6/30 Forum: Quo vadis?
vadis (where are you going)?" asks Peter--and
it's a good question to ask at the beginning of every course.
Today's class is a series of introductions: introductions from class
participants, an introduction to the class requirements, and, most of
all, an introdution to the apologetics itself. What is
apologetics? Why is it important? What can you expect to
learn from this class? I would like all students to post to the
first topic in this forum and at least one of the other topics.
July 1 Forum: Gospel
The Sermon on the Mount
The Gospel of Luke
The Gospel of John
July 2 Forum: Though its
portion be the scaffold
Please read Socrates’ Apology online at
or at http://socrates.clarke.edu/aplg0100.htm.
If you prefer, you can listen to the portions of the Apology online at http://socrates.clarke.edu/aplg0014.htm.
Read also Justin Martyr's First
Apology either in the Bush anthology (pp. 1-29) or online here.
Look for similarities and differences between the two works. I
find the Bush editing of the First Apology a bit choppy. The online
version might be easier to understand even though it involves a bit
more reading. As an
alternative to Plato's version of Socrates' apology, you might enjoy
reading the less
familiar version from Xenophon. Please add your comments to
either the Plato or Xenophon post and to the Justin Martyr post on the
July 7 Forum: Athens and
has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" asked Tertullian, suggesting that the
opinions of the philosophers are nothing compared with the wisdom of
sacred scripture. But the works of Athenagoras and of Tertullian
himself suggest that Athens (Greek philosophy) and Jerusalem (Hebrew
prophetic wisdom) might well go hand in hand. Please read
Athenagoras Plea for the Christians and Tertullian's Apology
either in the Bush anthology (pp. 31-61, 81-95) or online links (click
on titles for online links). Add your response to either the
Athenagoras or Tertullian posts linked below. If you are ready
for a real challenge, read
also the selections from Origen in the Bush anthology (pp.
97-137) and add your comments to either the Celsus or Origen posts
July 8 Forum: Teach Your Children Well--Extra credit material
Clement of Alexandria
Eusebius of Caesarea
July 9 Forum: I believe
I understand: Augustine
When the persecutions come to an end
and when Christianity becomes the religion most favored by the Roman
state, the Great Conversation heads off in new directions. St.
Augustine (AD 354-430) puts the last touches on the argument against
the soon-to-be-gone pagan traditions of Rome, and, when the
conversation over Christian truth again emerges in the Middle Ages, the
discussion is very different. Please read some of the selections
from Augustine in your Bush anthology (pp. 195-236) and add your
comment to the blog post linked below.
July 10 Forum: Smart as
many, many people, Thomas Aquinas
is the theologian that got it right, bringing all of Christian doctrine
into a coherent whole and showing how we ought to apply that doctrine
to our lives. St. Anselm, a somewhat earlier medieval thinker, also
continues to have a special appeal. Please read the selections from
Anselm (pp. 237-270) and Aquinas (pp. 271-300) in your
Bush anthology (pp. 271-300), and add your comments to one or more of
the posts below.
July 14-15 Forum:
Reason: Wycliffe, Calvin, and Luther
The Great Conversation takes off in a different direction once
again during the Renaissance and the Reformation. The shift is
particularly evident in the writings of John Calvin. Please read
pp. 301-326 in your Bush anthology and respond to one of the
July 17 Forum: The heart
has its reasons
Despite the fact that it is only a
collection of partially organized notes, Pascal's Pensees is, for many people
(including me), one of their favorite books. Please read a few
selections from Pensees at the link here
and add your comments to one or more of the topics below (all included
on one "main" Pascal blog prompt).
July 21 forum: Who gets
Typically, when Western Civilization
classes deal with what's called the Enlightenment or the "Age of
Reason," they focus on writers drifting away from orthodox
Christianity, e.g., Voltaire and Rousseau. But, especially in the
English-speaking world, some of the greatest champions of reason and
the "enlightened" outlook were also champions of Biblical Christianity
(e.g., Jonathan Edwards). Please read the selections from Joseph
Butler and/or William Paley in your Bush anthology (pp. 327-374) and
add your comments to one of the following topics.
Please read as much as you can of C.S.
Lewis "Mere Christianity" and glance through at least one of his other
works. Then comment on one or more of the posts below.