Apologetics in high school?

Post Reply

Apologetics in high school?

Unread post by cbollin »

gratitude wrote:I really haven't known if MFW did any apologetics
well, if they don't do any apologetics, then it's ok to find that out too. ;)

What is MFW's approach to apolgetics or learning how to "defend" what one believes.
how is it done/approached in middle and high schools...

I think that instead of "getting all answers".. MFW has given us Thinking Skills and reading the entire Bible.
in high school, it really is "look at this topic" now look at what the Bible says...
if you are looking for books that are "if your friends say this, then you need to smack them over the head with scripture?" that ain't mfw....

some of the books go there on some topics:

*apologia science. I like the style of Jay Wile's book where he talks like a scientist who is trying to be respectful of presenting information about topics. in a few places he gets on his soapbox. ok who doesn't? He talks about old earth and young earth and is clear what he believes, but isn't rude about what others believe. on the topic of global warming, he gets his breechers in a wad as we say down south

*I found the digging deeper questions in Progeny Press to have some apolgetics... not necessarily bash them over the head style.. but rather, the "here is a topic for discussion. read these verses and discuss"

*same thing going on with writing assignments in high school... here is the issue... compare thoughts and actions of the characters in myths and stories and novels with what scripture says... whaddya think?

*New Answers Book in 9th grade.. I hear that's apologetics... Julie? right? yeah?

*I'm guessing that whole Thinking LIke a Christian...

this answer only scratches at the surface to give conversation starters.
gratitude wrote: I love the conversation starter... I hope it starts one.
Julie in MN wrote:These types of deeper questions take time, so the answers might not be as fast as the others :)
Julie's right... it's not a quick, oh my...here's my answered this one a gazzilon times and type it in my sleep like how to do the problem in singapore 5a exercise 10 number 4.

basically, I think my experience has been ... watching my oldest have thinking and writing assignments that give her opportunity to think about how she'd like to hold conversations with others on big topics.
I can't pinpoint "ooh. .it was this assignment" or "ooh... because we used this book" (well.. maybe Wile's stuff.. but not Ham's).. but I can give you a clearer picture of how it goes in our life.
My husband's family loves to debate while having conversations.
Let me rephrase that... my husband and his brothers love to argue. It's how they relate and play cards... His baby brother (who is about to become a grandfather!) is an attorney. ok. John is a scientist. Middle brother - well.. he's middle child, what can I say?

Last time we were all together a few weeks ago, the conversation at the card table turned to religion or politics or both. We are the right wingers in that side of the family. The rest are opposite of us. My daughter started to just tell her stories and her beliefs about topics and asked questions. Then at one point she said "This is what is so nice about sharing with all of you. You let me talk about what I think and why I think it and don't make fun of me for it. I just like the discussion"

so... she wasn't out to win the debate or even to convert them... But she wasn't afraid to listen to what they were saying either and said "That's interesting point. I read this and think this and that.. and " it's wasn't from a bash them over the head thing.. or this is what to say to the person knocking at the door......

oh well.. I guess that's not a poster child testimony... but, she's only 16. I didn't raise an evangelist who'd knock your socks off and have them crying in the aisles..... But being who she is in Christ is just part of who she is becoming and it's as natural for her to talk about her faith as it is to talk about archery or secular history or math or chemistry..... it's just part of it everyday....

maybe that's what David Hazell has meant all along with his "pie analogy"...

so.... I guess what it comes down to... you have to know what you want them to be in that area.. model that lifestyle. yes... some of it is covered in mfw. there are no guarantees

Posts: 675
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: re: middle and high, "apologetics" for lack of better ph

Unread post by gratitude »

cbollin wrote: But being who she is in Christ is just part of who she is becoming and it's as natural for her to talk about her faith as it is to talk about archery or secular history or math or chemistry..... it's just part of it everyday....
This makes sense to me because I am the same way. The difference now though is that through my children and church I am always around Christians. At one point in time, when I was always around non-Christians, I would just get strange looks sometimes, but also respect. I always found it interesting how much non-Christians respect Christians for having beliefs and morality, but aren't interested in taking it on themselves.
cbollin wrote: I didn't raise an evangelist who'd knock your socks off and have them crying in the aisles.....
I will never be the knock off the socks in the aisle evangelist either, or even the store checker evangelist.

I appreciate the honesty, and the fact Julie that these questions take time. I have spent a whole week mulling over this one, and I don't have answers yet. But through discussion I usually find I can start moving towards finding out what I think about these bigger topics, and since the thinking does take time sometimes it helps to get an early start on the thinking process.

Thank you!
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: re: middle and high, "apologetics" for lack of better ph

Unread post by Julie in MN »

cbollin wrote:*New Answers Book in 9th grade.. I hear that's apologetics... Julie? right? yeah?
Yes, I'm one that found the New Answers Book to be a major apologetics tool for my son when he was ready, in 9th grade, to start comparing his faith to the world of science. Here in Minnesota, there is no one at any science museum or zoo or historical site who would expect anyone to question evolution, whether or not they are Christian, and by 9th grade my son started to notice and wonder. He told me he was glad to have Ken Ham and associates bring the questions out in the open and discuss how these things might mesh together logically (Couldn't God have used evolution? Who was Cain's wife? What about Carbon-14 and radiometric dating and such? Ice age? Dinosaurs? Suffering? etc.)

