August 14, 2015

{Review & Giveaway} Apologetics Study Bible for Students

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the Apologetics Study Bible for Students from Propeller Consulting, LLC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This fall, within our high school studies, our family is embarking on a dedicated study of Apologetics, Ancient History, Ancient Literature, Archaeology, and Philosophy. How timely that Propeller offered us a review of the Apologetics Study Bible for Students (HCSB). It goes hand-in-hand with our studies for the 2015-16 school year. We were truly delighted to receive the fine-quality, hardcover edition to use within our studies!

The Importance of Apologetics

Have you ever taken your family through a formal study of Apologetics? In our post post-modern era, proponents of subjective relativism have declared a no-holds-barred attack on absolute truth founded within the Scripture. We cannot let our children and students fall casualty in this war of worldviews. The best way to gird up our hearts and minds for the battles ahead is through meaningful study of the timeless truths found within the pages of God's Word.

No matter whether your student enters college, a vocation, ministry, or missions work, they are certain to face a skeptical culture. Thinking about the needs of our own students, my husband and I recently asked ourselves:
  • Are our children prepared to face opposition to their faith? 
  • Do they understand the most common arguments leveraged against the validity of the Bible? 
  • Are they familiar with religious movements that twist the historic truths of Biblical teaching? 
  • Do they understand the basic arguments of popular worldviews opposed to their faith?
  • Can they adequately answer critics and defend their own worldview?
Our family soberly considered these serious questions and realized our need to study apologetics in a more formal fashion. The philosophical battles our children face (even on a Christian university campus) are complex arguments that could potentially undermine their faith. By God's grace, we want to encourage our family, and all of those within our circle of influence, for challenging times that are ahead.

The Apologetics Study Bible is a useful tool that will equip students in the truths of Scripture by offering them thoughtful responses to the arguments that challenge their faith. This Bible can serve as an Apologetics 101 course in life.    

Apologetics Study Bible Features

  • Book Introductions for each of the sixty-six books of the Bible.
  • Study Notes provide evidence of the reliability and truthfulness of Scripture.
  • 120 Articles written by today's leading Christian thinkers dealing with life's ultimate questions.
  • 60 Twisted Scriptures address ways that various religious movements distort Scripture to support doctrine contrary to historic Christian teaching.
  • 50 Bones & Dirt feature important archaeological discoveries with an apologetics value.
  • 50 Notable Quotes from influential people throughout history.
  • 25 Challenges & Tactics will equip students to withstand opposition to Christianity by outlining tactics and strategies for handling frequently heard anti-Christian arguments.
  • 20 Personal Stories will encourage and strengthen readers in their faith by describing how God has worked dramatically in people's lives.
  • 20 Fast Facts are bullet point lists that help readers remember significant apologetics topics.

The Apologetics Study Bible is packed with information to help students gird up the foundation of their faith by equipping them with the truths of God's Word.

Our Thoughts & Review

This Bible is a meaty study guide that does not shy away from heavier philosophical, cultural, and historical issues. The tag line on the front cover states: Hard Questions. Straight Answers.

I found myself inquisitively journeying through the Apologetics Study Bible to read the informative sections. I was not disappointed in the breadth of information covered. This Bible is completely designed with students in mind.

One of our personal favorite features is the article section. More than 100 articles relate biblical truth to science, history, archaeology, psychology, philosophy, and other subjects. These articles are high-interest topics that provide Biblical insight into challenging questions. Within our family we have a college-age student who works in children's ministry and attends a local Christian University. We have a middle/high school age student working towards a history / literature / philosophy / theology / missions track of studies. In addition, I direct a small tutorial program for middle/high school students. Frequently, within our various communities, we are faced with questions, discussions, and general observations from middle/high school and college-age students. The articles, and other supplementary study notes, help us feel better prepared to contribute thoughtful responses and meaningful dialogue over difficult topics and hard questions.

My overall impression of the Apologetics Study Bible is that it does a fine work of balancing both grace and truth in a way that glorifies God. A word from the publishers says it best:

Remember: the point of apologetics is not to win an argument but to win a person to Christ. This is so important, so let me say it again: Apologetics is not about winning arguments, but about winning people. It is possible to win an argument and yet do it in a way that damages the cause of Christ. If we make a great argument, but we don't do it in love, then it profits us nothing (1 Co 13:1-3). We must follow the example of Jesus and be full of both grace and truth (Jn 1:14).

Ministry and Education Resources

My husband and I are small group leaders for elementary students within our local church, our college-age daughter works in children's ministry, and our younger daughter and son are involved in youth ministries. Our family greatly appreciates resources which help students gain Biblical literacy so they may better understand and articulate their own faith. This is a resource that can support family and youth ministry, college-age and young adult ministries, and discipleship ministry.

The Apologetics Study Bible is supported with 16 Videos feature Sean McDowell with 16 corresponding articles on topical issues. They are available for free right at the Apologetics Study Bible web section for partners.

Additionally, ministry leaders and Christian educators will find the Free Study Downloads to be of interest. The study downloads delve into deep topical matters that address arguments that students are not always fully prepared to answer when faced with the culture at large. Each study guide includes an article, discussion prompts, and a brief resource bibliography. These study guides could form the framework of an introductory Apologetics small group discussion, Christian education class, or course within a homeschooling program. The study guides include:
  • What is Apologetics?
  • The Cosmological Argument
  • The Design Argument
  • The Moral Argument
  • Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Do Miracles Happen?
  • Is the Old Testament Reliable?
  • Is the New Testament Reliable?
  • Is There One True God?
  • Is Jesus the Only Way?
  • Where Did the New Testament Come From?
  • Has Prophecy Been Fulfilled?

