An apologist is a person who engages in the study and practice of the intellectual defense of a belief system -- in our case, the Christian faith. The word apologist is derive from the Greek apologia ("defense") and apologia ("to defend").
An apologist is a person who makes an apology, speaks or writes in defense of the faith, and especially a person who argues in defense of Christianity.
Scripture calls each believer to be an apologist. 1Peter 3:15-16 instructs:
- 15"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear;
- 16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." (KJV)
Although anyone who takes the study and practice of apologetics seriously may be called an apologist, some persons are especially gifted and equipped to present arguments in defense of the faith, it is these people that are meant generally as apologists.
Some of the noted Christian apologists of the early centuries are: