What is Apologetics?

- Written by Shawn Hayes

Apologetics comes from the Greek word “apologia” which means to give a reason or defense. Christian apologetics is the discipline that deals with giving a rational defense for the historic Christian faith. There are various types of arguments offered by Apologist: philosophical arguments, such as those used in defending the existence of God; historical arguments, such as those offered for the historicity of Jesus or in the reliability of the Old and New Testament Scriptures; and evidential arguments that examines certain events such as the resurrection of Christ and fulfilled prophecy.

Why do Apologetics?

Why is apologetics necessary? Shouldn’t we just tell people about Jesus and share with them how they can become a Christian? Well, that sounds easy enough, but it presupposes that there is something good and worthwhile about following Jesus versus me. You might say “Shawn, now you’re being silly, YOU didn’t raise from the dead, YOU are not sinless, YOU are not the Messiah who is fully God and fully man who died for the sins of the world.” To this, I would say you are absolutely correct and this illustrates my point exactly. In order to establish this, we have presupposed that TRUTH is knowable and that it accurately corresponds to reality; that there is a GOD, MIRACLES are possible, HISTORY is knowable, The BIBLE is true, and that there exists some fundamental principles of LOGIC that can help us make sense of all this.

Today more than ever, Truth is introduced as being relative, God, as irrational, and the Bible, as being irrelevant.

Why do Apologetics?

  1. Because it is not only important to know WHAT you believe, but also WHY you believe it.
  2. Because the more you know about God, the more intimate in your relationship you will grow with him.
  3. Because God commands it. The most important reason we should do apologetics is because God said we should. 1 peter 3:15 tells us that we should “set apart Christ in our hearts as Lord, and Always be ready to give an answer to every man that ask us the reason for the hope that is in us. But do this with gentleness and respect.” See also Jude 3; Philippians 1:7; Titus 1:9; 2 Cor. 10:5
  4. Because the world needs it. The world has good questions, and we have great answers.

Apologetics is the work of pre-evangelism which seeks to demolish the strongholds that hinder belief in Christ, present a rational basis for faith in Christ, and answer objections of unbelief. However compelling the arguments for the historic Christian faith are, it is the work of the Holy Spirit that saves. Apologetics provides reasons to believe that God exists, but no argument is sufficient for belief in God. That is the Work of the Holy Spirit.




Article Summary
Christian apologetics is the discipline that seeks to present a rational defense for faith in Christ, answer objections of unbelief, and help to remove strongholds that hinder belief in Christ,