Sara Lee Harris



MARCH 26, 2014


First Place Miranda Hall

Second Place Asa Rentschler

Third Place Camille Floyd


First Place Michael Tant

Second Place Hannah Hubin

Third Place Charlotte Myhre


About the Competition

This special oratorical contest for Tennessee Home Education Association (THEA) members, sponsored by THEA,, and Christian Communicators of Tennessee, CCT,, is named for a home school Grandmother, now in heaven, who was passionate about her faith, loved to study God’s Word and to share her Christian faith. Her family contributed the prize money which will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in both the Senior Division and Junior Division on RallyDay.

As in past years the two divisions, Senior Varsity and Junior Varsity, will participate in Oratory Contests with different rules and guidelines specific to each group. Junior Varsity division students contest is entitled an Apologetics Worldview Speech and the Senior Varsity division contest is entitled a Platform Apologetics Speech Competition. The rules and guidelines are appropriate to each age group. The first place, second & third place winners are awarded a cash prize and the first place winners of each division also earn the privilege of presenting their Speech on the platform in the War Memorial Auditorium on Rally Day.

Age Categories

The Senior Division is for students age 13-19.

The Junior Division is for students, ages 8-12.

JUNIOR DIVISION: A Worldview Apologetics Oratory Competition

The Junior Division Contest is a Worldview Apologetics Speech Competition. To compete in this Contest, Junior Division students will prepare a 3-minute maximum speech. It can be a scaled down version of their 5-minute Worldview Apologetics Speech prepared for the Tournaments, as the choice of questions are exactly the same.

Read more about the Worldview Apologetics Speech event HERE. The Worldview Apologetics Speech Competition deals with issues of faith. The goal of this Speech is to motivate students to study their Christian faith and be prepared to articulate a defense of what they believe. Junior Division students prepare a 3-minute maximum speech on one of the topics listed below.

JV Apologetics questions/topics for 2012-2013

Choose one question to answer in your Speech or one statement to respond to:

1. How do I know that Jesus actually rose from the dead?

2. Who is God? And what are some of his characteristics?

3. There are 7 billion other people in the world. Why would God care about me?

4. Why am I here? And what is my purpose in life?

5. How does being a Christian affect my everyday life?

NOTE: The questions for the Apologetics event are the same ones used for our Tournaments. Read more about the Worldview Apologetics Speech event HERE.

SENIOR DIVISION: A Platform Apologetics Speech Competition

To compete in this Contest, Senior Division students will prepare an 8-minute maximum Platform Apologetics Speech. Learn more about the Platform Apologetics Speech from the Ballots and the Judge’s Worksheet on the CCT web site. Instructions to locate these are below.

Like the Junior Division, the questions for the Senior Division Platform Apologetics Speech are the same ones used for the tournaments. As the choice of questions is exactly the same, this Sara Lee Harris Platform Apologetics Speech is also a scaled down version of the 10 minute Platform Apologetics Speech for tournaments. So it is an 8-minute version of the 10-minute Speech prepared for tournament competition.

This Senior Varsity Speech must be based on one of the 39 questions listed below.

Senior Varsity Apologetics questions/topics for 2012-2013

Please choose one question to answer in your Speech or one statement to respond to:


