Is the place of apologetics in contemporary Christian theology and ministry changing?

Apologetics, within the modern evangelical framework, is understood as a reasoned defense of the coherence and intellectual validity of Christian faith and belief. It tends to draw upon “worldview” language and usually involves an active comparison of religious, philosophical, and ethical frameworks. Apologetics is usually considered an evangelistic enterprise, though one characterized by cerebral discussions. The “target” of apologetic practice is normally an intellectually sophisticated non-Christian, agnostic or atheist.

When talking about apologetics, the question usually arises regarding how many non-Christians are “converted” to Christianity through an apologetic dialogue. A common concession one hears is that apologetics often ends up being more about strengthening and encouraging the faith of Christian believers than winning and converting new ones. In either case, whether it is for the evangelism of unbelievers or for the discipleship of the converted, apologetics—even as traditionally practiced—can be fruitful and positive.

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