Apologetics is that aspect of Christian ministry that involves the
intelligent communication of Christian truth in the context of unbelief,
uncertainty, ignorance, and doubt. Our apologia is intricately related
to a number of Christian disciplines (e.g., theology, evangelism) and
plays an essential role in our ability to carry out the task of discipling
all nations. While our apologetic efforts may take on a number of
different forms (e.g., defense, attack, offense), they are,
foundationally, biblical and Christocentric.
Christian apologists often fall within one of two camps,
presuppositionalism or evidentialism. Presuppositionalism emphasizes
the inevitability of human preconceptions and highlights the fact that
Christian proclamation involves a presupposed commitment to the
Bible. Evidentialism, on the other hand, gives more attention to the
various evidences that provide an impetus for Christian faith.
But these two positions are not necessarily irreconcilable. At the
foundational level, believers are presuppositionalists in that we begin
with Christian commitments. It's not that we don't argue various
points with unbelievers; indeed, we should do so vigorously. But
never should the authoritative nature of Christian revelation be minimized
or treated as less-than binding. Jesus' Lordship is our foundational premise and chief motivation.
A presuppositional stance, however, needn't deter us from utilizing
Christian evidences. Even as we seek to uphold and announce the
authoritative nature of the Bible, our arguments are directed at the
human mind and heart. As such, a sound apologetic must clearly
attempt to engage the thoughts and emotions of our hearers, thereby
convincing them of the truthfulness of biblical Christianity.
Of course, Christian apologetics should never be detached from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is to be declared Savior and Lord. Concomitantly, every effort must be made to show the relevance of that which we so confidently announce, as well as the beauty of the One who alone warrants our trust and adoration.
Much can be added to the rational, but if we give up the rational everything will be lost.
Francis A. Schaeffer
Although apologetics is an academic discipline for those called particularly to the gospel ministry, it is not exclusively a professional concern. The ability to give an answer is necessary for every Christian.
Ronald B. Mayers
Apologetics assures the world (and reassures Christians!) that Christianity is deeply attractive, and that it possesses coherence and credibility.
An apologetic is effective only if one's friends, as someone once said, come ‘to scoff but remain to pray’ or at least recognize that a serious word has been spoken, a word that has at least the potential of plausibility about it.
James W. Sire
We should learn, with discernment, from the whole history of apologetics, and we should prayerfully employ our God-given creativity within the bounds of Scripture. Van Til has taught us that every fact reveals God. If that is so, there are vastly many apologetic arguments and tragedies waiting to be formulated.
John M. Frame
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
C. S. Lewis