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Christian apologetics (Greek : ἀπολογία, "verbal defence, speech in defence") is a branch of Christian theology that defends Christianity against objections.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Christian theology is the theology of Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as on Christian tradition. Christian theologians use biblical exegesis, rational analysis and argument. Theologians may undertake the study of Christian theology for a variety of reasons, such as in order to:
Christianity is an Abrahamic Universal religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. It is the worlds largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers or 31.5% of the worlds populations.
Christian apologetics has taken many forms over the centuries, starting with Paul the Apostle in the early church and Patristic writers such as Origen, Augustine of Hippo, Justin Martyr and Tertullian, then continuing with writers such as Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham and Anselm of Canterbury during Scholasticism.
Apologetics is the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through systematic argumentation and discourse. Early Christian writers who defended their beliefs against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders were called Christian apologists. In 21st-century usage, apologetics is often identified with debates over religion and theology.
Paul the Apostle, commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. He took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.
Early Christianity covers the period from its origins until the First Council of Nicaea (325). This period is typically divided into the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene Period.
Blaise Pascal was an active Christian apologist before the Age of Enlightenment. In the modern period Christianity was defended through the efforts of many authors such as G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis, as well as G. E. M. Anscombe.
Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalising the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defence of the scientific method.
The Age of Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, the "Century of Philosophy".
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG, was an English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic. Chesterton is often referred to as the "prince of paradox". Time magazine has observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out."
In contemporary times Christianity is defended through the work of figures such as Robert Barron, Richard Swinburne, J. P. Moreland, Ravi Zacharias, Rabi Maharaj, Robert Hutchinson, John Lennox, Doug Wilson, Lee Strobel, Francis Collins, Henry M. Morris, Hugh W. Nibley, Alister McGrath, Alvin Plantinga, Hugh Ross, Frank Turek, Greg Koukl, James White, David Wood, Dinesh D’Souza, David Bentley Hart, Nabeel Qureshi, William Lane Craig, Ray Comfort, and Roger Scruton.
Robert Emmet Barron is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church currently serving as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is the founder of the Catholic ministerial organization Word on Fire, and was the host of the TV series CATHOLICISM, an award-winning documentary about the Catholic faith, which aired on PBS. Previously, he served as rector at Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Richard G. Swinburne is a British philosopher. He is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. Over the last 50 years Swinburne has been an influential proponent of philosophical arguments for the existence of God. His philosophical contributions are primarily in the philosophy of religion and philosophy of science. He aroused much discussion with his early work in the philosophy of religion, a trilogy of books consisting of The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God, and Faith and Reason.
James Porter Moreland, better known as J. P. Moreland, is an American philosopher, theologian, and Christian apologist. He currently serves as a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University in La Mirada, California.
One of the first comprehensive attacks on Christianity came from the Greek philosopher Celsus, who wrote The True Word , a polemic criticizing Christians as being unprofitable members of society.In response, the church father Origen published his apologetic treatise Contra Celsum , or Against Celsus, which systematically addressed Celsus's criticisms and helped bring Christianity a level of academic respectability. In the treatise, Origen writes from the perspective of a Platonic philosopher, drawing extensively on the teachings of Plato. Contra Celsum is widely regarded by modern scholars as one of the most important works of early Christian apologetics.
Celsus was a 2nd-century Greek philosopher and opponent of early Christianity. He is known for his literary work, On The True Doctrine, which survives exclusively in quotations from it in Contra Celsum, a refutation written in 248 by Origen of Alexandria. On The True Doctrine is the earliest known comprehensive criticism of Christianity. It was written c. 175 to 177, shortly after the death of Justin Martyr, and was probably a response to his work.
The True Word is a lost treatise in which the ancient Greek philosopher Celsus addressed many principal points of Early Christianity and refuted or argued against their validity. In The True Word, Celsus attacked Christianity in three ways; by refuting its philosophical claims, by marking it as a phenomenon associated with the uneducated and lower class, and by cautioning his audience that it was a danger to the Roman Empire. All information concerning the work exists only in the extensive quotations from it in the Contra Celsum written some seventy years later by the Christian Origen. These are believed to be accurate as far as they go, but may not give a fully comprehensive picture of the original work.
Origen of Alexandria, also known as Origen Adamantius, was an early Christian scholar, ascetic, and theologian who was born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria. He was a prolific writer who wrote roughly 2,000 treatises in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and biblical hermeneutics, homiletics, and spirituality. He was one of the most influential figures in early Christian theology, apologetics, and asceticism. He has been described as "the greatest genius the early church ever produced".
