Topic outline


    ArnoldThis course was designed by Dr. Arnold Lastinger.  Dr. Lastinger is a graduate of Southeastern University, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and Erskine Theological Seminary.  He pastored in America for 45 years; the last 25 as Senior Pastor of the First Assembly of God in Gainesville, Florida.  He served on the presbytery board for the Assemblies of God in the State of Florida consecutively for a quarter of a century.  In 2004, he and his wife "retired" to a ministry of "missionary-educator" teaching in Bible Colleges and seminaries around the world.  In 2011, the Assemblies of God World Missions recruited him out of retirement to move to Kiev, Ukraine and become president of Evangel Theological Seminary, a post he still holds.

    MenziesThe course is built on a study-text written by Dr. William Menzies. Born on July 1, 1931, Menzies earned a B.A. at Central Bible College (Springfield, Missouri) and a M.A. at Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois). He was ordained in 1956. Menzies held teaching and administrative positions at Central Bible College, Evangel University (Springfield, Missouri), the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (Springfield, Missouri), California Theological Seminary (Fresno, California) and Asia Pacific Theological Seminary (Baguio City, Philippines). Menzies is widely known in Pentecostal and evangelical circles as a statesman, building bridges across denominational and racial divides. He was one of the organizers of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and was the first editor of the society's journal, Pneuma. He was also one of the editors for the Full Life Study Bible and a consulting editor for Christianity Today. He went to be with the Lord shortly past noon on August 15, 2011.

    Paul E. LittleThe foundational text used by Dr. Menzies was written by Paul E. Little. Paul E. Little and his wife, Marie, worked for twenty-five years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  He was also the author of Know Why You BelieveKnow Who You Believe, and How to Give Away Your Faith. Until he went home to be with the Lord in 1975, he was also associate professor of evangelism at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Professor Little's book has become a classic reference in the field of Apologetics.

    "There are just a few timeless treasures in Christian Literature.  Know What You Believe is one of them.  I am confidant that the expanded and updated version of this book will be as important to this generation as it was when I was a student."

    -Joseph M. Stowell, President, Moody Bible Institute



    Make sure that you have enrolled as a student at ETS, and that you have registered for this particular class.  (You only have to enroll as a student one time, but after that it will be necessary for you to register for each class in order to gain access to the course materials.)


    If this is your first (or only) course in this program there are some things you need to know about our online procedures.  With few exceptions, most of our courses will contain the following components:

    1. An Independent Study Text (IST): This is the basic textbook for your course.  It is a combination textbook and workbook with self-test questions for you to measure your progress through the course.

    2. A Collateral Reading Assignment (CRA): This is a book or books which are required reading for the course.  You will be required to read and write a report in which you summarize the book and interact with the author. This will count for 35% of your total grade.

    3. A Project: This is a practical application of the material that you have learned.  You will be required to write a report of your project (instructions will be found in your Student's Packet, which can be downloaded from this website.) Your project will count for 25% of your total grade.

    4. A Service Learning Requirement (SLR): A mandatory, non-graded exercise in which you use the information learned in the course in your ministry setting.

    5. A Final Exam: The final exam usually consists of 100 questions and will be computer graded from a Scantron answer sheet. Your final exam will count for 40% of your course grade.

    6. Student's Packet: This is a booklet that you download from this website; it contains instructions on how to complete the requirements for this course.


    1. Read all of Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell, ISBN-13: 978-0840743787 (408 pages in English); Russian ISBN: 1-58712-079-8 (Of course you could wait and read it later, but reading it FIRST will help you to understand the material covered in the IST)

    2. Read Know Why You Believe, by Paul E. Little, ISBN-13: 978-0830834228 (English version) 231 pages in English.  This book is the book used as the basis for this course and correlates with the general outline of your IST.

    3. Download the Student's Workbook compiled by Dr. Lastinger at the end of this section.  You can work with it in your computer or print it out (your option).  This workbook is not mandatory and will not be graded; it is merely a time-saving tool which you can use to take notes as you read through your textbook and IST.

    4. Download and read your Student's Packet, found at the end of this section.  It contains everything you need to know about how to study this course, including all assignments and detailed instructions for completing them.

    5. Read Chapter One in your IST, looking for the answers that go in the blanks in your Student's Workbook.


    1. Download the Glossary of Terms Used in Apologetics at the end of this section; watch for these terms in your reading assignments and learn what they mean.

