What Christian apologetics is and is not

By Stephen J Bedard

Much of the opposition to apologetics is not from non-Christians who are offended by attempts to make Christianity seem rational, but by Christians who misunderstand the purpose of apologetics.

When I talk to atheists who say that there is no God, I ask them what kind of God do they not believe in. It may be that I don’t believe in that God either. When Christians say they don’t believe in apologetics, I would suggest asking what type of apologetics they don’t believe in.

Before suggesting that Christians should or should not embrace apologetics, it may be helpful to discuss what apologetics is and what it is not. Let’s start with what apologetics is not.

Apologetics is not

Apologetics is not about achieving certitude on every matter of theology.

Apologetics is not about eliminating all trace of mystery within the Christian faith.

Apologetics does not prove that God exists or any other theological claim.

Apologetics is not meant to bully a seeker or skeptic into becoming a Christian.

Apologetics is not about establishing an intellectual faith lacking any emotional elements.

Apologetics does not seek to stop asking questions or expressing doubts.

Apologetics does not ignore the importance of experience.

If that is what apologetics is not, then what exactly is apologetics?…

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What Christian apologetics is and is not | Christian Week