The Twofold Purpose of Apologetics

by Josh Taylor

Apologetics Defined

Perhaps we should start by defining the word “apologetics”. As they say,  “that’s a pretty big word, like ‘mayonnaise'” that not everyone is going to be familiar with. First of all, apologetics has nothing to do with apologizing for anything, especially the Christian faith. So, let’s get that out of the way right off the bat. The word “apologetics” is derived from the Greek word “apologia” found in 1 Peter 3:15, which admonishes believers always to be ready to make a defense (apologia) to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in them. Christian Apologetics may be loosely defined as a branch of theology that seeks to defend the truth claims of Christianity. For example, a Christian apologist may seek to defend Christianity’s claim that Jesus rose from the dead or, on a more foundational level, that God exists.

Objections to Apologetics

Now many have objected that only a doubting Thomas would need to have their faith defended. Don’t we just take things the existence of God the resurrection of Jesus by faith? To which I reply, “Of course! And Muslims take it by faith that Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet. But what makes your faith any more legitimate than his?” You might want to reply by offering some good reasons why Christianity should be embraced and Islam rejected. But if you do that, well then you’ve engaged in Christian apologetics…
 

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The Twofold Purpose of Apologetics