    2. Read McDowell's book first.

    3. Read Little's book second.

    4. Read your IST third.

    5. As you read each chapter, play the PowerPoint for that particular chapter. As you read and watch the PowerPoint, fill in the blanks in your Student's Workbook

    6. The five steps above will reinforce each other and you will find yourself remembering MUCH more of the material that you read.


    LESSON TITLE: What is Apologetics?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 1 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    Questions1. Identify definitions or examples of given terms that are related to the subject of apologetics.

    2. Explain the purposes for the use of apologetics in the Old and New Testaments, and defend its use in Christian ministry today.

    3. State three functions of the apologetic task, and identify examples of each one.

    4. Explain and evaluate general values of apologetics.

    5. Summarize main ideas of Christian apologists regarding philosophy, and evaluate their validity.


    LESSON TITLE: Where is the Starting Point?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 2 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1. Identify definitions of given philosophical terms that are the basis for a comprehensive world-and-life view.

    2. Identify and evaluate the merits of various positions regarding the roles of faith and reason in verifying truth.

    3. Identify given criteria for testing truth, and evaluate their worth as tests of truth.

    4. Recognize what is entailed in a Christian postulate and what this implies with respect to faith and reason.

    5. Describe the role of the Holy Spirit in revelation, conviction, and illumination, and apply this to the task of apologetics.


    DoubtLESSON TITLE: Dealing With Doubt

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 3 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1. Describe ways in which God acts in the world and in history,and relate this to the importance of the supernatural in theapologetic task.

    2. Identify given views concerning the function of Christianevidences, and state objections to each view.

    3. Define the term synoptic vision, and identify examples ofthis concept.

    4. Explain why there are limitations to the test of coherence intheology and what this implies.

    5. State the difference between certitude and certainty withrespect to what we know about God.

    6. Identify positions taken by various kinds of doubters ofChristianity and, given possible responses, suggest theresponse that would be most suitable for each of them.

    7. Given specific reasons for doubt, explain what a Christianworker can do to dispel that doubt in an unbeliever

    8. Evaluate given Scripture passages to determine what they teach about honest doubt.


    LESSON TITLE: Is There a God?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 4 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1. Identify and give the significance of both a posteriori and apriori arguments for the existence of God, and evaluate theirstrength as tools for witnessing.

    2. Identify and summarize the five arguments for the existenceof God developed by Thomas Aquinas, and evaluatecriticisms of these arguments.

    3. State the basic arguments of a priori pointers to the existence of God.

    4. Identify implications of the axiological arguments for the existence of God.

    5. Contrast the non-biblical evidences of the existence of God with the Christian revelation, and evaluate the differences.


    LESSON TITLE: Is Jesus Christ Divine?

    JisusREADING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 5 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1. Use five given steps to explain why the incarnation of Christ was necessary.

    2. Use the given Scripture passages to defend the claim that Jesus had a human birth and development and a human nature.

    3. Identify in the given Scripture passages specific and implied claims of Jesus related to His deity.

    4. Evaluate possible responses to the claims of Jesus in the light of what the Bible teaches about His character and influence, and defend the response you consider most valid.

    5. Describe facts about Jesus’ character based on the given Scripture passages.

    6. Use examples from Scripture and experience to defend the statement that Jesus had a remarkable influence on people.


    LESSON TITLE: Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 6 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1. Explain why the resurrection of Jesus Christ is vital to Christian faith.

    2. Analyze evidence in the Gospels concerning Jesus’ death, and draw a conclusion.

    3. Identify biblical evidence for the empty tomb, and respond to arguments against the empty tomb.

    4. Refute given arguments of non-believers against the resurrection of Christ.

    5. Explain the significance of Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances as confirmation of His resurrection.

    6. Defend the reality of the resurrection of Christ on the basis of its historical results.


    LESSON TITLE: Is the Bible God's Word?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 7 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1. Give reasons why we should believe the Bible’s own claims that it is the inspired Word of God.

    2. Explain the meaning and the extent of the terms revelationand inspiration with respect to the contents of the Bible.

    3. Identify and evaluate given viewpoints concerning biblical inspiration.

    4. Explain what the Bible teaches about its inspiration, and define terms used to express this.

    5. Explain qualifications with regard to the meaning of biblical inerrancy.

    6. Select statements that support the supernatural character of the Bible and its unity.


    LESSON TITLE: Are the Bible Documents Reliable?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 8 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1. Distinguish between the processes of higher and lower ortextual criticism.

