Christian Apologetics

What does it mean to defend the Christian faith in a 21st-century postmodern world? How do Christians respond to the challenges of a context where knowledge is seen to be the domain of science while religion is seen to be merely about belief or values? How do Christians respond to the ‘New Atheists’, people such as Richard Dawkins who says that religion poisons your mind? What is a distinctive Christian theological and apologetic response to climate change? What is the role of reason and argument in these conversations? How do Christians promote a substantial view of truth and the uniqueness of Christ when prominent philosophers claim that truth is no more than what your peers will let you get away with saying? How does apologetics contribute to preaching in the local church? This subject will examine questions such as these with a special focus on the so-called New Atheism and the relationship between science and faith. Be prepared for an intellectually stimulating ride.

Please visit the timetable by clicking here for current information on subject availability.

Subject Details

Mode Online  On-campus 
Workload  One semester, 12 credit points One semester, 12 credit points
Status  Elective Elective
Subject Code PE007 PE007
Prerequisites  48 credit points of core foundation level units OR approval from the Academic Dean or lecturer 48 credit points of core foundation level units OR approval from the Academic Dean or lecturer
Scott Harrower
John Dickson
Scott Harrower

Since apologetics involves understanding and engaging with other peoples’ perspectives, be prepared to dedicate a substantial part of your study time in this subject to reading.

  • Introduction & experiences of apologetics
  • Historical & postmodern contexts
  • Why don’t people believe?
  • Apologetics in the Bible
  • Tools of the trade: logic, reason, truth and faith
  • The ‘New Atheists’ and The God Delusion
  • The Dawkinsian worldview: Evolutionary naturalism and Darwinism
  • Rumours of wars: science and religion
  • Climate change and the nature of science
  • Knowing and believing: epistemology for beginners
  • The existence of God
  • “If God is good…” The problem of evil
  • Other religions and the uniqueness of Christ
  • Where the rubber meets the road: ‘doing apologetics’ today in public and pulpit

Online students

Online students should note that a substantial part of your learning in this unit will involve completing and reflecting on required readings. We recommend that you need to set aside at least 3 hours per week for reading.

Study Expectations
In this subject, you can expect to be guided through a variety of weekly learning activities which are designed to develop your understanding of and skills in the themes and passages related to the syllabus. For online students, these usually include watching videos, reading, completing set learning tasks and contributing to online seminars and interacting with your peers. Students should allow 10 hours of study time per week for this intermediate subject.


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Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E.
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