Sweepstakes and Giveaway

Friends, I hope you have enjoyed this overview of the Apologetics Study Bible for Students. I would like to invite you to enter to win your own copy of this valued resource. You can enter to win by simply leaving a comment within this blog post letting me know you would like to enter to win. Be sure to provide your email address in case you win. While you are here, feel free to let me know how you are studying the Bible this year. I would love to share conversation!

One winner will be selected the old-fashioned way (random drawing of name from a basket) on Friday, August 21st. The winner has 48 hours to respond and confirm mailing address or another winner will be selected for the prize. US and Canada entrants only please.

Disclaimer and Contest Notes:
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligible verification.

January 26, 2015

Fine Arts in Our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Friends, thank you for joining me here for the fourth and final week of the Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. If this is your first time visiting this series, I would like to invite you to read my previous posts below.

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Week One - Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool
Week Two - Math and Logic in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool
Week Three - Social Studies and Science in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool

This week, participating bloggers are discussing Arts and Beauty.

As with many of our other subjects of study, we intertwine our academic pursuits in a multidisciplinary way. Each subject has an interconnectedness and they overlap in myriad ways. The topic of Fine Arts is rooted within our chronological studies in history. We could take an approach where we disconnected subjects from one another and studied them in separate streams. However, we like to interweave and connect-the-dots with all of our studies in History, Geography, Literature, Philosophy, Science, and the Fine Arts. Charlotte Mason said it best, "Education is the Science of Relations." All of our learning pursuits are interrelated to one another.

Here are a few of the ways we incorporate Fine Arts in our homeschool.

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Exploring Techniques with Documented Life Project 2015

Art Study

We explore various techniques and mediums including sketching, watercolors, painting, paper-crafting, needle-crafting, and other mixed media. We use these art skills in creating our nature study, history, and other notebooks.

Here are a few of my favorite homeschool companies, resources, and blogs for art studies.

See the Light
-They have fabulous art instruction videos!

Harmony Fine Arts
-Great resource for art and artists study.

Deep Space Sparkle
-The tutorials on this site are inspiring and practical. We are going to try the Winter Bird Art soon!

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Art Study at Freedom Scholars Academy

Picture Study

We study artists and their works in correlation with our chronological studies in history. We explore a series of each artist's significant works. We experience similar styles and specific techniques used by artists through reproducing their work as an art project. Our research of artists is logged in our Book of Centuries Timeline.

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We study art and music with History Revealed by Diana Waring!
Each unit of World Empires, World Missions, World Wars curriculum in the History Revealed series by Diana Waring provides us with ideas for studies and projects. Phase Three of each unit is the Hands-On Week. We explore art and artists, music and composers, art projects, culinary arts, and other cultural interests within the historical context of our time period of study. We typically follow the rhythm of studies within History Revealed but sometimes we explore other artists that spark an interest. I keep a basket of art cards in our dining room. These art cards are reproductions of famous paintings throughout history. We can look at them for enjoyment, research particular artists, and use the cards for reproduction art projects.

Composer Study

We study composers and their works to correspond with our chronological studies in history. We research the lives of various composers, listen to their significant works, and expand our musical experiences. We attend performances at area universities and local symphonies. Our research of composers is logged in our Book of Centuries Timeline.

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Singing and Music Instruction

In past years, we participated in our community choir and received lessons in music instruction. At this time, our formal choir and music instruction is on hold until the coming fall months.
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A Christmas Carol - 2015

Theatrical Arts

We study theater and the dramatic arts and participate in local productions. Last fall, our daughter participated in two main productions, Porridge and A Christmas Carol.
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A Christmas Carol - 2015

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Porridge - 2015 Production
Our local homeschooling co-op has two levels of drama groups. This fall our daughter was part of the Junior Drama Troupe with Sara Horner and Lana Ranahan. These talented ladies, along with a dedicated support team of homeschooling cast members and families, put on the Porridge production in November. It is an incredible blessing to be a part of a local homeschooling community!

Additionally, as part of our theatrical arts studies, we attend area theatrical performances. We are blessed to live in a region with several universities and theater companies.

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Freedom Scholars Academy projects for architecture.


We study introductory architecture concepts with our chronological studies in history. We build models of historical buildings with Lego bricks, wooden blocks, and other building materials. We watch documentaries and read books on the architecture of historical structures.

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The crew loves the Lego store!
Do you ever use Lego bricks in homeschooling? We use them almost daily! We are saving up to get the Lego Architecture Studio to use with some of our studies.

Friends, how do you incorporate Fine Arts into your homeschooling schedule?

Please be sure to visit the other blogging friends participating in the Virtual Curriculum Fair!

The Art of Organization…or How Clutter Almost Ruined My Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
The Shadow of Divine Perfection by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Relaxed Homeschooling: Fine Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Fine Arts {Art Appreciation, Art, Composer Study Hymn Study} for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Adding Sparkle to Home Education by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
And All the Extras by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Teaching Art Using the Bible by Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Art In Every Subject by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Letting Art Just Happen in Homeschool by Amy @ One Blessed Mamma
Missing Art? by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
Do YOU Have Time for Extracurriculars? by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays
Fine Arts in Our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm
The Science of Beauty for a Delight-Directed Daughter by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
Seeking Beauty: How we Tackle the Arts in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Learning To Appreciate Beauty With Fine Arts Resources@ As We Walk Along the Road by Leah@ As We Walk Along the Road
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