What is Historical Apologetics?

Thoughtful Christians have always had a strong commitment to the truth of the central historical claims of our faith and to the authenticity of the scriptures. Throughout the ages, Christians have engaged in apologetics—the articulation of reasons for their faith and the answering of objections leveled against it—engaging both the highest levels of scholarly discourse and the concerns of the broader public.

These classic works of apologetics are profoundly relevant for the 21st century. Most of the objections raised against Christianity today are variations on objections that go back hundreds of years. These objections were thoroughly discussed by some of the finest minds of the 18th and 19th centuries, and their responses are as cogent now as when they were first printed. Unfortunately, there has been little guidance to this literature for interested Christian readers. As a result some masterpieces are almost unknown even among seminary graduates and students of apologetics.

This problem is not new. In the preface to the 1880 edition of The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, the Lord Bishop of Carlise commented on his communication with the publisher:

“I complained that the work was permitted to be out of print; and I did this, not so much in consequence of my own trifling disappointment at not being able to procure a copy for a friend, as because I thought it a misfortune that so remarkable a book should slip out of sight and gradually become comparatively unknown.”

Many such remarkable books have slipped out of sight. Now, however, rather than publishing more volumes than anyone but a nobleman could afford to purchase, we can make these books available to you digitally. We hope that you enjoy these remarkable books.