Thomas Aquinas presented five ways, or arguments for God's existence, in the Summa Theologica , while his Summa contra Gentiles was a major apologetic work.Blaise Pascal outlined an approach to apologetics in his Pensées : "Men despise religion; they hate it and fear it is true. To remedy this, we must begin by showing that religion is not contrary to reason; that it is venerable, to inspire respect for it; then we must make it lovable, to make good men hope it is true; finally, we must prove it is true."
Saint Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. He is an immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis. The name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio, Italy.
The Summa Theologiae is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas. Although unfinished, the Summa is "one of the classics of the history of philosophy and one of the most influential works of Western literature." It is intended as an instructional guide for theology students, including seminarians and the literate laity. It is a compendium of all of the main theological teachings of the Catholic Church. It presents the reasoning for almost all points of Christian theology in the West. The Summa's topics follow a cycle: God; Creation, Man; Man's purpose; Christ; the Sacraments; and back to God.
The Summa contra Gentiles is one of the best-known treatises by St Thomas Aquinas, written as four books between 1259 and 1265.
Christian apologetics continues in modern times in a wide variety of forms. The Roman Catholics: Bishop Robert Barron, G. K. Chesterton,Ronald Knox, Karl Keating, Michael Voris, Peter Kreeft, Frank Sheed, and Dr. Scott Hahn; the Anglican C. S. Lewis (who popularized the argument now known as Lewis's trilemma); the evangelical Norman Geisler; the Lutheran John Warwick Montgomery; and the Presbyterian Francis Schaeffer were among the most prolific Christian apologists in the 20th century, while Gordon Clark and Cornelius Van Til started a new school of philosophical apologetics called presuppositionalism, which is popular in Calvinist circles.
Others include Douglas Groothuis, Josh McDowell, Ravi Zacharias, Hugh Ross, Lee Strobel, Hugo Anthony Meynell, Timothy J. Keller, R. C. Sproul, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Francis Collins, Vishal Mangalwadi, Richard Bauckham, Craig Evans, Darrell Bock, Gary Habermas, James White, and John Lennox.
The original Greek apologia (ἀπολογία, from ἀπολογέομαι, apologeomai, "speak in return, defend oneself") was a formal verbal defense, either in response to accusation or prosecution in a court of law. The defense of Socrates as presented by Plato and Xenophon was an apologia against charges of "corrupting the young, and … not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel".
In later use 'apologia' sometimes took a literary form in early Christian discourse as an example of the integration of educated Christians into the cultural life of the Roman Empire, particularly during the "little peace" of the 3rd century,and of their participation in the Greek intellectual movement broadly known as the Second Sophistic. The Christian apologists of the early Church did not reject Greek philosophy, but attempted to show the positive value of Christianity in dynamic relation to the Greek rationalist tradition.
In the 2nd century, apologetics was a defense or explanation of Christianity,addressed to those standing in opposition and those yet to form an opinion, such as emperors and other authority figures, or potential converts. The earliest martyr narrative has the spokesman for the persecuted present a defense in the apologetic mode: Christianity was a rational religion that worshiped only God, and although Christians were law-abiding citizens willing to honor the emperor, their belief in a single divinity prevented them from taking the loyalty oaths that acknowledged the emperor's divinity.
The apologetic historiography in the Acts of the Apostles presented Christianity as a religious movement at home within the Roman Empire and no threat to it and was a model for the first major historian of the Church, Eusebius.Apologetics might also be directed to Christians already within the community explain their beliefs and justify positions. Origen's apologetic Contra Celsum , for instance, provided a defense against the arguments of a critic dead for decades to provide answers to doubting Christians lacking immediate answers to the questions raised. Apologetic literature was an important medium for the formation of early Christian identity.
In addition to Origen and Tertullian, early Christian apologists include Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and the author of the Epistle to Diognetus.Augustine of Hippo was a significant apologist of the Patristic era. Some scholars regard apologetics as a distinct literary genre exhibiting commonalities of style and form, content, and strategies of argumentation. Others viewed it as a form of discourse characterized by its tone and purpose.
R. C. Sproul, quoting the First Epistle of Peter, writes that "The defense of the faith is not a luxury or intellectual vanity. It is a task appointed by God that you should be able to give a reason for the hope that is in you as you bear witness before the world."The verse quoted here reads in full: "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect."
