Apologetics can be
defined in numerous ways all having the same meaning. The first definition is
the art of explaining the faith in such a way as to make a reasoned defense
against its detractors. Secondly apologetics is giving a reasoned defense of
Christian truth-claims, in particular of the authenticity of the Bible and the
deity and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And thirdly According to Ronald S.
Wallace, apologetics can be formally defined as “the use of theology in order
to justify Christianity before men, in the claims it makes to be ultimate
truth, in the demands it makes on its followers, and in its universal mission.
“The task of Christian apologetics is to identify misbeliefs and remove them as
obstacles to faith. The goal is to compel unbelievers to re-evaluate their
anti-Christian assumptions in light of the evidence for the veracity of
Christianity.”Christian thinkers have debated the role of apologetics particularly as
to its function in leading people to faith in Christ. Some have concluded that
the primary purpose of apologetics is not evangelism but rather a strengthening
of believers. Others say that Christian apologetics can be an instrument of God
for ushering unbelievers into the kingdom. “R. C. Sproul explains, apologetics
demonstrates “why Christians are Christians and why non-Christians should be
Christians.”2 The apologetic job
description is to communicate Christian truths to non-Christians in such a way
that they will listen; the goal is always evangelistic—to lead non-Christians
to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Apologetics is not preaching. But
apologetics does clear the way for the proclamation of the Christian message.
The foremost purpose of apologetics is to bring glory to God by honoring
and serving His Son, Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul tells us that “whatever you
do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).(NKJV) Elsewhere he adds,
“whatever you do in word or deed. The primary apologetics text in Scripture is
1 Peter 3:15: “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to
make a defense [Greek: apologia] to everyone who asks you to give an
account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (NkJV)
Gangel, vol. 5, Acts, Holman New Testament Commentary; Holman Reference
(Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 378-79.
2 R. C.
Sproul, John Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley, Classical Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan,