Defending Your Faith 101

DefendYourFaith101

In early August 2017, Teri Dugan started laying down the ground work for a new series she is going to be presenting called Defending Your Faith 101. This is not the first time that someone has done this but ….. this series she is presenting is undoubtedly going to be one of the best that has or will be produced. Once you read some of Teri’s posts you will understand why I have selected her presentations. The series is totally free. If you are part of a Bible Study group or would like to start one, these presentations would be an excellent place from which to start.

Teri Dugan is a graduate of Biola University’s M.A. in Apologetics Program. She also holds an M.A. in Education from California State University, Long Beach and currently teaches Biology, Anatomy and Physiology at Lynwood High School in California. Teri has also coached the Girls’ Varsity Tennis and Softball teams at Lynwood and now sponsors the Christian On Campus Ministry Club. She teaches evening Christian Apologetics classes at her home Church, Sea Coast Grace in Cypress, California.

As noted above, Teri is a teacher and she has a passion for teaching and sharing Christian Apologetics. I could explain why teachings Christian Apologetics is vitally important to new Christians or even mature Christians who have never set aside the time to actually study Christian Apologetics but Teri provides the rationale much better than I can. You don’t need to use this page on my blog as a starting point because her posts are obviously all available directly from her website.

However, this page will provide direct links to each of her presentations in her new series with a short explanation of what is being covered. Use it as a reference point to ensure that you haven’t missed any. I can’t over emphasis the importance of Christian Apologetics. If you’ve never done this before, now is the time and here is your opportunity. Our world is rapidly changing and not for the best and in my humble opinion, this is not an optional quest. Every Christian is called to be a Christian Apologist. The content that will be presented is aimed at an average person, which means virtually anyone can follow and understand it.

As God and time permits, I will be available to assist anyone who has a question about any of the content or needs assistance in understanding something that Teri has presented.  You can submit your questions or requests to me via the Leave a Reply option at the bottom of this page.

Post # 1Defending Your Faith 101: Tips for studying the Bible
Overview: Self explanatory – don’t skip this one!

Post # 2Defending Your Faith 101: The urgency for all Christians to get “basic training”
Overview: An up-to-date look at the stats, polls and relevant information regarding the decline of committed Christians within the North American population.

Post # 3Defending Your Faith 101: Why we all need to be trained in Christian Apologetics – Take the test
Overview: An honest look at how social media, changing values and peer pressure can affect our faith, especially as it pertains to our youth. Do the test!

Post # 4: Defending Your Faith 101: All Christians need to get basic training!
Overview: A brief introduction to what Christian Apologetics is and why it is important to study Christian Apologetics or Christian Case Making.

Post # 5Defending Your Faith 101: Understanding Christianity’s Roots
Overview: A brief introduction into the need to be aware of the roots of Christianity, with BC/BCE, AD/CE Early First Century and AD/CE Late First through Third Centuries facts of history that note historical documentation, reliable witnesses and a transmission history like none other.

Post # 6Defending Your Faith 101: The Importance of Knowledge in History 
Overview: A brief overview noting the importance of learning from history, some of the problems that were encountered and how it developed in the fourth century AD/CE and beyond.

Post # 7Defending Your Faith 101: The Importance of Knowing Our Foundation
Overview: A brief update on how the political climate is changing within our society,  the birth of a new nation in the 17th century and early American education institutions. Also includes a brief overview of the move from Christianity to secularism.

Post # 8: Defending Your Faith 101: The Importance of Understanding Modern Times as a Christian
Overview: A brief overview of how the secular humanist worldview has permeated all of the major disciplines within the public school systems by the mid-twentieth century. Teri continues with a quick look at how many philosophical changes that have occurred in education and culture of the twentieth century has lead to the choice of ‘isms’ that we see today and concludes with the challenges that lie ahead in the form of modernity.

Post # 9Defending Your Faith 101: The Importance of Truth and Worldview
Overview: Teri writes about how truth is being attacked today as it has in the past and the importance of linking truth with reality, reality from God’s perspective, not the world’s. She also touches on how Christianity is based on evidential truth and the importance of trusting in God’s truth by adhering to a Christian worldview.

Post # 10Defending Your Faith 101: Truth Versus Preference
Overview: Teri provides an overview of what truth actually is and how preferences are not the same as subjective truth. A short test follows and Teri ends by providing a video narrated by Ravi Zacharias on Absolute Truth in Relative Terms.

