Apologetics is defined as the whole of the consensus of the views of those who defend a position in an argument of long standing. The term comes from the Greek word apologia (απολογία), meaning a speaking in defense.
Thanks to the English language, "apology" has two meanings:
1.) An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.
2.) A formal justification, explanation or defense.
Early Christian writers (circa 120-220 AD) who defended their faith against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders were called apologists which has a loose relationship to the title Apostle which was derived from the Greek apostolos meaning "one who is sent on a mission" and conveys an authoritative position.
In modern times, "apologists" refers to authors, writers, editors of scientific logs or academic journals, and leaders known for defending the points in arguments, conflicts or positions that receive great popular scrutinies and/or are minority views.
For more information on Christian Apologetics, Visit the Christian Knowledge Apologetics Training Course.
Now, I can't very well just teach you to have faith or give you love and understanding via download, but what I can do is provide information to handle the knowledge issue. I have put together a list of major worldviews, including major religions, spiritual practices and secular opinions. To jump to a section, please use the Apologetics Menu in the left hand menu panel. The purpose of each main page is to give you a general overview of the opinion as well as some helpful information as it pertains to discussion. Each page will have a link to the appropriate discussion forum where we can discuss particular viewpoints and opinions.
Remember, above all else, effective apologetics is based on respect. Below is a few types of arguments to avoid:
Circular Arguments: a circular argument is one which, by definition, goes round and says nothing more than a restated premise. In essence it doesn't contain a conclusion or work towards one, but simply rewords an opening statement. For example:
Premise 1: The Bible is the Word of God.
Premise 2: The Bible says that God exists.
Conclusion: Therefore God exists.
We may believe the argument to be true (I certainly do), but it is not going to convince a skeptical person. By this same logic a lot of things people have written that are obviously false, must be true.
Ad Hominem: Ad hominem is possibly one of the most damaging argument types to the Christian faith. An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the person" or "argument against the person") is an argument which links the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise. For example:
Argument 1: "You can't believe Bob when he says God exists. He flunked out of High School."
This is not necessarily true, Einstein flunked his entrance examination to Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule, which he had to take because he was lacking the requisite Matura certificate (the equivalent of a High School diploma)... but we believe his claims regarding general relativity because they turned out to be the best explanation for the evidence.
Argument 2: "You can't believe scientists who say that life and the universe are the product of Intelligent Design, they are all just Christians trying to force their agenda."
This is not necessarily true, many scientists who believe in the concept of Intelligent Design were not Christians before following the evidence to this conclusion. Furthermore ALL scientists (in fact all human beings) have an agenda in some form or another...
Argument 3: "You can't trust Muslims, they are all terrorists."
This is by far one of the most fallacious and racist remarks made by many people, Christian and non... The idea that because Osama Bin Laden represents a 4% minority among Muslims in no way applies across the board any more than saying "You can't believe Christians because they all just want your money." This represents two old sayings, one bad apple ruins the bunch and throwing the baby out with the bath water. Most of the Muslims I am in contact with are very kind people, if you think someone is a terrorist without getting to know them, what are the chances you will be willing to witness to them?
Argument 4: "If you believe in God, you must be an idiot."
This argument is used far to often and should be avoided. It has become common practice in debate circles for opponents to Christianity to fall upon ad hominem to attack its credibility, name calling is often the decisive end to many conversations. However, this is not only an atheist arguement; often times Christian's are guilty of using the "if you don't believe in God, you must be an idiot" routine. I urge you to stear clear of this. As Jesus said:
"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire."
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