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APOL 500

Self-Selected Apologetics Argument: Expansion and Defense – Writing Stage Assignment Instructions

Overview

This is the heavy writing stage of this argument though additional research will be necessary, particularly for the defense section.

At this point you will expand and possibly revise the previously formulated analysis and critique bullet points. This is where you will put flesh on the bones of the bullet points, integrate appropriate supportive material (without an over-dependence on direct quotes), and supply transition sentences that will connect paragraphs to each other and to other parts of the paper in a logical way. When completed your analysis will demonstrate an understanding of the discussed aspects of the worldview and how they connect to your thesis. In addition, your critique will indicate thoughtfulness in considering what pertinent aspects of the worldview are true, logical, and/or livable.

You will also be formulating your defense of orthodox Christianity against aspects of the self-selected worldview. This is the skill we think of when we speak of practicing apologetics. It is important to select the correct type of defenses. For example, if you are defending the resurrection of Jesus Christ against a Jew or Muslim worldview, you may not need to incorporate a defense establishing the possibility of miracles, but if you are defending the resurrection against a scientific naturalist, that is an excellent defense to consider using. Make sure that you select appropriate defenses for your argument.

It should also be clear when finished that your defense has shown how that Christianity stands up against the pertinent aspects of the opposing worldview. It is in this section where you will not only show an understanding of both Christianity and the opposing worldview but also how that Christianity is in a specific way true, logical, livable, and/or superior to other worldviews. How this looks will depend upon your thesis statement but if you do this assignment well, you will be able to adapt the knowledge and the skills gained to other apologetics situations.

Instructions

A template will be used for this assignment. The
Self-Selected Apologetics Argument: Expansion and Defense – Writing Stage Template is in five sections. No title page is necessary since this is a template. Inserted content should be about 1950-2350 words. For footnotes and the bibliography (
with annotations now removed) follow current Turabian format.

1.
Thesis Statement: Insert here the thesis statement that has already been designed. If the thesis statement needs adjusting based on instructor feedback, please make the necessary adjustment here.

2.
Expansion of the Analysis:

a. Expand on the bullet points of the analysis section from the previously used template. Your professor will provide feedback that will help you to understand if your bullet points are an accurate analysis, so, if any of them are not, adjust accordingly and then build out a description of the bullet point using as many paragraphs as needed to accurately describe what the worldview actually believe.

b. You may now use direct and indirect quotes but keep these to a minimum. Quotes and cited material are intended to support your description. The description should be your formulation of your understanding of the aspect of the worldview being described. Justify how that the scholarly sources representative of the opposing worldview are truly representative. You will likely be adding new sources that you have discovered in your research that support this section, so remember to insert the new sources in the bibliography (
with annotations now removed).

c. Your thesis will determine the content and organization of this section so this should be reflected in your paragraph development. You may need to write for this section an introductory paragraph that shows how this section is related to the thesis and how this section is going to be organized. You may also desire to have a summary paragraph at the end of this section.

d. In the final submission this section of the paper must be approximately 600 words. You should be about there now when you submit the Stage 3 template.

3.
Critique:

a. Expand on the bullet points of the critique section from the previously used template. Your professor will provide feedback that will help you to understand if your bullet points are a good critique analysis, so, if any of them are not, adjust accordingly and then build out the critique using as many paragraphs as needed to effectively present the critique.

b. You may now use direct and indirect quotes but keep these to a minimum. Quotes and cited material are intended to support your critique. You will likely be adding new sources that you have discovered in your research that support this section, so remember to insert the new sources in the bibliography (
with annotations now removed). This section should be supported by at least 2-3 sources now.

c. The thesis will determine the emphasis and organization of your critique so this should be reflected in your paragraph development. You may need to write for this section an introductory paragraph that summarizes how this critique is based on the analysis, how your critique is related to the thesis, and/or how this section is going to be organized. You may also desire to have a summary paragraph at the end of this section that transitions from the critique to the defense section.

d. In the final submission this section of the paper must be 600-750 words.

4.
Defense:

a. The thesis will determine the emphasis and organization of your defense so this should be reflected in your paragraph development. Select a defense(s) that is appropriate to your argument. Be sure that you transition well from the previous section to this section. You may need to write for this section an introductory paragraph that summarizes how this defense is related to the thesis and how this section is going to be organized. You may also desire to have a summary paragraph at the end of this section.

b. You may use direct and indirect quotes but keep these to a minimum. Quotes and cited material are intended to support your defense. Make sure that you are using scholarly sources. Two-three sources in addition to the course’s textbooks and scripture should be used.

c. In the final submission this section of the paper must be 750-1000 words.

