What is ‘apologetics’?
Mars Hill Church
The word “apologetics” comes from the Greek word apologia, which means “the act of making a defense.” In Philippians 1:7, 16, apologia refers to a defense of the gospel, and in 1 Peter 3:15 it refers to a defense of the hope Christians have.
Apologetics is “an activity of the Christian mind which attempts to show that the gospel message is true in what it affirms. An apologist is one who is prepared to defend the message against criticism and distortion, and to give evidences of its credibility.”
Option #1: Defending Christian belief
One form of apologetics is to defend the gospel from challenges. Defensive apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith by showing when objections to Christianity do not stand. Defensive apologetics addresses objections about the concept of God’s triunity, the problem of evil, the Resurrection, the reliability of the Bible, and so forth.
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For example, negative apologetics is used to rebut the claim that the doctrine of the Trinity “is an Error in counting or numbering; which, when stood in, is of all others the most brutal and inexcusable.” Negative apologetics will show that the doctrine of the Trinity is at least possibly true.
Another example is to defend against the charge that the Bible contains errors, contradictions, or inconsistencies. To give answers to the challenges that Jesus rose from the dead is also defensive apologetics.
Option #2: Giving reasons to believe
Another form of apologetics is to offer reasons to believe the gospel. Positive apologetics is the use of arguments and evidences to demonstrate the viability of the Christian faith. Apologetics intends to show, in a positive manner, that the claims of the Christian faith are indeed intellectually defensible and rationally justifiable…
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