An Apologetic, or an Apology, ecclesiastically speaking, is derived from the Greek word apologia and it means to "reply", "answer" or "defend".
- Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear - Source: I Peter 3:15
In Orthodox theology, term Apologetics is used in regards to defending the true faith against atheists, pagans, Jews and others. This defense, however, is done in a manner that is loving and in order to bear good fruits and should not be polemical or obsessive in manner, which in many cases is considered detrimental to the Apostolic Faith.
The earliest apologists were the Church Fathers. There apologies cover a wide range of topics including the Divine origin of the Church, Christ's Nature, Scripture, the Theotokos, miracles, Christian social interaction and the function of doctrine.
Modern Apologies and Apologists
The most recent and most controversial apologetic is that of Ecumenism and will not directly be addressed in this section.
The following chronolical list, are apologetic works written by various Church fathers:
- Orthodox Apologetic Theology by Ivan M. Andreyev, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1995