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Humble ApologeticsDefending the Faith Today$
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John G. Stackhouse

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138078

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195138074.001.0001

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Defining, Directing, and Defending Apologetics

Defining, Directing, and Defending Apologetics

(p.114) 7 Defining, Directing, and Defending Apologetics
Humble Apologetics

John G. Stackhouse (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Apologetics is defined as dealing not only with the question of the truthfulness of Christianity but also with its virtues of beauty and goodness, thus extending the realm of apologetics to include anything that makes Christianity more plausible. This chapter distinguishes between two modes of apologetics, namely, defensive apologetics (responding to challenges) and offensive apologetics (provoking interest). Two objectives of apologetics are clarified: the internal goal, to strengthen and mature Christian faith; and the external goal, to remove obstacles, clarify issues, and offer winsome inducements to those who do not identify themselves as Christians. Finally, Stackhouse defines apologetics as a necessary and worthy engagement in spite of reasons for resistance both from within and without Christian circles.

Keywords:   apologetics, defensive, faith, offensive, virtues

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