What is Apologetics?
According to Christian philosopher Dick Sztanyo, “Apologetics is the proclamation and defense of the gospel of Christ regardless of whenever, wherever, and by whomever it is challenged.” Originally, apologetics meant to take a position in the defense of a person, cause, institution, or law that was being attacked. For this very reason, the Apostle Paul writes, “2Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4 NASB
The apostle Peter used apologetics to defend the empty tomb incident on the day of Pentecost. The apostle Paul used apologetics invasively and verbosely against emerging and surging contemporary Gnosticism, Mysticism, Stoicism and whole host of mythologies of the first century BC. One of the Gospel writers, Luke wrote the gospel of Luke to defend what Christians believe and what they are all about. Jesus himself used apologetics during his earthly ministry when he had exclusive proclamation about who he really was.
Early church fathers like Iraeneus, Justin Martyr, Augustine of Hippo, and so on used apologetics as an ministry tool fight against false teachings. So, the term “apologetics” does not carry any negative connotations of “apologizing” for doing something wrong. In contrary, the term bears the heavy burden of intellectual vindication by defending the truth through pure rational argument with gentleness, grace, and love of Christ.