I am a Gospel Preacher. But, I am also an Apologist. And no, I am not “apologizing” (saying I’m sorry) for being a follower of Christ, nor am I saying that I’m sorry for troubling you. Apologetics is an ancient word, going back at least as far as the apology of Socrates, who gave a reasoned defense for teaching young people to think critically. For this, he was forced to drink hemlock (a deadly poison) which, of course, ended his life.
Apologetics, as a noun is used 8 times in the New Testament (see Acts 22:1; 25:16; 1 Cor. 9:3; 2 Cor. 7:11; Phil. 1:7, 16; 2 Tim. 4:16; and 1 Pet. 3:15), and as a verb it is used a total of 10 times in Scripture (see Luke 12:11; 21:14; Acts 19:33; 24:10; 25:8; 26:1-2; 26:24; Rom. 2:15; and 2 Cor. 12:19). Perhaps it is best understood as it is usually translated in 1 Pet. 3:15. As Christians, we must always be prepared to “make your defense” (NRSV), make “a defense” (NKJV; NASB) or “give an answer” (KJV; ASV), to everyone that asks us a reason for the hope that is in us. Apologetics is, therefore, a defense of the truth of the gospel. To more broadly define it, I have used the following for over 35 years: “Apologetics is the positive proclamation of the gospel and the negative defense of the same regardless of wherever, whenever, and by whomever it is challenged.” This is task of every Christian in general, and for every gospel preacher in particular.