5.
Bibliography (
with annotations now removed)
: Current Turabian format is required. All sources footnoted and only sources footnoted should be in the bibliography. If course textbooks are used they must be footnoted and in the bibliography.

Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.

Page 2 of 2

Self-Selected Apologetics Argument: Expansion and Defense – Writing Stage Template

Type your name here:

Make sure you review and understand the assignment instructions and the grading rubric before you attempt to complete any part of this template. Do not change any aspect of this template; and do not delete anything from it. Instead, type your content in the spaces provided. Before typing your content, you should review the entire template to be sure you understand what is required.

The purpose of this template is to provide you with a few major building blocks that can be incorporated into your final paper. In the sections provided below, you will insert your approved thesis statement, you will begin building the foundation for what will become the first two major sections in the body of your final paper, and you will footnote after each bullet point and reference in the bibliography sources used in your bullet point formulations (at least two from the opposing worldview).

1.
Approved Thesis Statement

The religion of Islam believes that Allah is the only God, whereas Christianity believes that there is one true and living God that exists in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and yet with many similarities and differences between the Bible and the Quran and Islam and Christianity, the truth remains that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The remainder of this form will help you continue working on what will be the body of your final paper – an expansion of the analysis and the critique of the worldview you are writing about, and a formulation of a defense of Christianity against the opposing worldview you have selected.

The basic outline for your final paper should follow this structure:

I.
Introduction

II. Analysis of Aspects of the Opposing Worldview

III. Critique of Aspects of the Opposing Worldview

IV. Defense of Christianity

V. Conclusion

In what follows, you will be writing out the building blocks that will eventually become sections II, III, and IV in the outline.

2.
Expansion of the Analysis of Aspects of the Opposing Worldview

This section will expands on the building blocks of what will be the first major section in the body of your final paper (section II in the outline above): Revise, add, or omit any bullet points as needed as you expand this section by putting the bullet points in expanded paragraph form. It should be about 600 words when you are finished. Tips on how to expand this section are found in the assignment instructions.

3.
Expansion of the Critique of Aspects of the Opposing Worldview

This section is focused on helping you build out what will be the second major section of the body of your final paper (section III in the outline above): Again, revise, add, or omit any bullets point as needed as you expand this section by putting the bullet points in expanded paragraph form. It should be about 600-750 words when you are finished. Tips on how to expand this section are found in the assignment instructions.

4.
Defense of Christianity against an Opposing Worldview

This section is focused on responding to the aspects of the opposing worldview that cast doubts on Christianity, using both your critique of the worldview as well as the strengths of Christianity, particularly in comparison to the opposing worldview. This will be the third and final major section of the body of your final paper (section IV in the outline above). It should be about 750-1000 words when you are finished. Tips on how to approach this section are found in the assignment instructions.

5.
Turabian bibliography (must be located on its own separate page; see below):

Bibliography

1

Self-Selected Apologetics Argument: Analysis and Critique – Research Stage

Type your name here: Edward Miguel Faulk

Make sure you review and understand the assignment instructions and the grading rubric before you attempt to complete any part of this template. Do not change any aspect of this template; do not delete anything from it. Instead, type your content in the spaces provided. Before typing your content, you should review the entire template to be sure you understand what is required.

The purpose of this template is to provide you with a few major building blocks that can be incorporated into your final paper. In the sections provided below, you will insert your approved thesis statement, you will begin building the foundation for what will become the first two major sections in the body of your final paper, and you will footnote after each bullet point and reference in the bibliography sources used in your bullet point formulations (at least two from the opposing worldview).

1.
Approved Thesis Statement

The religion of Islam believes that Allah is the only God, whereas Christianity believes that there is one true and living God that exists in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and yet with many similarities and differences between the Bible and the Quran and Islam and Christianity, the truth remains that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The remainder of this form will help you begin working on the first two major sections of your final paper – the analysis and the critique of the worldview you are writing about.

The basic outline for your final paper should follow this structure:

I.
Introduction

II. Analysis of Aspects of the Opposing Worldview

III. Critique of Aspects of the Opposing Worldview

IV. Defense of Christianity

V. Conclusion

In what follows, you will be crafting the building blocks that will eventually become sections II and III in the outline.