The Pharaohs book in 9th grade was also a great apologetics book, discussing not only how the Bible fits with archaeological finds in Egypt, but also even how excited Christians tried to fit their timeline with the archaeological ruins perhaps too quickly, leaving out possibly better explanations. The author comes up with a new timeline that he thinks fits the Bible even better - that shows how even us Christians need to be humble to the fact that only God knows.

Third, the mythology in 9th grade brings in some important apologetics in terms of possible confrontations a college student might get: (1) "The flood story isn't anything special, many cultures have flood stories." Well, let's read them both. Have you really read them both? Which seems to be truly historical, without a lot of fantasy added, and perhaps written earlier? (2) "Mythology is all the same; the Bible has folks turning into a pillar of salt, and Greek Mythology has a guy pulling the sun with a chariot; Homer has Achilles raging about his honor and slaughtering until the river turns red, but the Bible has God telling the Israelites to destroy everything in a city. What's the difference?" Well, let's read them both. Have you read them both? Which seems to be truly historical.... and so on. Again, real comparisons, real facts. And essay assignments, to help students articulate their emerging understanding. The most important thing, to me, is that MFW has students read the whole, entire Bible, in order, line by line. They know what they are reading, where it is in the Bible, what the setting is. I don't mean they will remember every single detail the first time through, but no one will be able to surprise them with an event in the Bible that they never read about.

I actually worked with a high schooler/college student when I tutored who asked me whether all religions don't want the same things, as far as love and peace and equality and heaven. I had to tell her that no, I don't think all religions do value those things. She was a bit shocked. I feel pretty sure my son would be able to tell her many of the details that I shared.

Can you tell that I love the 9th grade program for it's apologetics?

As for the fruit in my son, I can only give you a partial answer, because he's not an adult yet. But over the years in our homeschool, I've seen some real insight into his faith vs. problems with other faiths -- insights that I didn't have as a teen, when some of these other faiths were all the rage to try out. My theory is that young people in my generation (the awful late 60s and early 70s) were just crying out to know more about their own faith. But my son is also still a bit of a teenager, at 16, and wants to just say what he thinks (too strongly) or just let things go (too weakly). We're working on some of the necessary reasoning skills a lot in his writing, and it's an ongoing project still in 10th grade. I've actually spent extra time this year on some of the shorter assignments involving writing to the newspaper -- a letter to the editor & an opinion piece -- teaching him how to anticipate his audience a bit more, and draw them in, rather than "bash them over the head" as Crystal mentioned. So he's a work in progress.

I do know that ds has a lot of faith discussions with his friends, whether Christian or not. I had to wait at the park last week after book club, because one of the boys had asked my son, "So, what do you think about this Calvanism vs. Arminianism?" That was too interesting for my son to just let go, so he asked me to wait, even though school was technically done for the day & usually he'd want to be "done." Ds told me his response was something like, "So, I remember learning about those recently, but I need you to refresh my memory." He said the young man is something of a "genius" in his eyes, and did refresh his memory. Then the 3 boys there gave their different takes and promised to continue the conversation next week :) Also, last month we visited my parents in Florida and my son left his little "faith" necklace by the pool; when he returned to the pool later, he got into a discussion with all the adults at the pool, who were curious about this big teenaged boy who wears a little mustard seed on a cord. So my son isn't afraid to discuss apologetics among Christians. And as for non-Christian friends, one of his friends in particular is a very intelligent boy who can talk you in circles, with a father who is a surgeon (and told me he "wants" to be a Christian but just doesn't seem able to get himself there - so he likes his son's exposure to our family LOL :) ), but sadly the son has decided he is an atheist. Anyways, my son has told me on occasion that he's stayed up virtually all night chatting about religion with this friend, so I imagine my son has something or other to say about his faith. (My boys have always done so much more talking after midnight, arggg.)

You know, all my life I've wanted to spend time teaching my children my faith. I am so grateful to homeschooling for giving me the time and the materials to really do what I had always planned to do -- make my faith just a part of my breathing every day. It doesn't exclude academics or anything else, no more than breathing would exclude academics, but it is woven in and out of everything. I was doing some of that when I was homeschooling before MFW, I had a plan for my older dd to read the entire Bible, too. But believe me, it's much easier having it all laid out in MFW, more calm, more smooth, or something like that :~

Well, I could probably type all night, but ds promised he would work on his writing assignment this week, and now he wants my computer... after midnight on Wednesday night?!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: re: middle and high, "apologetics" for lack of better ph

Unread post by gratitude »

Thank you so much Julie for taking the time to give me such a thorough, beautiful, and thoughtful reply. I love these little insights into boy teen-agers too. So foreign, and thankfully still far away; but it seems like yesterday that we were having our first child.

I really like what you said about how the curriculum makes it easier to get things done. I agree. I have had a few 'extra ideas' here and there, or a goal for summer. I really struggle to implement some of my grand plans, longer than a week, without the well laid out plan and structure of a TM. Doing those grids as a plan would take A LOT of computer time. Thank you Marie.

One of our goals has been a line-by-line study of the entire Bible in high school. It is interesting to read your experience that the goal is good, but was much harder to implement with your dd without the structure MFW is giving you with your ds.

Thank you Crystal and Julie for some great insights into how MFW has helped your children talk about their faith with the high school program. :-)
Post Reply