The words “apologist” and “apologetics” stem from the Greek word apologia. This word means “defense” or “answer.” It appears 17 times as either a noun or verb in the New Testament—including 1 Peter 3:15-16:

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (NIV)

Although we have made Christian apologetics its own area of scholarly expertise, we are still held accountable to be prepared to give an answer. Not all of us will write lengthy books like Lee Strobel or give mind-blowing presentations like Ravi Zacharias. But, we can all do our part to soak up the knowledge of these apologists, learning to share this information with those we come in contact with.

Plus, who wouldn’t want to be able to answer someone’s questions about the “reason for the hope that you have”?



There are differing opinions of the function of apologetics, but these four are typically taught in apologetics courses and books.


Presenting proof for the Christian faith requires philosophical, scientific, and historical evidence. Through positive statements, we can show how Christianity is the true worldview.


When other world views present doubts, questions, criticisms, and objections to Christianity, we can defend the faith. In order to do this well, we have to first know the opponent’s argument and then provide information on how Christianity can answer the questions presented.


Although this function doesn’t necessarily prove Christianity to be true, it is still important. Refutation is the system of disproving opposing world views. If we only know why Christianity is true, not knowing why other options are false, then we may easily be swayed toward universalism.


We can’t convince people to become Christians. This requires the work of the Holy Spirit! But we can be persuasive, respectful, and heartfelt. We should be willing to recognize that apologetics isn’t about winning an argument, but about opening the minds of non-believers to the truth of the Gospel and inspiring Christians to find the answers to their doubts. Most importantly, we want the world to know and love Jesus Christ.


Interested in learning the basics of apologetics? Check out The HCSB Apologetics Study Bible Notes on our website. Not only does it provide helpful insights on most verses of the Bible, but it also comes with helpful articles from well-known apologists to get you started.

The CSB Apologetics Study Bible contains all the same information, but is great for CSB-translation fans.

Already a fan of apologetics? Who’s your favorite apologist?


  1. We have our Lord Jesus Christ ‘S word which we do not need man’S wisdom to refute worldly knowledge. We have Bible and study with intention to understand it and pray with earnest. Devil is clever to sway us from truth by making us to think we are well educated . He does not want us to know that The real truth is hidden in Christ Jesus. It was in God’s Right hand and no one knows until Holy Spirit unveiled it.

    • I am confused by what you wrote. Not sure even the point you are making. Could you please clarify?

      • What I think Krishna is saying is, some of us believers think the more we know doctrine the better chance we have of leading a non believer to Christ, maybe? I do know that when a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, doctrine will lead a believer closer to Christ, but when dealing with non believers, love and patience will often work. Being a light and example to our family, friends, neighbors, in laws etc, may sometimes take many, many years of them watching us, how we get along with our spouses, how our kids grow up and how they are as adults, and so on. Most of the time it’s not a “quick fix” or debate that will lead a person but a truly Holy Spirit filled Christian that is filled with Gods love day in and day out that will lead people to Christ!

    • Antonio Rivera Reply

      I have to disagree with you Krishna. God uses the Bible and people to bring people into the Kingdom. God uses many ways to bring us to Him. It helped me to read the Bible and Books by Francis Shaeffer, Dr. Lane Greg, Greg Koukl and others. God grants us Wisdom if we ask Him and with that wisdom we can be part of the process God uses to brings others into the Kingdom. Of course God can just zap a lost person with the knowledge to get saved but instead he uses me and you to lead others to Christ. It is easy to criticize something you do not understand or are not capable of understanding. Apologetics is not for everyone.

  2. Ravi for sure. I own this book. It has been very useful as I study the Word. I have become bolder when people ask controversial questions. I am over 70 and I take this subject very seriously. I no longer remain quiet, unable to answer questions both by believers and unbelievers. The sad thing is that it has caused more problems within my church. I have learned through teaching that most people have little idea of what they actually believe. Church has become a social event for too many so called hrisfians. FhNk Vod for this book.

  3. Debra De Silva Reply

    Dr. Phil Chamberlain out of Langley, BC opened my eyes to this subject, and so graciously and intelligently conveyed the truth about God when asked the difficult questions our culture is posing.

  4. Lin Hutton Reply

    Ironically, I am teaching an Apologetics course in my church right now. Since the Christian Church became a “State Church” under Constantine, for 1700 years we ministers have not felt the need to teach the defense of our faith. However, the rise of Islam and the overt hostility of atheism has created a real need to address the Christian apologetics of the first three centuries. Ordinarily, I would use C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity,” but I am using Nabeel Qureshi’s “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” video and text. Because he approaches Christianity from OUTSIDE the faith, he brings a unique and valuable perspective to the fulfillment of 1 Peter 3:15-18.

  5. Randy Chesnut Reply

    The “Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics”, by Norman L. Geisler is the Tome all other imitators is based on .
    Frank Turek has been mentioned – Norman L. Geisler and him also corroborated on “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” – another fine piece .
    Most of the other guys mentioned earlier use Geisler’s and Turek’s works as bases for their “findings”….

  6. Prabha Prakash Reply

    I’m interested in the subject. I have often been asked about my faith. “Bible a fairy tail “I’ve often been asked.

  7. Irene Ngobeni Reply

    My favorite apologist is Ravi Zacharias. The way he articulates issues is mind-blowing, he opened my eyes to the sphere of Christian apologetic.
    The testimony of Nabeel Qureshi opened my eyes to the reality of evangelizing in d way Dr David Wood did.
    There’s really more we can do for the body of Christ, and apologetics is d way to go.

Write A Comment