What Is Apologetics?

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The meaning of the word Apologetics comes from the Greek apologia which means a "defense" or "answer." Christian apologetics is the body of knowledge that defends the philosophical, historical and doctrinal truth of true Christianity against attacks by others who possess (usually) a very different belief system.

Apologetics attempts to respond to questions or assaults on Christianity using rational and logical arguments, rather than ones based on faith alone. Some of the questions tackled include the following. Who is God? Is the Bible the word of God? Can miracles happen? Is the theory of evolution true? Why does a good Creator allow evil to exist? Did the doctrines in the New Testament come from paganism? Can God tell a lie if he wanted to?

Apologetics routinely makes rational arguments for God's existence, such as the famous five proofs the great Catholic theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas gave near the beginning of his "Summa Theologica." It may also deal with specific attacks on various doctrines, such as whether Jesus is God (and not just the Son of God).

There are many books on defending Christianity and it beliefs that are available to the public. Some of the leading writers of Christian apologetics include the following (along with books they have written).

Still other excellent books on apologetics include the following.

Why should Christians be somewhat proficient in apologetics? Why should they be grounded in defending the word of God? There are many Biblical skeptics in the world who attack the idea that God exists or who argue against what the Bible teaches. Believers would do well to be able to offer rational replies to such criticisms so that they can "encourage with sound doctrine and to convict those who are gainsayers" (Titus 1:11). See our section on Christian apologetics for books in this regard!

List of All Terms in
Dictionary of Biblical Words

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