The Importance of Apologetics

by Scott Olson

Apologetics is not, as it might sound, apologizing for one’s faith. Rather, the word apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia, which means a defense of one’s opinions or beliefs. If theology is the study of what one believes about God, then apologetics is the study of why one believes what they believe about God. If this is what we mean by apologetics, then all Christians are apologists! We all have some reason why we are Christians. The important questions are: what are those reasons, and are they any good?

I do not mean to say that one needs argument or evidence to be rational in holding to their Christianity. Chances are, the reason many of us are Christians is due to a personal experience with the risen Christ and the inner witness of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us. Obviously, this is not an argument per se in the sense of it being a set of propositions leading logically to a conclusion. However, as the Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued, this inner witness of the Holy Spirit can act as the warrant for one’s belief in Christianity1. And if this is the reason for your belief, then this is your apologetic!

I think there are at least 5 reasons that every Christian needs to be doing apologetics…

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The Importance of Apologetics