Apologetics is defined as reasoned arguments in justification of something, usually a religious doctrine. For us, Christian apologetics means the reasons we have for being Christians—the reasons we have for believing what we believe.
The foundation for Christian apologetics comes from many places in the Bible, but it is specifically mentioned in 1 Peter 3:15, where Peter writes the following:
“ … 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 …” (emphasis added)
The greek word in the original text that is translated as “to make a defense” is the word “apologia,” where we get the word apologetics. Christian apologetics, then, is the practice of making a defense for what we believe as followers of Christ.
Why is Christian Apologetics Important?
In today’s culture, Christian apologetics are incredibly important. More and more, people in our culture assume that if you believe in Jesus or are a follower of Christ, you have made those decisions based on blind faith or even ignorance. Christian apologetics shows that there are reasons that make sense logically for us to believe in Jesus and follow Him today.
Christian Apologetics Gives Confidence
Christian apologetics gives confidence to those who follow Jesus that we have good, solid, logical reasons for believing what we believe. Christian apologetics gives us confidence to follow Jesus with full hearts, knowing that we can engage with people about topics of faith and know that we have a strong case.
Christian Apologetics Appeals to the Mind
Many people, in trying to refute the claims of the Christian faith, try to assert that in order to follow Jesus you have to disengage your mind. Christian apologetics shows that this is not true. There are reasoned, well-thought-out arguments for believing in Jesus and following Him.
Christian Apologetics Welcomes Conversation
Sometimes followers of Jesus are portrayed as being unwilling to engage in conversation about the most important aspects of their faith. Statements like “God said it, I believe it, that settles it,” were meant, originally, to inspire confidence in our beliefs. Instead, this statement implies that no more conversation is needed or wanted because we have our beliefs settled. Christian apologetics, though, invites conversation about beliefs because of the reasons behind the beliefs. We don’t have to be afraid of these kinds of conversations when we are well versed in Christian apologetics.
Who Needs Christian Apologetics?
Christian apologetics is something that all followers of Jesus should engage in, at least from time to time. However, there are certain people who may have a greater need for discussions about Christian apologetics.
Students who are currently in high school or are preparing for college are at the perfect age and stage to think deeply about their faith and explore Christian apologetics. This is one of the reasons for Summit’s focus on Student Conferences each summer. Christian apologetics can provide a solid foundation for students who are heading off to college.
People with Questions
Christian apologetics is the perfect practice for people who have questions about the Christian faith. Why do people believe in Jesus? Is the Bible reliable? These kinds of questions, and many others, are woven into the fabric of Christian apologetics and can be answered with reason and truth. Summit provides all sorts of resources that help people make sense of these questions, and others, about the Christian faith.
Parents of Teenagers
As they attempt to guide their kids through their teen years, Christian parents of teenagers have a particular interest in Christian apologetics. They can learn themselves about how to defend their faith while at the same time learning how to encourage and support their kids during a time of growth and discovery. This is the age when teenagers are taking true ownership of their faith and Christian apologetics can be critical to that process.
For more information about apologetics, visit the free resources section of our website.
Who is Summit Ministries?
Summit Ministries exists to cultivate rising generations to resolutely champion a biblical worldview. We accomplish this in several ways.
Developing Free Worldview Resources
Hosting Student Conferences
Providing Curriculum for both Christian Schools and Homeschoolers
Developing Free Worldview Resources
We have a huge archive of worldview resources in the form of videos and articles. These are all developed from the standpoint of apologetics—providing a defense for the Christian faith and a biblical worldview.
Hosting Student Conferences
Every summer, hundreds of students attend one of our Student Conferences in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. During these conferences, students hear from some of the foremost minds in Christianity, as they learn to defend their faith and prepare for college. The result is hundreds of students who have taken ownership of their faith and know why they believe what they believe.
Providing Christian School and Homeschool Curriculum
Another way we encourage rising generations to stand strong in a biblical worldview is through providing bible curriculum for Christian Schools and Homeschools. Thousands of kids are using these tools to understand their faith (at an age-appropriate level) and then be ready with a defense of why they believe what they believe. The study of apologetics can begin at a young age, even though it will look differently than it does later on in life.
The Focus of Summit Ministries
We are focused on helping people approach and understand life from a Christian, biblical worldview. In our culture today, there are many competing worldviews that offer an explanation for the big questions in life. Through the study and application of apologetics, we provide a solid foundation for people to feel confident in a biblical worldview.
What Areas Does Summit Ministries study?
Answers for the biggest questions in life are being offered all around us. How do we sort through this barrage of assumptions and assertions? We have identified ten areas where the biblical worldview can guide our thinking and our behavior. These areas are woven into our homeschool curriculum right from the start, in ways that are age-appropriate.
These 10 areas provide a comprehensive worldview that is based on biblical principles. Through the consistent application of apologetics to these 10 topics, we teach people how to defend their faith with confidence.
The History of Summit Ministries
An alarming number of Christians stumble while in college and around half will renounce their faith because they simply do not have a defense for what they believe. David Noebel, our founder and former president, almost joined those statistics while he was a philosophy student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Noebel founded Summit Ministries in 1962 to help ground Christians in their faith, thereby enabling them to face the barrage of challenges on college campuses.
Our home is a turn-of- the-century hotel (formerly known as The Grandview), luxurious by early 20th century standards. Around this hotel, we have built our home in a complex of buildings dubbed the Summit Village. This, our home base, is located in Manitou Springs, CO at the foot of Pike’s Peak.
From 1962 until 1988, we were a small series of camp-style conferences, hosting an average of 350 students each year. After sending his own son Ryan through our program, Dr. James Dobson featured Summit Ministries on the Focus on the Family radio program in 1989, which quickly grew our attendance exponentially.
Today, with our world-renowned faculty and under the direction of President Dr. Jeff Myers, we are viewed as one of the foremost leaders in training Christians in apologetics, worldview analysis, and social engagement.