Proving the Existence of Apologetics

By Chris Talbot

Shortly after my conversion, I became enamored with apologetics, like many Christians my age. I would drive twenty minutes to the nearest Christian bookstore to survey their shelves in the hope of finding a new volume to catch my eye.

As a sixteen-year-old, I remember purchasing and reading through Josh McDowell’s 743-page tome Evidence for Christianity. I was hooked. I knew I had confidence in my newfound faith, but I wanted more proof as to why it was viable and believable. I wanted my friends and family to believe as strongly as I did in Jesus Christ.

Now, nearly twice that age, I view apologetics from a slightly different perspective. I have the wonderful opportunity to teach an apologetics course at Welch College, which is always a highlight of my fall semesters. And while I still love to read books on the topic, I’m not as eager to scan the local bookstore for books on apologetics.

At first blush, you may think that my desire to defend and proclaim the faith has waned. I assure you that this is not the case. Instead, my understanding of apologetics has changed over time. Whereas I used to think apologetics could be learned only from a professional apologist, I now think differently.

In many ways, I now approach apologetics more broadly. It seems that everywhere I turn, there are new, helpful ways to defend the faith, but they don’t always fall under the traditional category of apologetics.

Where does apologetics fit within the catalog of academic disciplines? Is apologetics its own specialized discipline, able to live apart from other areas of study? Or as Cornelius Van Til asked, “Is there, then, no place for apologetics?”[1] This article will consider these important questions…

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