Another passage sometimes used as a biblical basis for Christian apologetics is God's entreaty in the Book of Isaiah: "Come now, let us reason together."Other scriptural passages which have been taken as a basis for Christian apologetics include Psalm 19, which begins "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands," and Romans 1, which reads "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
There are a variety of Christian apologetic styles and schools of thought. The major types of Christian apologetics include historical and legal evidentialist apologetics, presuppositional apologetics, philosophical apologetics, prophetic apologetics, doctrinal apologetics, biblical apologetics, moral apologetics, and scientific apologetics.
Biblical apologetics include issues concerned with the authorship and date of biblical books, biblical canon, and biblical inerrancy. Christian apologists defend and comment on various books of the Bible. Some scholars who have engaged in the defense of biblical inerrancy include Robert Dick Wilson, Gleason Archer, Norman Geisler and R. C. Sproul. There are several resources that Christians offer defending inerrancy in regard to specific verses.[ citation needed ] Authors defending the reliability of the Gospels include Craig Blomberg in The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, Mark D. Roberts in Can We Trust the Gospels? Richard Bauckham, Craig Evans and Darrell Bock.
Creation apologetics include young Earth creationism, old Earth creationism, and theistic evolution. Young Earth creationists believe the Bible teaches that the Earth is approximately 6,000 years old, and reject the scientific consensus for the age of the Earth. Young Earth creationists also engage in Biblical apologetics with regard to various parts of the primordial history in Genesis 1–11 – such as the long life spans of people such as Methuselah,the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. Old Earth creationists believe it is possible to harmonize the Bible's six-day account of creation with the scientific evidence that the universe is 13.8 billion-years-old and Earth is 4.54 billion-years-old.
Other old Earth creationists, such as astrophysicist Hugh Ross, see each of the six days of creation as being a long, but finite period of time, based on the multiple meanings of the Hebrew word yom (day light hours/24 hours/age of time) and other Biblical creation passages.
Experiential apologetics is a reference to an appeal "primarily, if not exclusively, to experience as evidence for Christian faith."Also, "they spurn rational arguments or factual evidence in favor of what they believe to be a self-verifying experience." This view stresses experience that other apologists have not made as explicit, and in the end, the concept that the Holy Spirit convinces the heart of truth becomes the central theme of the apologetic argument.
A variety of arguments has been forwarded by legal scholars such as Simon Greenleaf and John Warwick Montgomery, by expert forensic investigators such as cold case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace, and academic historical scholars, such as Edwin M. Yamauchi. These arguments present a case for the historicity of the resurrection of Christ per current legal standards of evidence or undermining the pagan myth hypothesis for the origin of Christianity.
Evidence for the historicity of the A. N. Sherwin-White states:
For Acts, the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. Acts is, in simple terms and judged externally, no less of a propaganda narrative than the Gospels, liable to similar distortions. But any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted.... The agnostic type of form-criticism would be much more credible if the compilation of the Gospels were much later in time.... Herodotus enables us to test the tempo of myth-making, [showing that] even two generations are too short a span to allow the mythical tendency to prevail over the hard historic core.
Moral apologetics states that real moral obligation is a fact. Catholic apologist Peter Kreeft said, "We are really, truly, objectively obligated to do good and avoid evil."In moral apologetics, the arguments for man's sinfulness and man's need for redemption are stressed. Examples of this type of apologetic would be Jonathan Edwards's sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." The Four Spiritual Laws religious tract (Campus Crusade for Christ) would be another example.
C. S. Lewis,Norman Geisler, William Lane Craig and Christians who engage in jurisprudence Christian apologetics have argued that miracles are reasonable and plausible wherever an all-powerful Creator is postulated.
Philosophical apologetics concerns itself primarily with arguments for the existence of God, although they do not exclusively focus on this area. They do not argue for the veracity of Christianity over other religions but merely for the existence of a Creator deity. Omnipotence and omniscience are implied in these arguments to greater or lesser degrees: some argue for an interventionist god, some are equally relevant to a Deist conception of God.
They do not support hard polytheism, but could be used to describe the first god who created many other gods; however, the arguments are only relevant when applied to the first god (the First Cause, Pure Act and Unmoved Mover; it is a contradiction a priori to suppose a plurality of "Pure Acts" or "First Causes" or "Unmoved Movers").
These arguments can be grouped into several categories:
Other philosophical arguments include:
In addition to arguments for the existence of God, Christian apologists have also attempted to respond successfully to arguments against the existence of God. Two very popular arguments against the existence of God are the hiddenness argument and the argument from evil. The hiddenness argument tries to show that a perfectly loving God's existence is incompatible with the existence of nonresistant nonbelievers. The argument from evil tries to show that the existence of evil renders God's existence unlikely or impossible.
