Here’s something we sometimes overlook when we think about apologetics:
“Nietzsche said that God is dead… So for the last century, we’ve been living under the shadow of the death of God in the culture. And when God dies, all truth dies. If you don’t have an absolute moral lawgiver, you can’t have any moral laws. When God dies, all truth dies and all meaning dies. So in this culture, the church is faced with reestablishing that there is absolute truth, absolute meaning, absolute morals, and that the opposite of true is false. We have to do more apologetics today than ever before.”
— Norm Geisler, as quoted by Josh McDowell in the forward to To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview, edited by Francis Beckwith et. al.
Unlike previous generations in this country, ours can no longer assume that people operate from the same basic cognitive framework – the same basic ideas about morality, the nature of truth, the existence of God, etc.
The role of apologetics is to present the Christian worldview and demonstrate, as best we can, how and why it is true.
And it is, to borrow a phrase from Francis Schaeffer, true truth. Schaeffer talked about what we call apologetics as “pre-evangelism,” an important and often necessary enterprise that helps lay the foundation for the gospel. As Geisler points out, the need for such engagement with people in our culture is great.