Orthodox Apologetics for Parents
Summer 2019: August 12 – September 13
Available Times (EST):
Price: $100 US/$150 CDN
This course is available for Parents only. If you are over 18 and have graduated from high school and are not a parent, you may join the Course for Adults. See Course Description page for details.
What is apologetics? Simply put, apologetics seeks to provide a systematic defense of Orthodox theology. In our times, in the midst of so many assaults against the Church, we can see how a firm grounding in Orthodox apologetic theology is so important, especially for our youth. Our flock, both parents and youth, need to know the doctrines of our Faith. Yet, we need more than this. We need to foster an Orthodox worldview. We need to equip our youth with the ability to defend the Faith, to not be intimidated in the face of what Saint Paul calls “knowledge falsely so called.” (I Timothy 6:20)
A child’s first teachers are his parents. As parents, we need to be able to have conversations with our children, especially about topics that cause them temptation. We cannot perhaps gain enough theological knowledge to answer all their questions; we can, however, gain enough knowledge to first be able to have serious conversations with them about their concerns, especially about the fundamental tenets of the Orthodox Faith and its relationship to the things they learn in school and hear or see in popular media.
As Professor Ivan Andreyev said in his book, Orthodox Apologetic Theology, apologetic theology is fundamental theology. It is fundamental, insofar as it provides a systematic exposition of the basic tenets of Orthodox theology. It is fundamental also, insofar as it
provides a means to help address the confusion in which their children find themselves. We are increasingly beset by numerous attacks on the Church, from many quarters. When the Church engages in intellectual study, it is not merely for speculative inquiry for its own sake. Rather, the purpose of study, as will all of life, is the life in Christ. Thus, in various times and with the change in immediate pastoral needs, we need to put a different emphasis. Just as a good physician uses different methods of treatment for different diseases and different people, so, too, must we put varying degrees of emphasis of different sorts of study at different times.
With this month-long course, we aim to build a foundation to understand the Orthodox view of knowledge, both natural and spiritual. Then, working from this foundation, we will address two areas of immediate concern to our youth: 1) the relationship between faith and science; 2) multiculturalism and the contemporary stages of the sexual revolution (the rising endorsement of homosexual, bisexuality, and transgenderism).
Our hope is that, with a prayerful study of these issues in light of Orthodox dogma and apologetic theology, parents will be able to help their children confront these issues with greater clarity and resolve.
In this course, we will seek to address the following questions and topics in light of the teaching and practice of the Church:
What is knowledge?
What is the difference between natural and spiritual knowledge?
What is the relationship between faith and knowledge?
Do miracles contradict natural science?
Multiculturalism, political correctness, and our understanding of history.
Reading and other materials will be provided by the instructor free of charge.
A class will be held each week in real-time, using the Zoom web conferencing system.
In addition, video lessons and audio recordings will be sent out throughout the week.