Presuppositional apologetics is a Reformed Protestant methodology which claims that presuppositions are essential to any philosophical position and that there are no "neutral" assumptions from which a Christian can reason in common with a non-Christian.There are two main schools of presuppositional apologetics, that of Cornelius Van Til (and his students Greg Bahnsen and John Frame) and that of Gordon Haddon Clark.
Van Til drew upon but did not always agree with, the work of Dutch Calvinist philosophers and theologians such as D. H. Th. Vollenhoven, Herman Dooyeweerd, Hendrik G. Stoker, Herman Bavinck, and Abraham Kuyper. Bahnsen describes Van Til's approach to Christian apologetics as pointing out the difference in ultimate principles between Christians and non-Christians and then showing that the non-Christian principles reduce to absurdity.In practice, this school utilizes what has come to be known as the transcendental argument for the existence of God.
Clark held that the Scriptures constituted the axioms of Christian thought, which could not be questioned, though their consistency could be discussed.A consequence of this position is that God's existence can never be demonstrated, either by empirical means or by philosophical argument. In The Justification of Knowledge, the Calvinist theologian Robert L. Reymond argues that believers should not even attempt such proofs.
In his book Science Speaks, Peter Stoner argues that only God knows the future and that Biblical prophecies of a compelling nature have been fulfilled.Apologist Josh McDowell documents the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Christ, relating to his ancestral line, birthplace, virgin birth, miracles, death, and resurrection. Apologist Blaise Pascal believed that the prophecies are the strongest evidence for Christianity. He notes that Jesus not only foretold, but was foretold, unlike in other religions, and that these prophecies came from a succession of people over a span of four thousand years.
Many Christians contend that science and the Bible do not contradict each other and that scientific fact supports Christian apologetics.The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge... These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator." The theologian and mathematician Marin Mersenne used celestial mechanics as evidence in his apologetic work, while Matteo Ricci engaged in scientific apologetics in China. In modern times, the theory of the Big Bang has been used in support of Christian apologetics.
Several Christian apologists have sought to reconcile Christianity and science concerning the question of origins. Theistic Evolution claims that classical religious teachings about God are compatible with the modern scientific understanding about biological evolution and that the Creator God uses the process of evolution. Denis Lamoureux, in Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution states that "This view of origins fully embraces both the religious beliefs of biblical Christianity and the scientific theories of cosmological, geological, and biological evolution. It contends that the Creator established and maintains the laws of nature, including the mechanisms of a teleological evolution."The most radical example of a Christian-evolutionary synthesis is the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, which was intended as apologetics to the world of science, but which was later condemned by the Catholic Church.
|Biola University||Southern California, US||Christian Apologetics||Certificate, M.A.|
|Central India Theological Seminary||Itarsi, India||Christian Apologetics||M.Th., Ph.D.|
|Clarks Summit University||South Abington Township, PA, US||Biblical Apologetics||M.A.|
|Denver Seminary||Colorado, US||Apologetics and Ethics||M.A., M.Div. with Emphasis|
|Hong Kong Centre for Christian Apologetics||Hong Kong||Christian Apologetics||Certificate in Christian Apologetics|
|Houston Baptist University||Houston, TX, US||Christian Apologetics||M.A.A.|
|New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary||New Orleans, Louisiana||Christian Apologetics||M.A., M.Div., D.Min., Ph.D.|
|Oklahoma Wesleyan University||Bartlesville, Oklahoma||Christian Apologetics||M.A.|
|Westminster Theological Seminary||Philadelphia, US & London, England||Apologetics||M.Th. at London Campus, Doctoral, Masters, Certificate Programs at Philadelphia Campus|
|South African Theological Seminary||Johannesburg, South Africa||Apologetics||MTh|
|Southern Baptist Theological Seminary||Louisville, KY||Apologetics/Apologetics & Worldviews||M.A., Ph.D.|
|Southern Evangelical Seminary||Charlotte, North Carolina||Apologetics/Scientific Apologetics||Certificate, MA, MDiv, DMin|
|Gimlekollen NLA College||Kristiansand, Norway||Communication, worldview and Christian apologetics||Certificate, Bachelor|
The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG) is the argument that attempts to prove the existence of God by arguing that logic, morals, and science ultimately presuppose a supreme being and that God must therefore be the source of logic and morals.
Christian philosophy is a development in philosophy that is characterised by coming from a Christian tradition.
