Planning to teach my youth group Apologetics

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Mar 29 2016 1:05 PM

I am planning on teaching my small youth group basic apologetics.  Any key Logos materials you would suggest?

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

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Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 29 2016 1:39 PM

I used a lot of different sources when I did the same thing.  I found Geisler's Apologetics helpful for outlines and filled in using other sources, too many to list.

I would offer this thought:  instead of giving "ammunition" to students to use against others of different beliefs, I would point out the differences between one and Christianity and give proofs why Christianity is true and more believable.  This places the focuses on their faith instead of the others.  

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 29 2016 1:50 PM

The Apologetics Study Bible:

Defending Your Faith

Answers to Tough Questions

Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics  ---> may be too advanced

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 29 2016 2:03 PM

Everett Headley:
I would offer this thought:  instead of giving "ammunition" to students to use against others of different beliefs, I would point out the differences between one and Christianity and give proofs why Christianity is true and more believable.  This places the focuses on their faith instead of the others.

I would strongly emphasize this. "Ammunition" tends to get recycled and if it was wrong the first time, never gets corrected. As a member of a group often targeted by the ammunition, if gets hard not to laugh when presented with ammunition based on a book from the 1910's that was garbage to begin with. (Yes, I am serious and not exaggerating.) You'll be more sure that what you present is true if you focus on your/their faith.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Frank Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 29 2016 4:06 PM

In teaching an Intro level Apologetics course, I prepared primarily from McDowell, Baker Encyclopedia and a couple others. 

For the students and the basis of the lectures I used The Unshakable Truth by Josh and Sean McDowell (not in Logos yet) - it is setup with 12 "truths" that flowed very well over a 12 week study for beginners.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 29 2016 5:03 PM

Frank Sauer:
I prepared primarily from McDowell

For students, this is a good resource: http://www.christianbook.com/dont-check-your-brains-the-door/josh-mcdowell/9781400317202/pd/317202 

I am unsure why it isn't in Logos/Vyrso... but I did notice that CBD (apparently) has the updated (2011) eBook, whereas Kindle (apparently) has the old one. 

Frank Sauer:
The Unshakable Truth by Josh and Sean McDowell (not in Logos yet) - it is setup with 12 "truths" that flowed very well over a 12 week study for beginners.

Do you mean this? https://vyrso.com/product/39056/the-unshakable-truth-how-you-can-experience-the-12-essentials-of-a-relevant-faith 

Don't forget Vyrso! 

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GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 29 2016 5:14 PM

A 35 year old Asian friend recently commented, "I was half atheist, half Buddhist, and when I became a Christian I knew I was supposed to believe certain things and not believe other things, so I did.  But I didn't know why.  Now that I am hearing apologetics (she is attending an apologetic class a friend is teaching), I am at last understanding that believing these things is rational--it makes sense to me now!"

I hope the best for you as you plant seeds and water and as you provide them with ways to work with skeptics and mockers and seekers.  

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JohnB | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 4:10 AM

MJ. Smith:
"Ammunition" tends to get recycled and if it was wrong the first time, never gets corrected. As a member of a group often targeted by the ammunition, if gets hard not to laugh when presented with ammunition based on a book from the 1910's that was garbage to begin with. (Yes, I am serious and not exaggerating.) You'll be more sure that what you present is true if you focus on your/their faith.

So, so true! I am glad that you can keep your sense of humor. I found it very useful when searching through denominations/belief systems about 50 years ago to obtain an official teaching pack from various denomination. Your group had an excellent simple course for free. At least I knew where we disagreed and (more importantly to me) where we agreed. I do get a little tired of trying to correct those who love the garbage arguments (whether against your group or against mine).

I have come to the opinion that it is a waste of time trying to work with many those who see their mission as to point out all my errors and I now just refuse to discuss anything with them (“A man convinced against his will Is of the same opinion still”).

I just tell them that I will not argue with them and I will share my beliefs only with someone who is genuine interested in hearing what they are and will actually listen. I will then give him the chance to explain his if he chooses to. For me, that is the place where apologetics fits in.

Of course many people are happy to argue with each other - just don't involve me!!

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Ryan | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 5:27 AM

Not sure what the age group / format you are looking at is, but it might be worth it to take a look at https://vyrso.com/product/24355/coffee-house-chronicles-set . They are geared more for a high school / college age student and present apologetics in a real world story setting.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 5:47 AM

TCBlack:
I am planning on teaching my small youth group basic apologetics.  Any key Logos materials you would suggest?

I would recommend Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics.

