Defending, Equipping, and Contending for the Christian Faith
Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, “speaking in defense”) is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of information. Early Christian writers who defended their faith against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders were called apologists.
Paul, the Apostle employs the term apologia in his trial speech to Festus and Agrippa when he says “I make my defense” (Acts 26:2). A cognate term appears in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians as he is “defending the gospel” (Philippians 1:7 & 16), and in 1 Peter 3:15 believers must be ready to give an “answer” for their faith. The word also appears in the negative in Romans 1:20: unbelievers are αναπολόγητοι (anapologētoi) (without excuse, defense, or apology) for rejecting the revelation of God in creation.
Christian apologetics combines Christian theology, natural theology, and philosophy to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, to defend the faith against objections and misrepresentation, and to expose error within other religions and world views.
Christian apologetics has taken many forms over the centuries. Christian apologists employ a variety of philosophical and formal approaches, including ontological, cosmological, and teleological arguments. Many Christian apologists also note, however, that the Gospel is the best defense and living a life according to the tenets of Jesus’ teachings is the best argument. One Christian apologist believes that “the best argument is one that is made without words.”