Small groups are a great setting for apologetic learning. Within the context of a discussion group, ideas can be more thoroughly examined, questions openly explored, and difficult concepts unpacked. Of course, as followers of Christ, our goal is never just head knowledge but to see God’s truth lived out in us. And small groups offer the advantage of not only enhancing learning through interaction, but in providing an environment of support for participants to apply and personalise truth in their own lives.
With an array of apologetic resources available, starting up a group can be a lot less intimidating than it once might have been. Study guides, DVD presentations, workbooks, and other materials offer enough scope to accommodate the academic level of the participants and the apologetic experience of the facilitator. You don’t have to have to have a theological or philosophical degree to be able run an effective group. If there is a hunger for hearts strengthened by a deeper faith and a more robust intellectual life within your congregation, there’s little excuse for not running an apologetics program at your church.
Here are a few of those resources that are available:
Foundations of Apologetics Curriculum
This is an excellent series that probably stands as the benchmark for small group resources. Produced by RZIM, the series includes 12 one-hour DVDs with accompanying workbooks. The series broaches a comprehensive range of apologetic arguments and strategies and features lectures by Ravi Zacharias and others including Alister McGrath and John Lennox. You can purchase the whole set ($149 USD) or the individual titles ($19 USD) if you prefer. You can also preview the DVDs on YouTube.
1. Introduction to Apologetics: Conversations That Count
2. Truth and Reality
3. The Existence of God
4. Establishing a Worldview
5. The Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures
6. The Uniqueness of Christ
7. The Trinity and Apologetics
8. Pluralism: Do All Religions Lead to the Same Goal?
9. Faith, Reason, and Integration
10. God, Evil, and Suffering
11. Seeing & Exploring Cultural Connections
12. Reasoning From The Scriptures
Crucial Questions by R. C. Sproul
Sproul, founder and president of Ligonier Ministries, is the one of the most prominent apologists alive today and the prolific author of more over 60 books. This series of booklets that he has written deal with such topics as the true identity of Jesus, the will of God, the value of prayer, and the trustworthiness of the Bible. The booklets are succinct but solid discussions of questions at the core of the Christian life and make a great option for small groups.
1. Who is Jesus?
2. Can I trust the Bible?
3. Does Prayer change things?
4. Can I know God’s will?
5. How should I live in this world?
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
The third edition of William Lane Craig’s textbook is a comprehensive introduction to the defense of the Christian faith and I’d recommend this only for a serious and committed group. Despite that disclaimer, Craig’s book is not pitched soley at academics or pastors, but is both accessible and enormously rewarding for the Christian layperson willing to invest the effort. The 416 page book includes discussion of the relationship between faith and reason, the existence of God, the problems of historical knowledge and miracles, the personal claims of Christ, and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. This book is an ideal tool for those who want to go deeper into the latest Christian arguments in astrophysics, philosophy, probability calculus, and Reformed epistemology. This book is available from Amazon.
Towards Belief DVD & Discussion Guide
Towards Belief follows Australian pastor and host, Karl Faase as he travels to the U.K., U.S.A. and Australia to interview more than thirty leading authors, speakers and apologists as they seek to defuse the top belief blockers to Christian faith, such as suffering, the Bible, the supernatural, church abuse and others.
This two DVD set comes with a discussion guide designed to help small groups navigate the material in a manner that will help stimulate discussion and bring the issues into real life situations. Participants will be given the opportunity to consider how the key areas presented in the DVD might impact their own unique situation.
To get a copy of Towards Belief please visit our store.