It's ideally suited to teaching a youth group class, as the TOC shows:

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Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 8:05 AM

Busenitz book Reasons We Believe would be my number 1 choice. I've taught apologetics and found this to be excellent in presentation and method, best I know of.

https://www.logos.com/product/43225/reasons-we-believe-50-lines-of-evidence-that-confirm-the-christian-faith

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JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 9:21 AM

TCBlack:

I am planning on teaching my small youth group basic apologetics.  Any key Logos materials you would suggest?

FWIW: Personally, I would begin with some simple basics re: Logic before I started anything on Apologetics. Logical, rational thinking is always the first tool required before any other pursuit, imo. (cf. John 1:1) 

I do not have any Logos resource suggestions for you, however, even the most basic instruction on, say, informal fallacies is far more than the typical American curriculum would provide.  

FWIW2 and slightly OT: Here is an interesting 10 minute talk on how we, as Americans, are so-o-o susceptible to the manipulation of truth and do not even perceive it much less think our way through it.  

How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee(Psa 65:4a)

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William M. Harper | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 9:22 AM

John Ankerberg (Vyrso), Dr. Robert A. Morey and Francis A. Schaeffer (Logos), in general, are my favorites. Rose Publishing has a few good ones if you are looking for brief, inexpensive overviews. Ankerberg's are affordable as well and I believe you can also get them in print from his ministry as also with the Rose materials which, in printed form, might make good handouts. I have a couple of resources by William Lane Craig which I haven't gotten around to reading yet. There are several others available. It depends basically on what you are aiming at (creationism v. evolution, cults, atheism, culture wars, etc.)

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 9:56 AM

TCBlack:

I am planning on teaching my small youth group basic apologetics.  Any key Logos materials you would suggest?

The best advice I could give for an apologetics course is "DON'T DO IT !"

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Ken Hicks | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 10:05 AM

I would suggest giving them a basic grounding in logical thought as a foundation before you jump into a bunch of arguments, etc. As a complimentary topic, working Greg Koukl's "Tactics" material into mix would be a good move (in my opinion).

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Ryan | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 10:09 AM

Ken Hicks:

As a complimentary topic, working Greg Koukl's "Tactics" material into mix would be a good move (in my opinion).

I agree with Ken, while not in Logos, Stand to Reason has a lot of great apologetics material for younger people. Their website is www.str.org.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 10:46 AM

TCBlack:

I am planning on teaching my small youth group basic apologetics.  Any key Logos materials you would suggest?

1.  You cannot either prove or disprove God — it is a presupposition with which you begin.  Personally, I find the idea that there is no God sad.

      This is the dead land
      This is cactus land
      Here the stone images
       Are raised, here they receive
       The supplication of a dead man's hand

       ....

      This is the way the world ends
      This is the way the world ends
      This is the way the world ends
      Not with a bang but a whimper.

      Under the twinkle of a fading star.

      I find the presupposition that there is a God who created the universe and controls it in all respects more positive.

2.  Establishing the Christian position by argument presumes that Christianity is a matter of thought.  It is not.  It is a matter of faith.  I believe in the        creator who loves his creation and seeks its good as exhibited in Jesus Christ.  I believe in God's love for all men  — and for ME.  To reduce            Christianity to logical argument is Gnostic.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 11:24 AM

George Somsel:
 To reduce Christianity to logical argument is Gnostic.

True, but we use reason to interpret scripture and to accept/reject beliefs ... well, at least we should. But as my tagline says ....

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 12:10 PM

George Somsel:
Establishing the Christian position by argument presumes that Christianity is a matter of thought.  It is not.  It is a matter of faith.

Christianity is a matter of relationship. The basis for that relationship isn't irrational. Faith requires trust, but it isn't a "leap in the dark." The goal of apologetics should not be to "make someone a christian" (that sort of faith would be Gnostic), but rather to eliminate barriers to faith.

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Dennis Kramer | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 30 2016 1:40 PM

Apologetics is necessary when refuting someone (gently) who is making a false claim about Christianity. If your goal is to equip a high schooler to address any question that someone might have about Christianity then it is essential that the high schooler have a thorough understanding about what the Bible teaches about every topic and not just the current hot button issues.

Put another way, I believe that apologetics is teaching Christian doctrine reactively. Systematic Theology is teaching Christian doctrine proactively. When you teach proactively, you equip them to know the answers to all the questions, even the ones that they aren't even dealing with yet.

That is why, as a high school teacher at my church, I teach through Systematic Theology. I use Wayne Grudem's version because it is one of the most recent so it addresses more current issues that historically have not been written about in too much detail (i.e. Women's roles in the church). Of course, that is just a starting point. I'd also suggest Historical Theology by Gregg Allison and John Frame's Doctrine of the Knowledge of God.

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