Even when Jeff Durham isn’t teaching his apologetics class, he’s teaching apologetics. A science teacher at Statesville Christian School near Charlotte, North Carolina, Jeff is always equipping students to see God’s handiwork in all science and to defend their faith.
Jeff doesn’t limit his apologetics to just showing creation videos or having special-emphasis classes but weaves apologetics into the everyday curriculum. For example, his biology class learns how the cell operates as a small city, a highly integrated system that could not have evolved one part at a time. From the precise distribution system overseen by the Golgi body to the “microtubule highways” that make up the cell’s transportation network, every part of the cell has a function, and no part can function without the others. And God designed this fantastic city in a single day!
Jeff uses a high-quality secular video to illustrate this process. When the video’s producers claim random processes built the cell, he shows his students how the producers are borrowing from a Christian worldview by ascribing purpose and design to the cellular “city.”
In addition to science classes, Jeff teams up with a Bible teacher to offer a “winterim” apologetics class. During the winter term, students get to choose special classes for the first two or two-and-a-half weeks. They can choose subjects like “tech for church,” the Reformation, flight training, sign language, and others. Jeff’s apologetics class culminates in a trip to the Creation Museum near Cincinnati.
Jeff coordinates the course with the speakers at the Creation Museum and creates a study guide. At the end of the course, the study guides are graded and returned to students for their permanent reference.
Alumni also attend Jeff’s winterim course. In 2009, God used the class to prompt one student to change his college major. This year, five of Jeff’s former students, now college sophomores, returned for a refresher—and that graduate from 2009 began his first year in seminary.
Improving Your Apologetics Teaching
- Weave the biblical worldview throughout students’ curriculum, whatever the subject. As Jeff says, apologetics should be part of a steady diet, not a vitamin supplement that’s taken from time to time.
- Build lessons or short courses around a specific theme. For example, Jeff’s 2013 apologetics class focused on transitional forms—creatures supposedly evolving from one kind to another. Themes can come from any area of study, not just creation-evolution. World religions, manuscript evidence of the Bible, biblical archaeology—these are just a few possibilities.
- You do not necessarily have to steer clear of secular media. Jeff uses clips from science videos on cells to show how even secular experts can see God’s handiwork and unwittingly display His glory. You can even use evolutionary materials as an opportunity to evaluate facts versus interpretation. Students will learn critical thinking.
- You don’t have to be an expert, but we can all take steps to equip ourselves. Jeff devoured creationist magazines in college and attended the first Answers in Genesis Creation College. He regularly studies Bible-defending resources, gleaning new information he can use in his classes.
- Many students will face challenges to their faith, so prepare them now with books, study guides, etc., on topics they are likely to face.