Image: The Sombrero Galaxy, representing the first lesson in this curriculum.
Second in a series.
Earlier this week I started a series on teaching with apologetics, without scaring anyone away. I’m not just doing armchair reporting here. I did it in a Sunday School class I taught about six years ago.
It was a series on ten crucial points in God’s history of dealing with his people on earth:
- Created in God’s Image
- The Fall
- The Calling of God’s People
- God’s Ongoing Revelation
- The Incarnation
- The Crucifixion
- The Resurrection
- The Coming of the Holy Spirit
- The Promised Return of Christ
It’s a fairly basic list, right?
Teaching with Apologetics — Without Mentioning the Word
Now, what I recommended in my opening post in this series was to anticipate objections, doubts, and questions that might come up. Can you think of any? I did. For creation, it was the atheistic canard that God wasted so much space in the universe, we can’t think he actually created humans with any special intent. For the second topic, it was “the image of God under attack” — the idea that we’ve evolved from the same stuff as every other organism, and there’s nothing to human worth or dignity.
And so on. I never mentioned the word apologetics, even though I was answering questions like an apologist. I rarely used the word worldview, even though the whole point of the course was to shape a Christian view of reality in their minds.
Turning Points at Church
You’re welcome to look at the material — I’ve kept a link to it at the top of these Thinking Christian pages ever since then, under the title “Turning Points.” I grouped the material as listed here, and in each of the ten groups I taught the basic doctrine the first week, and then in the second week I raised and answered a related question. Some topics brought forth even more questions to spend time on it.
The class loved it, if I may say so. It wasn’t just the usual thing where everyone answers, “What did you get out of this text? What did it mean to you?” We dug in a lot deeper and harder than that.
A Side Note
By the way, when I wrote this all those years ago I gave serious thought to publishing it in iBook form. That was when iBook technology looked more promising than it does now. Even then there was a learning curve to it that I never took time to master.
Now that Amazon has made it so easy to publish both ebooks and paperbacks through Kindle, though, and I’ve had some good experience with that, I’m thinking once again of publishing it. The course isn’t really publication-ready; I didn’t write it that carefully, and it needs some q&a for each chapter. But that still might be my next book project, if I get enough encouragement to go for it.
Back to the Point
But that’s not really the point for now. The point is, here’s a live example of using apologetics in your teaching by digging out significant questions from your material, and giving interesting answers.
Image Credit(s): hubblewise.