1.
Introduction

Religion is a complicated and multi-faceted component of human life that has been the topic of discussion, debate, and investigation for millennia. It can mold the beliefs, values, and ethical standards of people and entire groups, and it has played a significant role in influencing human history and the development of civilizations. Since their inception, the world’s two greatest and most pervasive faiths, Islam and Christianity, have been compared and contrasted greatly. There are many points of agreement between these two faiths, such as their shared commitment to a single, all-powerful deity and their shared goals of fostering peace and justice (Oni 2021, 3). However, there are also significant points of divergence, including their divergent views on God, the role of sacred texts, the meaning of life, and the nature of the religious practice. This paper will analyze and critique a worldview thesis statement that contends that. In contrast, Christianity acknowledges the existence of one God who manifests himself in three different persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Islam believes in only one God named Allah.

2.
Analysis of Aspects of the Opposing Worldview

This section will form the building blocks of what will become the first major section in the body of your final paper (section II in the outline above): Summarize the worldview by using aspects of its presuppositions and beliefs using one sentence per bullet point (revision and/or expansion of these bullet points is required in the next stage of the project). The number of bullet points needed will be determined by thesis and the quality of your research but at least two are required.

· Islam and Christianity adhere to the idea that there is only one God, despite the fact that the two religions hold various contradictory beliefs and practices (Oni 2021, 3). Islam emphasizes allegiance to Allah and a life of virtue, while Christianity emphasizes a personal relationship with God and the promise of eternal life. Islam has a distinct conception of God since Allah is regarded as the lone, unrivalled deity who is neither a partner nor an equal. The Quran is the most important book in Islam and is believed to be the authentic word of God as it was given to the Prophet Muhammad. (Gastelum 2018, 137). Humans are commanded to surrender to Allah, whom the Quran describes as merciful, just, and all-powerful. As far as Muslims are concerned, all existence is directed toward the worship of Allah and the fulfilment of His commands, the ultimate reward for which is entry into Paradise. On the other hand, Christian belief holds that there is one God, who is also three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the most significant book in the Christian canon since it contains God’s divinely inspired words and provides guidance for dealing with life’s most difficult issues. According to biblical teaching, having a relationship with the loving God who created us is the ultimate purpose of existence. Christians believe that by putting one’s trust in Jesus Christ, one will be forgiven and granted eternal life with God.

· The significance of religious texts is yet another crucial component. Muslims consider the Quran to be the exact words of God, and it is from this text that Muslims get their ethical and religious guidance. The moral and legal foundations and the instructions for worship outlined in this book make it an indispensable resource for Muslims who wish to put their faith into practice. On the other hand, Christians look to the Bible for both revelation and guidance, but they do not consider it to be the literal word of God. Christians hold that the Bible is the word of God and that it was written by divine inspiration. They look to it as a source of wisdom to help them navigate the obstacles of everyday life.

· Regarding religious observances, prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage are some of Islam’s most revered rituals and customs. Praying five times a day while facing Mecca is essential to the Islamic faith and practice. Muslim practice also includes fasting during the holy month of Ramadan as a means of spiritual cleansing and becoming closer to Allah. A pilgrimage to Mecca is an integral part of the Islamic religion since it is seen as a method to show love for Allah and unity with other Muslims. On the contrary, Christians have a number of significant rituals and customs, such as prayer, worship, and Communion, that are central to their faith (Parry 2022, 278). Christians place great value on prayer as a means of connecting with God and expressing their devotion and gratitude. Collective acts of worship, typically in a church, are also central to the Christian life. The Christian practice of Communion is fundamental since it serves as a means of commemorating Jesus’ atoning death and showing love and support for fellow Christians.

Overall, there are numerous shared and divergent beliefs and behaviours between Islam and Christianity. Although adherents of both faiths acknowledge the existence of a divine creator, they hold vastly different views on God and the meaning of life (Oni 2021, 3). Each religion has its own ideas and ideals, which are reflected in its sacred books, beliefs and values.

3.
Critique of Aspects of the Opposing Worldview

This section focuses on helping you build what will become the second major section of the body of your final paper (section III in the outline above): Evaluate aspects of your selected worldview to show where it fails to provide a rationale, livable, comprehensive system.

· Though Christians and Muslims both profess a belief in a single Creator, the God of each faith is distinctly different. While Christians believe in a personal, loving God who is actively engaged in the world, Muslims view Allah as a separate, impersonal deity. Also, there are considerable discrepancies between the teachings of the Quran and the Bible. For instance, there are fundamental differences between the Quranic and Biblical accounts of creation and human origin, which give rise to divergent views on the meaning of life and the nature of the world. In addition, the Quran’s teachings on salvation and the afterlife diverge from the Bible, resulting in different perspectives on the point of human existence.

