Apologetics By Any Other Name

“What’s apologetics?” That may be the first question you hear from people who are not familiar with the discipline of giving a rational defense of the Christian faith.

And even if someone does understand the meaning of the word, the actual word “apologetics” may carry with it some negative baggage. For instance, some equate apologetics with being argumentative, being overly intellectual, or being too philosophical.

For this reason, it’s often useful to simply bypass the word altogether. Why start with a stumbling block? Instead, apologetics can be referred to as defending the faith. Or maybe giving good reasons. Or answering tough questions. The list goes on…

And so here’s a growing list of alternative words or phrases for apologetics. Feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments below.

  • defending Christianity
  • the defense of the faith
  • thinking through the issues
  • being thoughtful about your convictions
  • being thoughtful about the faith
  • critically examining Christian truth
  • contending for the faith
  • answering the tough questions
  • examining worldviews
  • studying Christian defenses
  • handling tough issues
  • answering skeptics
  • discussing your convictions
  • pre-evangelism
  • persuasive evangelism
  • showing Christianity is true
  • giving good answers
  • asking the big questions
  • evaluating the evidence
  • answering questions; questioning answers
  • making the case for faith
  • defending and confirming the Gospel
  • showing why Christianity is true
  • reasoning with unbelievers
  • searching for truth

Perhaps some combination of these sorts of words or phrases are more self-explanatory and helpful for those who are unfamiliar with apologetics as a discipline. Share your tips!

Written by

Brian Auten is the founder emeritus of Apologetics315. He is also director of Reasonable Faith Belfast. Brian holds a Masters degree in Christian Apologetics and has interviewed over 150 Christian apologists. His background is in missions, media direction, graphic design, and administration. Brian started Apologetics315 in 2007 to be an apologetics hub to equip Christians to defend the faith.

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The mission of Apologetics 315 is to provide educational resources for the defense of the Christian faith, with the goal of strengthening the faith of believers and engaging the questions and challenges of other worldviews.

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