholar, considered generally in the contemporary academic context, and concretely in the specialization disciplines of the MTS and MTh programs. Students will explore the implications of these issues for research writing (including thesis preparation) in their own specializations. They will also engage in critical interdisciplinary dialogue on research projects presented by their fellow students. Prerequisite: MTS 803, MTH 890