A Ten-Year Project – Part 2
Before deciding what topics and issues to cover in my multi-volume critique of Christianity, I want to look over some lists of common topics in (a) Christian Apologetics, (b) Systematic Theology, and (c) Philosophy of Religion.
I looked through the table of contents of a number of handbooks on Christian Apologetics to come up with a list of common topics:
NOTE: WIAC = Why I am a Christian, edited by Geisler & Hoffman
Based on this quick survey of a few handbooks of Christian Apologetics, I came up with a list of a dozen topics:
1. Apologetics/Faith & Reason
2. The Existence & Nature of God
3. Creation & Evolution
5. Evil & Suffering
6. The Divinity of Jesus
7. The Resurrection of Jesus
8. The Bible
• Historical Reliability of the Bible
• Scientific Reliability of the Bible
• Inspiration of the Bible
9. Life after Death/Heaven & Hell/Salvation
10. Christianity vs. Other Religions
11. Objective Truth
I also took a look at a few works of Systematic Theology by Evangelical Christian theologians:
From this brief survey, I came up with a dozen topics for Systematic Theology:
1. Knowledge of God
2. The Bible
3. Attributes of God
4. God’s creation
7. The Holy Spirit
9. The Christian Life
11. The Church
12. The End of History
For an excellent and inpiring example of a critique of a bit of Systematic Theology, see Theodore Drange’s article “Why Resurrect Jesus?” in The Empty Tomb, edited by Robert Price and Jeff Lowder (Prometheus Books, 2005).
NOTE: BOICE’s stuff on “Time and History” appeared disjointed and unfocused, and there does not appear to be a clear parallel in other Systematic Theology books, so I set that topic aside and substituted “Man” for topic #10 (pulling it out of where it was lumped in with other items under “God’s creation”, topic #4).
Here is a comparison chart of common Theology topics with common Apologetics topics:
Based on this comparison chart, if I had to choose between covering the topics of Systematic Theology and the topics of Christian Apologetics, I would go with Apologetics. Those topics seem more focused on what is central and most important, especially in terms of evaluating the truth or the rationality of Christianity.