Why Do We Need To Teach High School Students Apologetics?

I don’t think many churches are teaching apologetics.  I know some that are, but I think they are the exception, not the norm.  I was never taught apologetics in high school.  The best answer I was given to why I should believe the Bible to be the word of God was to read 1 Timothy 3:16 – not the best answer!  In fact I wonder if that answer damaged the faith of the high school peer that asked it.

Here is a sampling of feedback I received from high school students after their first unit test on Christian Apologetics:

This section significantly helped me very much so. Not by strengthening my faith, I didn’t actually have any doubts or skepticisms about the Gospel that needed answering. I am already very strong in my faith. The way it helped me so much, is by making it easier for me to answer other people’s questions. Being a faithful Christian, many of my non-religious or skeptical friends, come to me looking for guidance or answers regarding Scripture. I would give them pretty good answers that would generally leave them feeling satisfied. Now I feel like I can answer all of their questions 110%, eliminating any doubt or fear in their minds.

This apologetics section definitely helped me to learn to better defend my faith. I have a lot of non-Christian friends who I regularly converse with about my religion, so this class gave me new tools & talking points that I can discuss with them, as well as raised new questions that I have further researched on my own. The most significant thing I learned was about the historical authenticity of Jesus’ life & the fact that there were pagan historians who affirmed Jesus’ life.

Yes, after studying this past month I have learned that I knew very little about how to defend my faith to those who don’t understand.

Studying the reliability of the Gospels and answering questions about who Jesus is helped me throughout my beliefs and doubts. As I was researching and reading the book, my doubts on the Christianity faded away, since it seems so true! There are so many evidences that Jesus was a real, existed figure and that he has been resurrected. These studies answered my question of if Jesus even existed because I sometimes thought that Jesus could be just a fictional character. The most significant thing I have learned from this section of the class is that only the New Testament had time gap less than 100 between the original and the copies.

Studying the Gospels and the questions about who Jesus is really helped, as it helps me to have more apologetic evidence to further back my faith, both in my own mind and to defend it to other people. The most significant thing I learned were the reasons for believing the resurrection. Since I don’t often see miracles, hearing of someone being legitimately dead, and the rising again, is worthy of attention. But it is also hard to believe. Reading the evidences for it helped strengthen the idea in my mind.

Studying the reliability of the Gospels and answering questions about who he is definitely helped me. I have gotten into situations before where I wish I had the knowledge that I need to answer various questions from friends. I feel more equipped to get into discussions from now on.

These questions have made me much more knowledgeable on the Gospels and Jesus. Before I just believed in these things because I knew that I should. Now I know that these things actually happened and are actually true. I feel a lot more confident in my faith now and feel like I can talk to people about Christ more now because I can support what I believe in.

If you still have any doubts about why you should apologetics in your church, send me a message or leave a comment.  If you need some help or suggestions in getting started, send me a message or leave a comment.  Thank you for your time and for reading.

Published by

Andy Wrasman

I live in Lilburn, GA, with my wife and two young kids. I am a pastor at Oak Road Lutheran Church. I've written a book called, Contradict - They Can't All Be True. Be sure to visit my other website: https://www.contradictmovement.org.

2 thoughts on “Why Do We Need To Teach High School Students Apologetics?

  1. I’m winding up to teach an apologetics class at my church, and I’m opening it up to all the students in my town, not just those in my church. Do you have any helpful and practical tips for me as far as preparing a course outline, order of arguments/topics to address, promotion, etc.? Any help would be wonderful. Thanks!

  2. Most apologetics books start with questions concerning the nature of truth and the existence of God. I prefer to start with the historical reliability of the Gospels. If they are historically reliable and what is taught within them is true, then we can trust that Jesus is God and that our sins are forgiven on account of his life, death, and resurrection. We can then trust that the rest of the Bible is also true because Jesus affirmed the OT documents to be Scripture and he put his seal of approval on the apostles and their work through the promise of the power and work of the Holy Spirit to help them remember everything he taught them.

    I start here because if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then the Christian faith is futile! It’s all a lie. This is spelled out in 1 Cor. 15. This is the historical event on which the Christian faith stands of falls. Proving the existence of God does not tell you who God is and what he has done for you. Showing the historical reliability of the Gospels, that Jesus claimed to be God, and that he rose from the dead for our salvation, not only tells us that God exsits, but it also tells us the Gospel. The other arguments could typically be given by a Jew or Muslims, so I prefer to not start with them. I don’t know why so many apologists start there with their books.

    With that said, here is the course material for my high school class and the course outline:

    I. Text Materials:

    Without A Doubt Kenneth Samples
    A Case for Easter Lee Strobel

    II. Course Outcomes

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, the students will
    1. Know what apologetics is and how to prepare for answering questions against the Christian faith.
    2. be able to explain why the Gospel accounts are historically reliable.
    3. be able to explain why we can trust that the resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred.
    4. be able to explain how we can know that God exists.
    5. be able to explain why we can believe in a God that we cannot see.
    6. connect the witness of Scripture in contrast to other religions being able to explain how all religions do not lead to God.
    7. know how Christians should respond to the world’s religions.
    8. be able to explain why an all-loving and all-powerful God would allow evil to exist.
    9. Know the origin of the scientific enterprise and be able to explain why science and Christianity are not enemies.
    10. Be able to find aspects of secular culture that can serve as a connecting bridge to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Paul did in Acts 17.

    III. Course Outline

    Session 1-2: Chapter 20 How Should a Christian Prepare To Give Reasons for Faith
    Sessions 3-4: Chapter 7 Are the Gospels Trustworthy
    Sessions 5-6: Chapter 8 Who is Jesus
    Session 7: Chapter 9 How Can Jesus be God and Man
    Sessions 8-10: Chapter 10 Did Jesus Actually Rise from the Grave
    Sessions 11-13: Review and Test 1
    Sessions 14: Debate Video
    Sessions 15-16: Chapter 1 How Can Anyone Know that God Exists
    Session 17: Chapter 2 How Can I Believe in a God I Can’t See
    Session 18: Chapter 5 How Can God be Both Three and One
    Sessions 19-20: Chapter 12 Do All Religions Lead to God

    Sessions 21-23: Case for Easter
    Sessions 24-26: Chapter 13 How Should a Christian Respond to the World’s Religions (23 is an online day for Blue)
    Session 27: Monomyth/Movies

    Sessions 28-29: Review and Test 2
    Sessions 30-31: Chapter 14 Are Science and Christianity Enemies
    Session 32: Evolution
    Sessions 33-35: Chapter 19 Problem of Evil
    Session 36: – How can an All-Loving God Send People to Hell
    Session 36 and 37 Review and Test 3
    Session 38-41 – It’s my Body and I Can Do What I Want/Subjective Morality/Sexuality/Abortion/Homosexuality/Drug Use

    You might want to look into my book, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True. I will start to use it in the Apologetics course along with Called to Believe next school year. I really do think there is some great stuff in there and that I have an excellent treatment of the historical argument for the resurrection in chapters 4 and 5 of my book. I think chapter 7 of my book could work really well for your class too. I list the twenty questions most commonly received when I am using Contradict to share the Gospel on college campuses. I answer them with talking points in a conversation. If you don’t use it for class, it could be a good resource to have for you to have additional things to share with your students.

    I hope that helps and I am really glad that you are going to be teaching your students how to defend the Christian faith – teaching the why and not just the what of Christianity.

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