    2. Explain how the Dead Sea Scrolls and other manuscripts havehelped to establish the accuracy of the present biblical text.

    3. Defend the argument that the New Testament text we havetoday is trustworthy.

    4. Recognize and appreciate God’s providence in providing forus a dependable written revelation of himself and His works.

    5. Identify the various categories of Old Testament books andfacts about how they were gathered, and explain why theapocryphal books were excluded from the Protestant Bible.

    6. Explain the process by which the New Testament books were selected.


    LESSON TITLE: Can Scriptures Be Verified?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 9 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1. State specific characteristics of biblical prophecy, and identify examples of each characteristic.

    2. Defend with examples the assertion that biblical prophecies about Christ, about Israel, and about nations have already been fulfilled.

    3. Describe the values and limitations of archaeology as a means of validating biblical records.

    4. Based on given facts from archaeological discoveries, draw a conclusion about the implications of these discoveries for the biblical record.


    LESSON TITLE: Are Miracles Possible?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 10 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1. Describe and evaluate given views regarding the terms miracle and natural law.

    2. Explain the contexts in which miracles are viewed by the naturalist, the deist, the pantheist, and the Christian.

    3. Identify the meanings of given terms that help us to understand the biblical concept of miracles.

    4. Evaluate biblical miracles on the basis of what they teach and what this indicates about their necessity in biblical Christianity.

    5. Explain the difference between “miracles of the old creation”and “miracles of the new creation”, and identify examples of each.

    6. Evaluate given objections to miracles, and suggest answers to refute them.

    7. Evaluate the claim that miracles still do happen and are important in our day.


    LESSON TITLE: Is There Harmony Between Science and the Bible?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 11 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1.Creation vs Evolution Describe the meaning, scope, and limitations of science and the scientific method.

    2. Identify factors that created conflicts between scientific inquiry and Christian beliefs.

    3. With regard to implications of the scientific method of inquiry, identify three negative attitudes of Christians that limit their effectiveness as witnesses for Christ.

    4. Identify the basis of the philosophical conflict between the claims of science and the claims of the Bible.

    5. State what the Christian must hold to be true in developing a biblical synthesis that accommodates the discoveries of science.

    6. Identify given terms and concepts related to studies about the nature and origin of the universe.

    7. Evaluate scientific evidence and theories concerning the origin of the universe in the light of scriptural teaching.

    8. Explain what can be known about the age of the universe from the biblical revelation and from science.

    9. Distinguish between the views of Charles Darwin and given views of other evolutionists.

    10. Consider various creationist views with respect to the meaning of Genesis 1 and 2, and develop a biblical perspective that can be used as an apologetic.


    LESSON TITLE: Why Does God Permit Suffering?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 12 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1.Suffering Summarize the problem of evil, and identify examples of natural, moral, and gratuitous evil.

    2. Identify the main concepts of the reality of freedom view of evil and the views of evil as meta-physical lack, as instrument, and as a given.

    3. Describe the main ideas of the various versions of the view that evil is an instrument God uses for good.

    4. Identify the concept of evil according to the Christological, doxological, and eschatological points of view.

    5. Based on given Scripture passages, summarize biblical teaching concerning the problem of suffering and evil.

    6. Use the given Scripture passages to develop a biblical synthesis concerning the problem of evil.


    LESSON TITLE: Is Christian Experience Valid?

    READING ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapter 13 in your IST and do the exercises you find there.


    1. PrayerIdentify and refute common objections to the validity of Christian experience.

    2. Defend the validity of Christian experience on the basis of four given arguments.

    3. Write an apologetic statement concerning where history is taking us based on the assumption that the Bible is a trustworthy historical document.

    4. Evaluate given statements concerning the historical accuracy of the Bible to determine what they imply about Jesus Christ and His place in history.

    5. Select statements that correctly summarize the implications of biblical Christianity.


    BookshelfIn addition to your basic text (IST), almost every course at ETS requires the reading of a supplemental textbook on the same subject and the writing of a review of that book.  This is known as a Collateral Reading Assignment (CRA) and the paper you write is called a Collateral Writing Assignment (CWA). The title of the required textbook and the requirements for your CWA are given in your Student Packet.  Your CRA and CWA must be submitted BEFORE you can take your final exam.