· The Islamic religion’s narrow conception of God has been critiqued for a long time. Even though the idea that there is only one God, known as Allah, is fundamental to Islam, there are others who contend that this does not provide an adequate picture of the divine nature. The lack of the notion of the Trinity implies that the complexity and depth of the divine nature are not addressed (Griffel 2022, 379). This is because the concept of the Trinity incorporates numerous facets of the divine nature, such as the traits of love, wisdom, and power. Another critique of the Islamic conception of God is that the Quran does not give an exhaustive explanation of God and the characteristics that characterize him. Even while the Quran is claimed to be the literal word of God and is regarded as a compilation of divine revelations, it does not contain the extensive descriptions and explanations of God’s essence and personality that are contained in other religious books. This results in various interpretations and beliefs held by Muslims, which can also contribute to a fragmented knowledge of God.

· The Christian doctrine of the Trinity has been a subject of critique because it is unclear and contradictory. For individuals who have not been exposed to the doctrine of a triune God, the idea that there is just one God despite the fact that he manifests himself as three separate divine beings may be challenging to comprehend. People can become confused regarding the nature and attributes of God as a result of a lack of clarity such as this, which can lead them to question the reality of the theology.

· Also, the concept of the Trinity, which is central to the Christian understanding of God, has been questioned because it is the product of human interpretation and is not founded on the teachings of Jesus. Some people believe that Jesus never presented the idea of the Trinity to his followers and that the doctrine of the Trinity was developed via human interpretation and theological conjecture. Consequently, some people have asserted that the dogma of the Trinity is not founded on divine revelation but rather on human ingenuity.

· The concept of a religious authority constitutes another critique of the competing worldviews. When it comes to Islam, Quranic verses and Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and deeds (Hadith) form the basis of Islamic belief. They are considered the most authoritative sources of religious doctrine (Griffel 2022, 379). This topic has been the subject of debate due to the assertion made by certain individuals that Islam is dependent on the direction of Prophet Muhammad, who was a human being and not divine. On the other hand, Christianity acknowledges the authority of the Bible as the word of God. It focuses significantly on personal relationships and interactions with God. 2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV states, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. This verse highlights the significance of the Bible as God’s authoritative message and its function in molding the believer into a devoted servant of God.

· Notwithstanding these critiques, Christianity continues to be a viable worldview. Christianity provides a distinctive worldview because it emphasizes God’s unmerited favour and mercy. The concept of a triune God provides a deep and nuanced framework for comprehending the deity and the divine-human connection. The Bible also offers thorough guidance for leading a meaningful life and provides responses to the most critical questions in life. The Bible contains morals, ethics, and justice lessons that guide ethical lives. The Bible also provides a history of the globe and the occasions that have formed humanity. This involves the creation of the universe, the history of humankind, and the birth, ministry, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which are at the center of the Christian faith.

Conclusion

While Christianity and Islam share some commonalities and divergences, each religion’s worldview is unique in its understanding of the nature of God, the meaning of life, the universe, and the purpose of human existence. While Muslims consider Allah the supreme deity, Christians believe in one God who manifests Himself in Trinity. Christianity, despite critiques, is still a valid worldview that provides billions of individuals with hope, comfort, and guidance. It presents a thorough blueprint for leading a fulfilling life and a compelling worldview based on God’s grace and unconditional love.

4.
Turabian bibliography (must be located on its own separate page; see below):

Bibliography

Gastelum, Arturo. “No God but One: Allah or Jesus? A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity, Nabeelqureshi, Zondervan, 2016 (ISBN 978-0-310-52255-3), 318 Pp., Pb $17.99.”
Reviews in Religion & Theology 25, no. 1 (2018): 137–40. https://doi.org/10.1111/rirt.13175.

Griffel, Frank. “24. Religious Critique as a Popularization of Philosophy.”
The Popularization of Philosophy in Medieval Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, (2022), 379–88.
https://doi.org/10.1484/m.patma-eb.5.124251.

Oni, Idris Ajani. “A Comparative Analysis of Selected Fundamentals of Christianity and Islam,” 2021. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202109.0304.v1.

Parry, Jonathan. “Stratford Canning and the Politics of Christianity and Islam.”
Promised Lands, (2022), 278–97. https://doi.org/10.23943/princeton/9780691181899.003.0010.

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