Apologetics is a word that derives its meaning from the Greek apologia, meaning a ‘reasoned defense’.
In the Bible, apologetics is synonymous with evangelism:
But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer [apologia] to everyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. 1 Peter 3:15-16
Today, the need for sound apologetics has arguably never been greater. Authors such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris continue to top the best seller lists and are already influencing a whole new generation of thinkers to reject God ‘out of hand’. The cultural and educational atmosphere where our young people go to develop their career goals all too often undermines any faith they may have when encountering atheist professors and a student body hostile to Christianity. This kind of atmosphere is a hard one for any seasoned Christian to survive in, much less a youth who finds himself/herself in a hostile atmosphere by themselves. The pressure can be overwhelming to hide one's faith or to give it up.
Apologetics helps to equip students for what they will encounter within the culture and the educational institutions they attend. It should be a required part of every church that is called to disciple and equip its people for ministry and service to the culture around us. A well-equipped Christian will not be intimidated by their atheist professors and the students they encounter. Tragically this hostile atmosphere is moving down to the elementary school level. It is never too early to train our youth apologetics.
If you have apologetics programs in your church you can volunteer to teach it. You can be the important link that provides the basic foundation of faith for a fellow Christian by helping them to have some basic knowledge to defend their faith. This is especially important in the training of our young people which our secular culture is determined to corrupt and to undermine their faith.
While there are many methods used to teach apologetics, the basic differences between the methodologies is the roles that faith and reason play in defending the faith. Presuppositionalists assume the Bible describes all reality and build their defense around that belief as their presuppositions in building their defense. Classical apologetics methodology relies more on using available evidences within personal experiences and nature to defend their faith. There are other methods besides these two but we will just focus on these two since they bring out the basic differences with different methods that are used to defend the faith. I have listed some books below that describe the methods which can be used to defend the faith and that describe the various methods one can use to defend the faith.