Students will defend each and every major Biblical doctrine of the Christian faith against real live skeptics on their own forums in this 36-week course. Students will work in pairs and will plan and reflect on each engagement.
“…For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” — II Corinthians 10:4-5
Where Did the Idea Come From?
Have you ever been attacked by a gate?
Maybe a more embarrassing question is, “Have you ever been defeated by one?”
If Paul told us that our weapons are for “tearing down strongholds,” and Jesus said that “the gates of Hell will not stand against [the Church],” then why are we living on the defensive?
I learned this the hard way in two ways.
The first is that my high school was ranked 4th academically in the nation, with a debate team that had been national champions for as long as anyone could remember — most of whom were hostile to Christianity. Consequently, I learned early that I needed to carry my Bible to Math class, or I was going to get waylaid by classmates and teachers. I was “standing down” Ph.D.’s in apologetics battles from the time I was 15 years old.
The second way was harder, and thus, more relevant.
I worked with youth in Columbus, GA, and had trained (or so I thought) several members of the group to use the Bible effectively. They graduated, went to college, had their faith shredded there, came back, and bled out in my arms. I swore in that day: NEVER AGAIN!!
These two experiences forged this course. The need to ensure that the students are prepared to fight their own battles by having to struggle to strength, and the need to ensure that they do not despair before they succeed.
You see, there is nothing wrong with the Sword. It is only in the swordsman where the failing lies.
To graduate high school, our students must attain certain academic skills. What are their skills, before our churches pronounce them “graduated”?
Paul, at the Areopagus, opened with “I have wandered about your city, and I have seen that you are a religious people.…” Can we train to the Areopagus Standard, so our students can wander about “their city” and understand the type of religious people that they are going to encounter?
What Adult Accomplishments Does This Course Coach?
- Every major doctrine of the Christian faith defended against real skeptics on the skeptic’s forum, while still in a supportive environment
- An identified disciple to whom the student will pass on what they have learned
- A prescribed “path to reconciliation/repentance” for a personal and an organizational problem faced by a real person and a real organization
What Transferable Skills Does This Course Train?
- The ability to cite “chapter and verse” for whatever they claim to believe
- The ability to answer objections from all sorts of skeptics to the Christian faith
- The ability to stand up under academic attack on their faith from college professors and other professional skeptics
- The ability to deal with personal problems in a Biblical way
- The ability to solve organizational problems Biblically
- The ability to win any argument
- The ability to evaluate the arguments that people bring about all sorts of topics
- The ability to understand others’ viewpoint, without having to fall into the pitfalls of that viewpoint
What Careers Does This Course Give Me a Leg Up On?
- Pastor – Average Salary: $48,270 (https://www.payscale.com)
- Youth Pastor – Average Salary: $40,000 (https://www.glassdoor.com)
- Counselor – Average Salary: $40,772 (https://www.glassdoor.com)
- Christian Author – Average Salary: $61,240 (https://www.careeronestop.org)
- Teacher – Average Salary: $58,030 (https://www.careeronestop.org)
- Lawyer – Average Salary: $118,160 (https://www.careeronestop.org)
- Investigative Journalist – Average Salary: $37,820 (https://www.careeronestop.org)
Why “0 Minutes”?
In talking with a number of homeschool families (and remembering my own childhood), I realized something important: families are busy! If I schedule a course to meet on Tuesdays at 9:30, then any family that has something else at that time cannot take part, and I didn’t want that. On the flip side, we have all done various self-paced, self-improvement hobbies that did not end up doing any good because there was no accountability (New Years’ Resolutions, anyone?) I decided to get the best of both worlds: Weekly accountability with daily flexibility.
The students will have assignments that they must accomplish each week. They will also interact with me and with their classmates in chat type interactions. This keeps them on schedule to actually complete the amazing accomplishments that this course coaches them through. But they have the freedom, within the week, to choose when they are going to work on the assignments. I have tried to provide enough instruction to enable the students to do the tasks that they have been assigned, but I also understand that sometimes, there needs to be some more direct instruction to clear up misunderstandings.
To accommodate this need, it will be possible to schedule “office hours” on an “as needed” basis where I would have a live conversation with one or more students. There will be some expectations of the student when they are asking for “office hours.” I will give them questions to answer in order to make sure that I understand what their question is and can best prepare to make that time as efficient and effective as possible. Office hours will be scheduled based on mutual scheduling needs and availability, and if there seems to be a topic that everyone is having problems with, I will either schedule a class session to clear it up, or I will provide additional instructional materials.
I am committed to your student’s success. But rather than limit your family’s ability to take part in the course, I prefer to give your family the flexibility to have your child work on their schedule, as long as they are getting their work done by the Friday deadline each week.
How Would I Write This Course Up On a High School Transcript?
- As a Bible credit, given the extensive study of the different doctrines of the Christian faith that the student will have had to undergo in an effort to defend them
- As a Philosophy credit, given the extensive study of argumentation and logic (with its associated fallacies) that the student will have had to put into practice in making their various cases
- As an English credit, given the amount of writing that the student will have had to complete, from their planning, making their arguments, and then reflecting on them in writing in order to inform the next round of arguments.