I recently had the chance to review Accessible Apologetics, a curriculum by apologetics speaker and trainer Mikel Del Rosario. Accessible Apologetics is a compilation of Mikel’s teaching notes (based on other apologist’s works and ten years of teaching and training) put into 5 easy-to-understand lessons on defending Christianity. “This class in defending the faith is all about increasing your confidence as a Christian by exploring the reasons and evidences for the faith, and preparing yourself to be a more effective ambassador of Jesus Christ.” Each lesson includes a Power Point presentation, Leaders’ Notes and suggested correspondence follow-ups (before and after class), Student Notes with room for student answers, interactive activities to aid in learning the material, and Student absentee handouts. All of the above make for a very enjoyable 5 to 10 week learning experience in Christian apologetics with your group or church.
Lesson 1 - “What is Christian apologetics?” and “Why do I need to defend my faith?”
This lesson introduces your group to apologetics, stressing the importance of knowing what we believe and why we believe it based on 1 Peter 3:15. It also teaches the different disciplines and elements of apologetics and explains from the Scriptures why defending our faith is necessary. Also included are some common objections to studying apologetics and to supporting Scripture with evidence. You can actually get this lesson for free on Mikel’s site. I personally found this lesson to be a very good introduction to apologetics; it was very easy to follow (as is the whole curriculum) and provided some good points to ponder on how to effectively share your faith without being defensive.
Lesson 2- Faith and Reason: How Do I Know Christianity Is True?
This lesson covers three basic questions: “Do Faith and Reason Mix?” “How Do I Know Christianity is True?” and “How Can I Answer Objections to Truth?” The goal of this lesson is to teach the relationship of faith and reason, the role of argument and evidence, and how to combat relativism. The lesson also helps you tackle the argument that Christians have “blind faith”. Each topic is addressed using step-by-step logic and colorful illustrations. Also included is a conversation tactic for apologists – a few tips on how to show a skeptic that his claims are self-refuting – and responses to relativistic slogans. Overall, I found this lesson to be very useful, since relativism is so prevalent in our society today.
Lesson 3 – The Evidence For God: Is God Real?
The two main questions of this lesson are “Is God Real?” and “Why Does God Allow Evil?” This lesson begins by sharing the implications of God’s existence: If God is real, life has meaning; but if God is not real, life is meaningless. The lesson then goes through three arguments for the existence of God and shows how to apply the moral argument to the problem of evil using some very good illustrations and arguments. Personally, I was expecting a negative approach to the problem of evil. I’ve heard so many blame God when it is not His fault at all, but rather man’s. Therefore, I was delighted to see the point brought back to the Garden of Eden where man’s sin is the source for the evil that is in the world today. I was also very impressed with how the problem of evil actually points to God’s existence as the lesson successfully demonstrates.
Lesson 4 – Fact or Fiction: Can I Trust My Bible?
This lesson covers such topics as “Did God Speak to Us?” and “Can I Trust My Bible?” and answers some common “Questions and Conspiracies.” The answer to the first question is effectively answered from the view that we need more than experience behind our beliefs; we need something objective. Using effective arguments to answer the question of the Bible’s reliability, this lesson also demonstrates the supernatural signs of the Bible, the closeness of most English translations of the Bible to the original documents, and the overwhelming reliability of the Bible compared to other existing ancient documents. Your group will also learn the precise process of copying and preserving the Scriptures. The “Questions and Conspiracies” covered in this lesson are challenges to the reliability of the Bible such as “Are there any missing books of the Bible?” and “Was the Bible changed at the Council of Nicea?” In my view, this lesson provided some very good lines of reasoning and vivid illustrations to get to the intended point, which made it very easy and enjoyable to read.
Lesson 5 – Dead Or Alive: Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?
This lessons focuses on the Resurrection as it relates to the making of history: How do historians decide what has really happened in history? This discussion leads naturally into the five facts of the Resurrection that are agreed upon by most scholars making some excellent points along the way and leading to the obvious, yet logical, conclusion that the resurrection is the best explanation of the facts. Students will also learn helpful acronyms and participate in a “drawing charade” game which will aid in remembering the five historical facts entailing Jesus’ Resurrection. The logic behind this is simple: “Even if someone rejects the Bible as God’s Word, they’ve still got to deal with the historical facts,” and the Resurrection is an attested, historical fact. I really enjoyed this lesson, since the Resurrection is one of my favorite topics of study, and this lesson centered around the “Minimal Facts Approach” as presented in The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Mike Licona and Gary Habermas – a book which I have recently finished reading.
Overall, Accessible Apologetics is Mikel’s compilation of apologetics material from some big names in apologetics. Many of these arguments were not new to me, but I did learn some new concepts along the way. This curriculum would be great for those who are looking for a beginner’s course in apologetics; it is just what the name implies: accessible, so that even someone who has elementary knowledge on these matters can easily learn and understand. It includes all the major points in a progressive manner, and provides links and references to sources sited so that you can study each topic out further if you wish to do so (some of the links are Amazon affiliated, so you can even help to support Mikel’s ministry if you wish to purchase any of the books referenced). The Power Point presentation, which contains a very “catchy” design, is convenient for giving presentations in schools or churches, presenting the basic points based on the Leader’s Guide in an effective manner. I would recommend this curriculum to those looking for a basic, yet thorough, review of Christian apologetic. And for those who think you know enough about apologetics, do yourself a favor and read it anyway –you might learn a thing or two! The DCF blog highly recommends this excellent work! Be sure to visit Mikel's site to learn more about this great curriculum!