Post # 11Defending Your Faith 101: Absolute Truth Versus Relativism
Overview: Teri provides an overview of postmodernism’s relativistic ideology that abounds in our culture today, provides some examples and illustrates how relativists use self-defeating statements. This is followed by some reasons why relativism leads to false ideas about truth and subsequently false ideas about life. A short tie-in on objective truth concludes this post.

Post # 12Defending Your Faith 101: Is There Truth in Your Worldview?
Overview: Teri provides an overview on the importance of maintaining truth within your worldview and how to test it for objective truth. She then does a comparison between a secular worldview and a Christian worldview and ends with a short reflection.

Post # 13Defending Your Faith 101 : Religious Pluralism/
Overview: Teri defines what Religious Pluralism is, how this is linked to inclusivism, tolerance implications, what Religious Pluralism under the banner of tolerance really teaches and how this conflicts with Biblical truth. Teri concludes with reflection questions and a video presentation by William Lain Craig.

Post # 14Defending Your Faith 101: World Religions and Christianity – A Comparison
Overview: Teri provides examples of how a Christian worldview and our current cultures views about God are not one and the same, a short clip by Dr. William Lane Craig who explains how Christianity is different from other faiths followed by a table with the major world religions and five important questions that most people ask about life. Another video follows with Ravi Zacharias explaining why Christianity is right and a section is provided that illustrates how our world religions do not agree on the most fundamental, foundational and salvation related questions about God and life. Teri then provides another video where leading Christian thinkers respond to the New Atheism. Teri then quotes the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:1-6; 16 and ends with three reflection questions.

Post # 15Defending Your Faith 101 : Christianity’s Exclusive Claims
Overview: Teri briefly reviews what Inclusivism asserts and links it back into religious pluralism. A Tolerance Quiz video follows where we are requested to look for inconsistencies. Teri then points out that although the claim of Christianity is exclusive, the invitation is inclusive. A shorty video clip by gotquestions.org entitled “Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?” follows. Teri then looks at the way in which Jesus is unique when compared to the leaders of other faiths. She then examines how we can know if Christianity’s exclusive claims are valid via objective truth. A short video clip follows demonstrating how Christianity is the world’s most testable religion. Common arguments against Christianity’s exclusive claims are briefly looked at followed by a more in depth look at this topic in a video by Dr. Norman Geisler PhD. The presentation ends with reflection questions.

Post # 16: Defending Your Faith 101 : Why Jesus?
Overview: Teri begins this post with a quotation by C.S.Lewis (one of my favourites) and then follows it up with a question that Jesus asked about Himself. A quick look at the Trinity, The Word and whether Jesus is God follows. A short video clip by J.Warner Wallace (coldcasechristianity.com) is next. Teri then briefly looks at the claims of Jesus and how He demonstrated that He has the nature of God. An excellent video with Nabeel Quereshi follows where Nabeel explains why Jesus is God. The “Son of Man” terminology is explained and then a brief summary of examples are given where Jesus’ life, words, and actions evidence His Deity throughout the Gospels. A short video is then presented by Mike Licona where Mike answers the question “Did Jesus Think He was God?” and this posts ends with the reflection questions.

Post # 17: Defending Your Faith 101 : God’s Existence
Overview: Teri begins with a quick introduction on “nones”, followed by public school curriculum and what it is based upon. Teri then takes a look at what the Bible has to say about God as the Creator and sustainer of our universe. Philosophical arguments for the existence of God are then looked at followed by the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the Cosmological Argument for the Beginning of the Universe, the Cosmological Evidence for Intelligent Design of the Universe. A video by J Warner Wallace follows which presents the cosmological evidence from a perspective of a detective. Teri concludes with information on the Cosmological Evidence and her normal reflection questions.

Post # 18Defending Your Faith 101: The Teleological Argument, Part 1
Overview:Teri begins with an overview of what the “Teleological Argument” is and why it is not included in Public School curriculum. Teri then provides a quick overview on the various premises of the Teleological Argument including an introduction into the Fibonacci Sequence under Design in Mathematics under Premise # 2. This is followed by examples of Design in Engineering and Design in Physics. Examples of the Anthropic Constants are also provided. A short video by Dr. William Lane Craig on “The Fine Tuning of the Universe” is then featured with quotations by Dr. David D. Deutsch from the Institute of Mathematics at Oxford University and Dr. Robin Collins. A video entitled “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel provides a deeper look and then this presentation concludes with reflection questions.

