According to Merriam-Webster, apologia is a defense, especially of one's opinions, position, or actions. I Peter 3:15 says, "always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you." At Trinity, the faculty strives to ensure that students are prepared to defend their faith. To that end, the Department of Theology and Science is intentional about teaching students how to view scientific facts through the lens of Christianity. The Upper School students (7th-12th grades) attend Apologia chapels twice a year.
On Wednesday, Dr. Mark Phillips, Trinity's Chair of the Theology and Science department, spoke to Logic School (7th/8th grades) about universal entropy, the cold death of the universe, the redshift expansion and finished with a time of Q & A, during which students asked a lot more theological questions than science questions. They were fascinated about the concept of the earth as we know it ending, and God creating a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1, 2 Peter 3:13, Isaiah 65:17). Phillips fielded questions, reminded them of the value in learning to give a reason for their faith, and inspired them as he spoke about their future at Trinity, when in high school they will have a chance to learn so much more in their science classes. Trinity's seniors even get a semester-long class dedicated to Apologetics.
On Thursday, Dr. Jeff Zweerink, Senior Research Scholar at Reasons to Believe (https://reasons.org/), "where science and faith converge", spoke to the Rhetoric School (9-12th grades). He began with the question, "Is there life out there?" It's a fascinating question with opinions and evidence on both sides. He shared very good reasons to believe there is life out there and very good reasons to believe there is not. He spoke about how many planets we've discovered, whether they are habitable, the need for liquid water to sustain life, and the vast universe yet to be discovered. Ultimately, he explained that we can't know for sure if there is life out there and we don't have the technology at this point to find life if it does exist.
Zweerink pointed out that whether there is life out there, or there isn't, either way, Christianity doesn't fall apart. Both positions are consistent with Scripture. He spoke about various theories that theologians have about possible other created beings, and their relationship to God, and some of those theories might seem a little wild to some believers:
-maybe there is other life but they never fell so they don't need redemption
-maybe there is other life that is fallen and there is no chance for redemption
-maybe other creation is also redeemed by Christ on our planet
-maybe Christ was simultaneously redeeming us on this planet and others on their planet
-could other intelligent life also be made in the image of God - or is His image limited to what we think it is?
-perhaps there's no other conscious, intelligent life out there, and God has only created earth to be habitable
Ultimately, Zweerink pointed out that we are special just because we're His children, and no matter how many other children He has (or where He has them), we are no less special to Him. Dr. Zweerink also spent time fielding very thoughtful questions about the many theories and about why God may have created such a vast universe to be explored. He ended with the statement that Apologetics allows us to enter the conversation and consider possibilities, considering what is consistent with good theology and what isn't. We don't have to be able to answer every objection. We are just becoming equipped to enter the conversation.
There will be Apologia chapels again in the spring. Parents, as always, are welcome to join. For more information on spiritual life at Trinity, visit https://www.trinityclassicalacademy.com/campus-life/spiritual-life.