Evidential apologetics: What is it?
The term “apologetics” comes from the Greek, apologia, which means “defense.” Apologetics is the systematic study of how one can best defend one’s beliefs. Christian apologetics, specifically, focuses on presenting the core tenets of the Christian faith so as to make a case for their truthfulness and answer objections raised by unbelievers. Simply put, Christian apologetics is offering a defense for what Christians believe.
It is perhaps unsurprising that there should be different approaches to the practice of Christian apologetics. Three common approaches to apologetics are known as classical apologetics, evidential apologetics, and presuppositional apologetics. Here, we will focus on evidential apologetics.
Evidential apologists generally argue for the Christian faith by appealing directly to concrete evidence which supports the truth of basic Christian claims. In this respect, evidential apologetics is very similar to classical apologetics, which relies heavily upon evidence, in addition to fundamental principles of reasoning and philosophy, to make a compelling case for the Christian faith. There is a great deal of evidence which is relevant to the Christian faith. For instance, God has left evidence of His existence throughout creation (e.g., Psalm 19). Moreover, there is a great deal of archaeological and historical evidence for the reliability of Scripture and the historicity of the events it describes, most notably, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The evidential approach to apologetics relies primarily on what can be demonstrated simply and directly, in the form of physical or readily accessible concrete data. It tends to approach things in a very practical manner and appeals to minds which appreciate simplicity and clarity. Because of its direct nature, evidential apologetics can be a tremendously powerful tool for demonstrating the truthfulness of the Christian faith…
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