Home > Content Index > Apologetics > Basics > Classical apologetics

What is classical apologetics?

classical apologeticsaudio
Question: "What is classical apologetics?"

Classical apologetics is a method of apologetics that begins by first employing various theistic arguments to establish the existence of God. Classical apologists will often utilize various forms of the cosmological, teleological (Design), ontological, and moral arguments to prove God’s existence. Once God’s existence has been established, the classical apologist will then move on to present evidence from fulfilled prophecy, the historical reliability of Scripture, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus to distinguish Christianity from all other competing forms of theism.

Classical apologetics (also known as traditional apologetics) has as its distinctive feature a two-step approach to establishing a Christian worldview. Classical apologists are often hesitant to make an argument directly from miracles to the biblical God. Rather, they prefer to appeal to miracles after having already established a theistic context. Modern proponents of classical apologetics include R.C. Sproul, William Lane Craig, and Norman Geisler.

Christian philosopher Norman Geisler summarized the difference between classical and evidential apologetics in this way: "The difference between the classical apologists and the evidentialists on the use of historical evidences is that the classical see the need to first establish that this is a theistic universe...The basic argument of the classical apologist is that it makes no sense to speak about the resurrection as an act of God unless, as a logical prerequisite, it is first established that there is a God who can act" (Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics).

Recommended Resource: Classical Apologetics by R.C. Sproul

More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!

Related Topics:

What is a Christian worldview?

What is Christian fanaticism?

What is an apologist?

What is evidential apologetics?

What is presuppositional apologetics?

Return to:

Questions about Apologetics

What is classical apologetics?

Share this page on:

Find Out How to...

Statement of Faith
The Gospel
Crucial Questions
Content Index
Top 20 Questions

Question of the Week

Preferred Bible Version:


Subscribe to our Question of the Week

Get our Questions of the Week delivered right to your inbox!