The Major Apologetic Challenges Throughout the Ages

  • In the First Century Paul and the apostles reasoned with the Jews for whom Christ was a stumbling block (Acts 17:1-3); and with the Greeks for whom he was not known (Acts 17:16-19).
  • During the Second Century early church apologists defended the faith against charges of atheism, cannibalism, and being a threat to the Roman Empire; as well as the heresy of Gnosticism.
  • In the medieval era Christian apologists gave a defense of the faith in response to a resurgent Jewish critique and the rise and expansion of Islam.
  • During the Enlightenment apologists respond to the challenge of scientific rationalism: the belief that reality is limited to that which can be objectively and empirically observed and studied.
  • In the 20th Century Christian apologetics confronts challenges like liberalism, secularism, naturalism, and the growing influence of cults & other non-Christian religions.
  • Thus far, the 21st Century’s primary apologetic challenges have come from the “New Atheists”, the postmodern worldview, and the philosophy of religious pluralism.

For more information on the various apologetic challenges to the Christian faith, please check out The Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.