Apologetics: What it is and why the church needs it

by Dwight Stanislaw

cslewisFrom the Greek word apologia (ἀπολογία), meaning a defense, apologetics is the discipline of Christian theology which intends to establish and defend the many truth claims of Christianity. Apologetics aims to strengthen and affirm the faith of Christians, present Christian truths to non-Christians, and provide an evaluation of the relationship of Christian doctrines to other truths about the world around us. Apologetics involves philosophy, science, and both revealed and natural theology while typically centering on building a positive case for the Christian faith through rational justification or defending it against various objections.

With the recent influx of popular-level books published in support of atheism and the increasingly secular post-Christian society being built in the West, apologetics plays a crucial role in providing Christianity a fair hearing in the marketplace of worldviews. From casual water cooler conversations on the job to the intellectual discussions reverberating through the halls of academia, individuals who employ apologetics will help transform the minds of those with whom they engage and improve the way Christian intellectualism is perceived in the public arena.

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Since its inception and throughout history, Christianity has had the task of evangelizing non-Christians through various means in order to convince them of its truth claims and defend itself against detractors or those promoting competing worldviews. From Jesus Christ Himself and Paul the Apostle, to Augustine, Aquinas, Locke, and Descartes, apologetics has been an indispensable piece of the theological framework of early Christianity. While the arguments for and against Christianity have evolved since, the need for apologetics remains the same…


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