School of Divinity
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Apologetics, Christ-Centered, World View
Christianity | Other Religion | Practical Theology | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Harris, Gordon, "The Central Event View of Human History Model (CEM): An Apologetic for a Christ-Centered Christian View of Human History" (2017). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1412.
Thesis: The Central Event view of human history is the only sufficient view of human history. The Central Event (CE) view of human history is a view of human history that holds that a single, Central event within human history possessed certain aspects and characteristics at such a level that, when it occurred, all of human history, both before, during, and after, were forever impacted. The impact of the Central Event was so great and complete, that it defined how humankind is to view and understand all of human history. The event that the CE view declares is the Central event of all of human history is the Christ Event. The Christ Event encompasses the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Working with the CE view of human history as its foundation, this study has developed the Central Event Teaching Model (CEM) for Christian apologists. The objectives of the CEM include 1) creating an awareness within the Christian apologetic community of the importance of identifying the types of views of human history that are prevalent in our world today, 2) equipping Christian apologists with a tool to help them share the Central Event view in a concise and effective way, and 3) meeting a deep spiritual need that is present in our world today. The first chapter is a literature review of the key contributing voices that the CEM model has used for its foundation and support. The most impactful of all these voices is that of Wolfhart Pannenberg. However, other significant voices include David Bebbington, Arnold Toynbee, G. Ernest Wright, and Rolf Rendtorff. The second chapter examines three alternative views of human history. These include the Cyclical (CY), Human Progress (HP), and Relativistic (RL) views of human history. The goal of this examination will be to demonstrate the various reasons why this study has found these views of human history to be insufficient. The third chapter will examine the Central Event (CE) view of human history. The task of this chapter will be to examine what this study has labelled God Events, and what it is about these God Events that enable them to be worthy foundational elements for the CE view of human history. The fourth chapter will continue the examination of the CE view of human history, and God Events, but it will focus on the one Event that the CE view holds to be the Central Event of human history. This Central Event, again, encompasses the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The final chapter of this study includes the Central Event Teaching Model (CEM) for Christian apologists. This model will include 17 specially created diagrams that will serve to help explain and teach the CEM to Christian apologists, while also providing for them illustrative tools then can use to employ the CEM in their own apologetic efforts.