      ChurchTHE PURPOSE:

      The purpose of the SLR is for students to apply and present principles learned from each course to people in their life or community during the course enrollment period.The SLR will be assessed by a faculty member as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.The SLR Report must be submitted with your project and CRA (if required) before you take your final examination.Course credit will be granted ONLY after the SLR Report is submitted and assessed as satisfactorily completed.The SLR Assessment will be returned to you.


      The following suggestions are given to help you understand the possible activities that fulfill this requirement. Choose an activity that will connect well with your course material. You may also develop a ministry activity that is not on this list or incorporate content from this course in ministry you are actively involved in at this time. However, for an activity not on this list, you must obtain advance approval from the faculty member.

      ●Preach a sermon to any size group.

      ●Teach a class or small group.

      ●Intervene or give counsel to help resolve personal conflicts.

      ●Share the gospel with nonbelievers (be prepared to develop new relationships to open doors for this ministry).

      ●Interview pastors, missionaries, or other leaders on a course-related topic (do not post or publish interview content).

      ●Lead a prayer group or pray with individuals in need, perhaps over an extended period.

      ●Personally share encouragement and resources with those in need (outreach).

      ●Organize and/or administer an event in a church program such as leading youth ministry, feeding homeless people, transporting shut-ins, conducting nursing home services, and similar ministries.

      ●Publish an online blog or article in a church newsletter (include a link in your report to the content of your article or blog).

      1. Consider using any Christian Evangelism and Discipleship materials from our GlobalReach Web site: These proven tools are available for free and in many languages.

      2. Have someone observe you, or at least share with someone what you did. Then ask that person to provide feedback by answering the questions in Point 5 of the SLR Report.

      3. Complete the SLR Report. Use additional paper if needed. (Note: You need to submit only one report, even if, for example, you witnessed to several people at different times.) Submit the SLR Report to your enrollment office along with your project and CRA (if required) before you take the final examination for this course.


        In This Project You Will...

        Identify three accusations against the Christian faith that are commonly made in your community. These accusations should relate to each of the unit topics. Analyze each accusation as to its validity and weaknesses, and write a rational biblical apologetic or response to each accusation. Evaluate the effects of your study of this course with respect to its impact on your own understanding of how one can know that God lives, communicates, and acts in history.

        WritingYour Project Should Include

        1. Three sections, each containing a written statement of an accusation commonly made against the claims of Christianity. Make sure each accusation relates directly to a unit topic. Explain the source and strength of the accusation.

        2. An analysis of the accusation with respect to its strengths and weaknesses.

        3. A rational, biblical apologetic or response to the accusation containing at least four evidences which would be appropriate to persuade the critic to change his or her opinion and be convinced of the truth of Christianity. Remember to present your response in such a way that it could be used effectively with a non-Christian audience. Your assignment is to defend the essential beliefs (doctrines) of the Christian faith to non-Christians in a logical and loving manner. The assignment does NOT include defending the conservative Christian political movement(s) in the United States. Though some issues overlap, the two are separate disciplines and should not be confused. Political papers will not satisfy the requirements for this project.

        A detailed description of how your project should be written is given in your Student's Packet, available for download from this website.  Be sure to read it and follow the instructions carefully.  This project must be completed and turned in BEFORE you can take your final exam.



          Your final exam will consist of 100 multiple-choice questions taken directly from your IST and Little's textbook.  Any other material (Lectures, PowerPoint, Audio-Visuals, Videos, etc.), although valuable as supplementary material, will not be included on the exam.

          WHAT IT WILL COUNT: Your final exam will count for 40% of your total course grade.

          WHEN CAN IT BE TAKEN? All coursework (CRA, Project, and SLR) must be completed BEFORE the exam can be taken.

          Writing-2HOW IT IS ADMINISTERED: Your final exam must be taken under the direct supervision of a proctor (observer) who has been approved by the seminary.  When you are ready to take your exam, please talk to the person whom you would like to recommend to be your proctor.  If they agree, please submit his or her name and contact information to the academic dean at Evangel Theological Seminary.  If they are approved, the exam will be sent to them along with the Scantron answer sheet.  You will then make an appointment with them to oversee the exam.  The completed exam and Scantron MUST be returned by the proctor.  Your exam will be graded by a computer.  Complete instructions on how to use the Scantron answer sheet will be on the sheet itself.

          ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? If you have any other questions, please feel free to call our academic dean or our online studies director at +38  (044) 527-94-89 or e-mail your questions to   You may also fax them to +38 (044) 527-94-12.

          When you are ready to take your final exam, please call or e-mail us to request that it be sent to your approved Exam Supervisor.