What is Apologetics?

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There’s a great need to teach apologetics in the church today. It’s one of the reasons people are afraid of questions when they share their faith with others. They may feel unable to answer them. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Apologetics is the study of how to answer the questions others pose about Christianity, God, and the Bible. It comes from the word Peter uses when he talks about giving an explanation why defense of our faith (1 Peter 3:14-16).

Training in apologetics gives us the ability to answer the questions people have about our faith. But it also has the ability to increase our faith. When we research the questions seekers have, it forces us to also know the answers. Not every question can be answered. Sometimes faith is more of an experience than knowing a fact. But facts help seekers to grow closer to accepting Christ.

There are different types of apologetics. Each category focuses on a certain knowledge base. There are probably more than three, but here are the basic ones you may be familiar with:

  1. Logical (Philosophical) Apologetics. This type of apologetics focuses on reasoning and philosophical debate. They explain misconceptions about the Bible, Christianity, and God. Some examples of logical apologists are William Lane Craig and Norman Geisler.
  2. Cultural Apologetics. This type of apologist focuses on cultural and social issues and how Christianity addresses them. They often seek to show how the Bible’s standards deal with today’s issues. One example of a cultural apologist is Ravi Zacharias.
  3. Scientific Apologetics. This type of apologetics focuses on the debates between science and religion. They often deal with how science and Bible mesh or possibly contradict one another. Examples are dealing with creation debates. Frank Turek and Norman Geisler have an excellent book, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist” that deals with science and faith. Hank Hanegraaff sometimes deals with scientific apologetics.

These apologists from the infancy of the church to the present have given us a wealth of information to support our faith in Jesus. Although I have named modern apologists, there have been men and women who have defended the faith since the beginning.

Who’s your favorite apologist? Leave a comment below about your experiences with apologetics and answering questions.

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