Next week, Dr. Richard Barcellos and I will be flying to Namibia, Africa to teach two modular courses to indigenous pastors and church leaders at Grace Ministerial Academy. He will be covering hermeneutics while I will handle worldviews.
Please pray for us! In training these pastors, we have a wonderful opportunity but also a humbling responsibility entrusted to us. To help you in your prayers, I have included below my course syllabus. May we glorify Christ through the equipping of His people for the growth of His kingdom!
Christianity and Its Competitors:
Contending for the Christian Worldview
The purpose of this course is to equip each pastor and church leader to “hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). This will be accomplished through establishing a Biblical foundation of contending for the faith, explaining the Christian worldview, and evaluating other competing worldviews.
James W. Sire, Scripture Twisting: 20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible (Downers Grove IL, USA: Intervarsity Press, 1980).
Richard Gehman, Who are the Living Dead? A Theology of Death, Life After Death and the Living-Dead (Nairobi, Kenya: Evangel Publishing House, 1999).
Four Quizzes: each quiz is worth 25 points, 100 points total
A quiz will be given each day on Tuesday through Friday covering the previous day’s lectures. The quizzes will have multiple choice, true or false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and listing questions included. Together, they will cover all of the lecture material for the course.
Final Exam: each essay is worth 50 points, 100 points total
A final exam will assess overall competence in the topics covered in the course. Two essay questions will be completed which integrate the course reading with critical reflection on the lecture content and supplemental material.
Final Essay Questions
1) Using Sire’s Scripture Twisting, select ten Scripture reading errors. For each misreading, identify and define it, give an example of it from the lectures or supplemental materials (not included in Sire’s book), and provide a biblical response. 5 pages minimum.
2) Summarize and compare the theology of death, life after death, and the living-dead between three worldviews: 1) African Traditional Religion (using Gehman’s Who are the Living Dead?), 2) a Christian competitor (chosen from the course lectures or the supplemental materials), and 3) the biblical worldview. 5 pages minimum.
The student’s final grade will be determined by dividing his total points earned in half. A student will have successfully completed this course by achieving a cumulative grade of 75 percent or above for his course work. The letter equivalents for the percentile grades assigned are as follows:
|A — 96-100||B- — 81-84|
|A- — 91-95||C+ — 78-80|
|B+ — 88-90||C — 75-77|
|B — 85-87||C- — 71-74|
First Unit: Christianity
Part 1: Biblical Foundations
I. Jude 1-4
II. 1 Peter 3:14-16
III. Romans 1:18-32
IV. Acts 17:16-34
Part 2: The Christian Worldview
I. What is a Worldview?
II. What is the Christian Worldview?
Second Unit: Its Competitors
Part 1: Recognizing False Worldviews
I. The Five Keys of Biblical Discernment
Part 2: Evaluating False Worldviews
I. Roman Catholicism
II. Prosperity Gospel
III. Seventh-Day Adventism
IV. Jehovah’s Witnesses