Apologetics

The word “apologetics” may seem unusual to describe courses in a Bible College. This term, from the Greek word apologia, a word commonly used in the New Testament, simply means defense. When Peter said to make a defense to anyone who asks a reason of our hope, he used this word (I Pet. 3:15). Apologetics refers, then, to the defense of the faith.

Courses in apologetics involve the study of Christian evidences. Students learn proofs of the Christian religion and examine proofs already known in greater detail. Most Christians have considered evidences for the faith, but few have given careful attention to them. Classes in apologetics enable students to precisely set forth these proofs and to defend them.

The study of apologetics also involves the study of logic. Students are trained in logical exercises which develop their ability to reason correctly and to detect faulty arguments. In fact, students are challenged in every course at TBC to be logically consistent.

Apologetics also involves the study of false philosophies. For newcomers, this aspect of our programs of study can be puzzling. Why study philosophy at a Bible College? The problem of human philosophy confronted the early church (Acts 17:18-32; I Cor. 1-3; Col. 2:8), and it confronts the church today. Major philosophies affect trends in every area of our lives: politics, science, religion, psychology, ethics, and education. By studying prominent philosophical ideas, students are able to identify the underlying thinking of such trends. In this education students are also trained to refute false philosophy.

Courses in apologetics are especially needed in our age. Atheism, made more appealing by the theory of evolution, seeks to destroy faith in God. Agnosticism, which holds that no one can know the truth, is prevalent. Moral relativism holds that absolute right and wrong is only wishful thinking. Our state universities, our media, and our world are filled with these views. We need men and women who are able to defend the Truth and expose such myths.

Some would contend that apologetics has no rightful place in the Christian life. After all, they argue, is not Christianity a religion of the heart, not the head? While feelings are an essential part of the Christian life, they do not determine truth. Left unchecked by proper reasoning and good judgment, feelings can be dangerous. God demands that we think logically (I Thess. 5:21; Acts 17:11; I John 4:1).

Apologetics has traditionally addressed three central truths of Christianity: the existence of God, the deity of Christ, and the inspiration of the Bible. We offer courses on each of these fundamental truths. But apologetics at TBC is much broader in that it means defending the faith on any point of biblical doctrine. As a result, students are trained to defend the Scriptures against religious as well as atheistic error.

Our emphasis on Christian evidences is one of the truly unique aspects of our educational offerings. Because of this training students leave TBC more solid in the faith and better prepared to defend Christianity.

Apologetics Course Descriptions

A100 Ancient Philosophy – A study of the beginnings of formal philosophy in ancient Greece with an emphasis on the works of Plato and Aristotle.

A105 History of Biblical Apologetics – A historical survey of the Bible, tracing God’s servants as they: (1) proclaim the message of God, and (2) defend that message against false teachers.

A200 Medieval Philosophy – A survey of major systems of philosophy during this period with special attention given to the influence of philosophy on the study of theology.

A300 Modern Philosophy – An examination of the theories of influential French, British, and German philosophers from 1600 to 1850.

A309 Inspiration of the Bible – Evidence will be set forth to answer such questions as: “What should be regarded as authority in determining religious questions?” and, “Has God revealed Himself to man and if so in what way or form?”

A325 Deity of Christ – This course will answer the question, “Is Jesus Christ the Son of God?” The gospel of John will be used as a basis for this study.

A351 Philosophy of Language – An examination of the nature of language as it concerns such matters as definition, interpretation, translation, and semantics.

A352 Deductive Logic – A study of the principles of formal deductive logic. Emphasis will be given to the law of rationality and evasions of it, the syllogism, the three laws of thought, and the Biblical use of logic.

A400 Contemporary Philosophy – An analysis of key developments in philosophy from 1850 to present, including prominent American philosophers.

A451 The Existence of God – A rigorous consideration of the logical proofs for the existence of God, with special emphasis on the cosmological, teleological, moral, and Biblical arguments for the existence of God.

A452 Attributes of God – An analysis of the nature of God as presented in Scripture, a consideration of the concept of divine “attributes,” and a defense of Biblical teaching on this topic against major errors such as Calvinism, process theology, and the atheistic argument from evil.

A459 Ethics – A study of a number of theories and issues proposed by various moral philosophers that have had or are having an impact on the moral values of mankind.

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