1. In what ways has God revealed Himself to man?

2. If God is real, why can’t people see or touch Him?

3. If God is holy, why did He allow sin in the world?

4. How can god be both merciful and just?

5. Open theology states that God is constantly changing and growing with His creation. Respond to this idea.

6. Why is the unchanging nature of God essential to who He is? 7. Where did God come from?

Category 2: SCRIPTURES

1. Jesus clearly demonstrated His belief in the authority of Scripture. Defend this statement with evidence.

2. If the Bible was written by men, how could it also be written by God?

3. How can the Bible be trustworthy when it has been translated so many times?

4. What is the foundation for accurate Bible translation?

5. Provide evidence for the historical accuracy of the Bible?

6. Does it matter whether the entire Bible isn’t true? Can we accept some parts of it and not others?

7. How can an “infallible” book come from fallible men?

8. Why should the Bible be trusted if it is full of contradictions?


1. Do all men have a longing for God?

2. Do all men have a conscience?

3. If God is invisible (1 Timothy 1:17), how can man be made in the image of God?

4. If man is inherently sinful, why do most men lead relatively good lives?

5. What is the purpose of man?

6. What is the destiny of man?

7. Why would a loving God create Hell?

8. What is the essential duty of man?

9. What is meant by the “Fall of Man”, and how does it impact man’s relationship with God?


1. How can a man know God?

2. Can a man become right with God by keeping the Ten Commandments?

3. Isn’t it narrow-minded to believe there is only one way to Heaven?

4. Why does man need salvation?

5. What does it mean to be adopted as a child of God?

6. Can a Christian have assurance of his salvation?


1. Why is the Resurrection essential to the Christian faith?

2. If God is infinite, how could He limit Himself in the person of Christ?

3. The Bible presents Jesus as both God and man. Why is this central to the Christian faith?

4. Why did Jesus have to die to provide salvation for men?

5. What evidence is there for the historical existence of Jesus?

6. How do we know that Jesus really died? Didn’t He just swoon on the cross and then become revived in the coolness of the cave where they buried Him?

7. What evidence is there for the resurrection of Jesus?

8. Did Jesus attain deity by His sacrificial death, or was He God from the beginning?

9. If Jesus is God, what did Jesus mean by, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”


The Awards schedule for the Sara Lee Harris Worldview Oratory Contest is:

Senior Division:

1st place-$500

2nd place-$200

3rd place-$125

Junior Division:

1st place-$100

2nd place-$50

3rd place-$25

How to Participate in the Sara Lee Harris Worldview Oratory Contest:

Submit Your Speeches Electronically

To enter the Sara Lee Harris Worldview Oratory Contest, the students’ family must be a member of THEA through their local chapter.To join THEA and be eligible to compete, please go to the THEA web site: Then click on THEA Chapters at the top or on the Organizations Tab in the left hand column, and then select the area of the state in which you live. Contact your local chapter of THEA to join.

Students must e-mail their typed speech to THEA at these e-mail addresses: and carbon copied to

The speech can be an attachment to your e-mail in the form of a WORD document or simply typed into the body of your e-mail.

Please type “Sara Lee Harris Oratory Contest” in the subject line, so we don’t overlook your speech!

Your speeches must be submitted to THEA by midnight on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013. We are not requiring audio copies of your speeches, only e-mailed submissions. Be sure to send it to us by midnight on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013!

Judging Criteria

The criteria judges will use in evaluating both the Junior and Senior Division Sara Lee Harris Apologetics Speeches include an analysis of the content of the Speech.

Questions about your speech content include:

• Did the student adhere to the topic?

• Did the student support assertions with outside evidence?

• Did the student properly cite sources?

• Most importantly, did the student provide a biblical basis for their position?

The judges will also evaluate the Apologetics speeches by whether their defense is logical and well-reasoned. This is not primarily a devotional speech, but a well-reasoned, logical defense of a Biblical position.

Organization and Analysis evaluation includes these criteria:

• Did the student relate a clear thesis statement?

• Did the student demonstrate a thorough, working knowledge of their topic, of Scripture and other sources?

• Did the student appropriately use analysis and reasoning, presenting a logical, well-reasoned flow of ideas?

Note: Failure to address the topic is, of course, a major flaw in the Sara Lee Harris Worldview Oratory Contest and can result in disqualification of the Speech.

More specific details on the judging criteria can be found by looking over the CCT Ballots & Judge’s Worksheets for the SV Platform Apologetics and the JV Worldview Apologetics Speech and the on the CCT web site:

For Senior Varsity Platform Apologetics Ballot & Judge’s Worksheet, follow these instructions:

• At the top of the CCT HOME page, click on Speech/Debate Events

• Scroll down to Senior Varsity Speech

• On the SV Speech page, scroll down to PLATFORM events

• In the right column, click on the PA Ballot and the PA Judge’s Worksheet to read about the specific judging criteria for this event

• Don’t forget that this SLH speech is ONLY 8 minutes in length, NOT 10 minutes!

For Junior Varsity Worldview Apologetics Ballot & Judge’s Worksheet, follow these instructions:

• At the top of the CCT HOME page, click on Speech/Debate Events

• Scroll down to Junior Varsity Speech.

• On the JV Speech page, scroll down to the WORLDVIEW APOLOGETICS Speech.

• The first speech on the left is the Worldview Apologetics, click on the JVWA Ballot and the JVWA Judge’s Worksheet to read about the specific judging criteria for this event.

• Don’t forget that this SLH speech is ONLY 3 minutes in length, NOT 5 minutes!

NOTE: Judging criteria on our ballots regarding vocal and physical delivery will obviously not be used for either the JV or the SV SLH speeches.