Apologetics Starter Guide
Tips and wisdom for defending the faith
WHAT is Apologetics?
From Apologia (ἀπολογία), a Greek court-room term for one's “case” or “defense,”
WHY do Apologetics?
Some Christians need to see a case for apologetics itself. This is usually because of one or more of these misunderstandings:
• “It is quarrelsome”
• “It infringes on faith”
• “It credits men, not God”
• “It is 'worldly-wisdom'”
• “It does not work”
Contrast them with the Biblically compelling reasons to learn and practice apologetics:
• To obey God
• To serve non-believers
• To serve believers
• To build your confidence
• To love truth
HOW does one do Apologetics?
Apologetics has also been called pre-evangelism because of the role it plays in preparing non-believers to receive the gospel. When being used in this capacity there is a wisdom half and knowledge half to doing apologetics.
The wisdom half
• Rule #2: Stick to strategic priorities. Identify unproductive topics and how to move as efficiently as possible to convincing someone to seriously consider the gospel.
• Rule #3: Stick to respected arguments. Learn to resist making your own arguments, and how to separate the wheat from the chaff in picking which popular arguments to use.
In addition to general wisdom, you need knowledge. Christians must “be prepared to give a reasoned-defense for the hope that is in them” (1 Peter 3:15). Included are three starter kits of the most versatile basic apologetics information to use in the field.
The first kit briefly introduces analytic philosophy, specifically the bare essentials…
• …on logic[Forthcoming]
• …on probability[Forthcoming]
• …on fallacies[Forthcoming]
• …on epistemology (e.g. how knowledge works)[Forthcoming]
The second kit covers strategy and material for supporting and defending…
• …truth's objectivity[Forthcoming]
• …God's existence[Forthcoming]
• …Jesus's resurrection[Forthcoming]
• …other popular topics (Hell, homosexuality, abortion, etc.)[Forthcoming]
• Appendix 1: Responding to different personalty types.[Forthcoming]
• Appendix 2: Common mistakes made by apologists.[Forthcoming]
• Appendix 3: Apologetics and Spirituality.[Forthcoming]
• Appendix 4: A game-plan for sitting down with Mormons.[Forthcoming]
• Appendix 5: A game-plan for sitting down with Jehovah's Witnesses.[Forthcoming]
I encourage everyone pursuing apologetics further to pick up this comprehensive award-winning philosophy textbook: Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (IVP, 2004), by William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland.
- For example, Acts 26:2 -- “I make my defense”; or see a cognate in Romans 1:20, where unbelievers are allegedly “without excuse.”