What in the world are Christian apologetics?
No, I'm not sorry I'm a Christian! The term "apologetics" comes from the Greek word "apologia" which means "a defense or justification". Christian apologetics is the field that offers thoughtful answers to the tough questions people ask about the claims of Christianity.
Why do we even need apologetics? No one ever got argued into the kingdom of heaven.
It's remarkable, really, how often I encounter this objection to apologetics. You would think the New Testament book of Acts doesn't chronicle the successful apologetic work of the Apostle Paul as he travels from synagogue to synagogue, debating the Jews and giving them good reasons to place their faith in Christ! Aside from the Apostle Paul's example however, there are other compelling reasons to add apologetics to our evangelistic tool belt.
Apologists believe that reality is iconoclastic --reality in its clearest, truest form has the power to shatter idols. When we truly understand the reality of God's goodness and love for us, our idols begin to crumble.
The work of the apologist then, is not always confrontational--it is often a shoulder-to-shoulder activity. The Christian apologist steps alongside people and begins to strip away any doubts or misconceptions that distort their vision of the reality of God's love by giving good answers to tough questions. Apologists invite others to, "Come step into my joy! Taste and see that God is good!" It's pretty tough to worship false gods when you've tasted the goodness of the one true God.
My goal as a Christian apologist is to invite others to step into my joy in Christ. I want to give them thoughtful answers to their questions. I want to challenge them to explore the knock-your-socks-off kind of life that Christ offers. And I want to help other Christians do the same. Because I'm convinced that the Truth sets people free.