Peter wrote in his first epistle to "sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15). His instructions to believers concerned what is known today as biblical apologetics, the study and discipline of defending the Word of God. And such an understanding is more vital now than it has ever been.
Humanistic philosophies, with roots that go even further back than the Hellenistic era, have taken on many guises to undermine the good news of reconciliation with God through Christ. One such façade is atheism that masquerades as science, as illustrated by Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. For decades, Darwin's theory has suffered setback after setback with new discoveries in virtually all areas of science. Former evolutionary biologist Gary Parker said at a recent lecture that scientists used to debate creation and evolution in the lab and the academic hall.
Not anymore. "Now, it's the lawyers," he said.
But while evolutionists and atheists turn to the courts and throw up smoke screens--such as their favorite "separation of church and state" argument--to try and distract the public from the real data, Christians are ever more encouraged to "give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you."
As the premier institution in the creation science movement, the Institute for Creation Research is dedicated to equipping believers with truth and knowledge to strengthen their faith and to be prepared to minister to the people around them. Starting this fall, ICR is taking a step further in this mission with the start of the ICR School of Biblical Apologetics (SOBA).
"The School of Biblical Apologetics is an educational ministry of the Institute for Creation Research that was designed to promote creationist apologetics by providing postsecondary education programs (e.g., Master of Christian Education, etc.)," according to the school's website. "SOBA's programs and projects are founded upon an unwavering commitment to the Bible's inerrant authority and the historical and theological importance of Genesis 1-11, in particular. Its primary focus is to train students to understand and communicate the biblical creation apologetic, especially in a culture where biblical compromise de-emphasizes the importance of the Scriptures in apologetic contexts."
The Master of Christian Education degree has a joint major in Biblical Education and Apologetics, with a choice of one of four minors: Genesis Studies, Creation Research, Christian School Teaching, and Sacred Humanities. Classes are taught by a multidisciplinary master faculty that includes scientists and theologians.
The program is designed for Christian working adults who are "serious thinkers, lifelong learners, servant-leaders" who want to be equipped with the scientific and biblical understanding of God's creation. SOBA is based in Dallas, Texas, and the classes will be held on ICR's campus on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Summertime electives will also be offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Classes are scheduled to begin October 6, 2009.
Those who are interested can visit www.icr.edu to get more information about the program, as well as to print out the necessary application forms. The application deadline is September 1, 2009.
* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Dao, C. 2009. ICR Offers New Biblical Apologetics Degree. Acts & Facts. 38 (8): 9.