Post # 19Defending You Faith 101: The Teleological Argument, Part 2
Overview: Teri begins this post with an introduction to Intelligence in Biochemistry by providing evidence examples of Design in Biochemistry, which includes “Irreducible Complexity” and “The Information Code in DNA” that includes a video presented by Sean McDowell which looks at “Cross Examining Evolution”. An additional video by Louie Giglio looks at “How Great Is Our God”. The Concluding Thought centres on the Christian worldview that answers the cause of the universe, life itself and who is the designer. Teri then closes with Reflection tasks.

Post # 20Defending Your Faith 101: The Moral Argument for the Existence of God
Overview: Teri begins with a little hindsight reflection of the old year and then commences her overview of Good vs. Evil—The Moral Argument where she investigates the observation that there is a universal moral law. A short clip on the Moral Argument by reasonablefaith.org is presented. Teri then provides examples on how God has placed a moral code in the conscious of all mankind. The premises for the Moral Law are examined followed by evidence for a universal moral law and a look at how our conscious comes into play. Examples are then provided that show that we know the Moral Law exists because (with examples). A video by Dr. William Lane Craig follows where he gives a presentation on The Moral Argument. This post ends with some reflection questions.

Post # 21Defending Your Faith 101: A Case for Faith vs. Doubt
Overview: Teri begins this post by looking at faith versus doubt. It begins with a short video on “Should Christians Have Doubt?” A Case for Faith versus Doubt is then begun with a look at how Charles Templeton lost his faith and the mistakes that he made. A look at Billy Graham then follows where Teri looks at what Billy Graham did with his doubt and the results of the differences between them. This is followed by a video that looks at the early years of Billy Graham. Teri then looks at what the Bible says about doubt and another video with Dr. Sean McDowell’s response to young Christians on the topic of doubt. Lee Strobel follows with a video on the topic of doubt and suffering in his book The Case for Faith and ends with Teri’s standard Reflection Questions.

Post # 22Defending Your Faith 101: The Question of Evil…
Overview: Teri begins with a quick review of last weeks post and then introduces us to former atheists such as C.S. Lewis and others that struggled with the idea of evil. Teri then provides a quick overview of how the Christian Worldview does provide an answer to this perplexing question and then introduces us to  nine reasons why people struggle with the problem of evil as identified by Dr. Clay Jones, Professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University. A video by Dr. Jones is then provided and then this post concludes with the reflection questions.

Post # 23Defending Your Faith 101: Sources of Evil and Suffering
Overview: Teri begins with an overview of why it is important to understand where evil and suffering fit into God’s plan. She then provides information on the three major factors of where evil originates from that includes freewill, the fall and Satan’s influence. Three things that the Apostle Paul warned the early church about is then looked at followed by a video presented by Dr. Sean McDowell entitled “If God, Why Evil?” Another video by Dr. Frank Turek entitled “If God Exists, Why Does He Allow Evil?”follows. Teri then concludes with her Reflection Questions.

Post # 24Defending Your Faith 101: Do we have a proper perspective of eternity?Overview: Teri begins by showing us what having a proper perspective of eternity is and what tools are available to us to do our part here now, while we are on earth. She provides an overview on training and testing that happens to all Christians and also explains how to understand suffering that we may encounter. Three videos dealing with the problem of evil and suffering are presented, by J Warner Wallace, Nabeel Qureshi and Ravi Zecharias. Teri concludes with reflection questions.

Post # 25Defending Your Faith 101 : Now What ?
Overview: This post concludes the Defending Your Faith 101 series. Teri provides a bullet point summary on the following 7 take aways from this series. They include the initial four areas we are to practise and grow in; having a foundational understanding of historical Christianity and what has lead to where we are today; understanding the importance of truth in our faith and apply that to our worldview; how to articulate why Religious pluralism, like relativism, is a false worldview; understanding that Jesus is unique amongst all other religious founders because He is the only way to the Father, the only one who came to solve humanity’s problems, and only He brought hope for the future; knowing that the evidence for the existence of God is overwhelming; and how to articulate that the Christian worldview has the best answer for the problem of evil and suffering. Teri then provides a quick overview on her next series which is called ” The Case For the Bible 101″ and ends with a documentary intro video entitled “Mining for God” that she highly recommends plus 1 Peter 3:8-18.

 

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