An Apologetics Primer

GEM ’85, this rev. Aug. 2002a

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect . . ."     (1 Peter 3:15)

OVERVIEW: This module is an introductory presentation on responding to intellectual challenges to the Christian Faith in the Caribbean, for Cell-/Small- Group leaders and other Christian “Youth” or “Lay” leaders. In it, the case is first made that reason and belief are inextricably intertwined; thus the question is not so much whether one has a faith, but which one.  The intellectual credibility of the historic Christian Faith is then discussed, in the context of the biblical and historic witness. Next, six issues of particular concern to Christians in the Caribbean are addressed: Sectarianism, Political Messianism, the Media and Education, Evolutionary Materialism, Post Modernism, and Islam.  Thus, the importance of the life of the mind to credible Christian witness, life and leadership in the region are explored.  Finally, discussion questions and an introductory level short bibliography are attached.

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1.         Reason and Belief: Towards Reasonable Faith

2.         The Bible: Authenticity and Authority in an Age of Suspicion

3.         Apologetics in the Caribbean

                        3.1       The Sectarian Civil War

                        3.2       Political Messianism

                        3.3       The Media & Education

                        3.4       Evolutionary Materialism

                        3.5       Post Modernism

                        3.6       Islam in the Caribbean

Concluding Remarks, Questions for Discussion, and Useful Books and Web Links

ONLINE ADDENDUM: External links on the problem of evil and related themes

NOTICES: This course module was originally created by Gordon Mullings, in 1985, for use as part of a manual for Cell Group Leaders for the UCCF, in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. It has been subsequently revised and developed, to date. (DISCLAIMER: While reasonable attempts have been made to provide accurate, fair and informative materials for use in training, no claim is made for absolute truth, and corrections based on factual errors and/or gaps or inconsistencies in reasoning are welcome.) FAIR USE: The contents of this module are intended for use as a support for learning about responding to the typical intellectual challenges to the Christian Faith and gospel that are commonly encountered in the Caribbean, especially in tertiary education and in commentary in the regional and international media. Permission is therefore granted to link to this page for fair use under intellectual property law, and for reasonable citation of the linked content on this site for church- or parachurch- group related training and/or for personal or academic use; this specifically excludes reproduction, linking or citation for commercial, controversial or media purposes without the Author's written permission -- especialy where matters relating to the validity and value of Faith/Religious/Atheological Commitments and Truth-Claims are being debated or disputed. PDF version available, under similar terms. COPYRIGHT:GEM 2002. All rights are reserved.