Fideism is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths. The word fideism comes from fides, the Latin word for faith, and literally means "faith-ism".
Presuppositionalism is a school of Christian apologetics that believes the Christian faith is the only basis for rational thought. It presupposes that the Bible is divine revelation and attempts to expose flaws in other worldviews.
Joslin "Josh" McDowell is an Evangelical Protestant Christian apologist and evangelist. He is the author or co-author of over 150 books. His book Evidence That Demands a Verdict was ranked 13th in Christianity Today's list of most influential evangelical books published after World War II. Other well-known titles are More Than a Carpenter, A Ready Defense and Right from Wrong.
Norman Leo Geisler is a Christian systematic theologian and philosopher. He is the co-founder of two non-denominational evangelical seminaries. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Loyola University and has made scholarly contributions to the subjects of classical Christian apologetics, systematic theology, the history of philosophy, philosophy of religion, Calvinism, Roman Catholicism, biblical inerrancy, Bible difficulties, ethics, and more. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of over 90 books and hundreds of articles.
Greg L. Bahnsen was an American Calvinist philosopher, apologist, and debater. He was a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and a full-time Scholar in Residence for the Southern California Center for Christian Studies (SCCCS). He is also considered a contributor to the field of Christian apologetics, as he popularized the presuppositional method of Cornelius Van Til. He is the father of David L. Bahnsen, an American portfolio manager, author, and television commentator.
The Testimony of the Evangelists, Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice is an 1846 Christian apologetic work by Simon Greenleaf, a principal founder of the Harvard Law School.
Aristides the Athenian was a 2nd-century Christian Greek author who is primarily known as the author of the Apology of Aristides. His feast day is August 31 in Roman Catholicism and September 13 in Eastern Orthodoxy.
Against Celsus, preserved entirely in Greek, is a major apologetics work by the Church Father Origen of Alexandria, written in around 248 AD, countering the writings of Celsus, a pagan philosopher and controversialist who had written a scathing attack on Christianity in his treatise The True Word. Among a variety of other charges, Celsus had denounced many Christian doctrines as irrational and criticized Christians themselves as uneducated, deluded, unpatriotic, close-minded towards reason, and too accepting of sinners. He had accused Jesus of performing his miracles using black magic rather than actual divine powers and of plagiarizing his teachings from Plato. Celsus had warned that Christianity itself was drawing people away from traditional religion and claimed that its growth would lead to a collapse of traditional, conservative values.
Lewis's trilemma is an apologetic argument traditionally used to argue for the divinity of Jesus by arguing that the only alternatives were that he was evil or deluded. One version was popularised by University of Oxford literary scholar and writer C. S. Lewis in a BBC radio talk and in his writings. It is sometimes described as the "Lunatic, Liar, or Lord", or "Mad, Bad, or God" argument. It takes the form of a trilemma — a choice among three options, each of which is in some way difficult to accept.
In epistemology, a presupposition relates to a belief system, or Weltanschauung, that is required for the argument to make sense. A variety of Christian apologetics, called presuppositional apologetics, argues that the existence or non-existence of God is the basic presupposition of all human thought, and that all people arrive at a worldview which is ultimately determined by the theology they presuppose. Evidence and arguments are only developed after the fact in an attempt to justify the theological assumptions already made. According to this view, it is impossible to demonstrate the existence of God unless one presupposes that God exists, with the stance that modern science relies on methodological naturalism, a myth, and thus is incapable of discovering the supernatural. It thereby fashions a Procrustean bed which rejects any observation which would disprove the naturalistic assumption. Apologetics argue that the resulting worldview is inconsistent with itself and therefore irrational.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to theology:
Cornelius Van Til was a Dutch-American Christian philosopher and Reformed theologian, who is credited as being the originator of modern presuppositional apologetics.
Christian existential apologetics differs from traditional approaches to Christian apologetics by basing arguments for Christian theism on the satisfaction of existential needs rather than on strictly logical or evidential arguments. Christian existential apologetics may also be distinguished from Christian existentialism and from experiential apologetics. The former is a philosophic outlook concerned with the human condition in general; the latter consists of evidential argumentation based on religious experience.
Within criticism of religion, counter-apologetics is a field of thought that criticizes religious apologetics. Every religious apologist criticizes the defense of other religions, though the term counter-apologetics is frequently applied to criticism of religion in general by freethinkers and atheists. Luke Muehlhauser, the former executive director of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, defines counter-apologetics as "a response to Christian apologetics...examining the claims and tactics of Christian apologists and then equipping [a thinker] with skeptical responses to them".