Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes in One). Amazon Kindle Edition, 2014.
Volume 2, Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325, “Chapter 3. Literary Contest of Christianity with Judaism and Heathenism.” Loc. 13304-13791. (part 2)
§37. The Apologetic Literature of Christianity.
Christians who answered philosophical attacks were called apologists. Apologetics is possibly the oldest of the theological disciplines (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13582). This work was well under way by the second century. Schaff distinguishes between Latin apologists, who tend toward the practical, and Greeks, who are more philosophical (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13595). The work of apologists has strengthened Christians in their work of refining their theological statements. At their best, they successfully promote sound views of Christianity over and above other religions.
§38. The Argument against Judaism.
The work of Justin Martyr and of Tertullian are our principal sources for this controversy (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13615). The apologists noted by Schaff tend to work in these three areas. First, they assert that Judaism was temporary in nature, fulfilled in Christianity. Second, they demonstrate that the Messiah was to be a suffering figure. Third, they argue that a trinitarian faith is implicit in the Old Testament (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13629).
§39. The Defense against Heathenism.
Christian apologists defended against the pagan critiques. They demonstrated that miraculous events are common to the different religions (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13649). Christianity could be shown as rooted in greater antiquity than the other religions, rather than being a recent innovation. The resurrection was defended based on the presence of the immortal God in humans (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13662). The moral criticisms of Christianity were easily refuted. The New Testament never endorses the moral faults of which Christians are accused. Again, Christian apologists took opportunity to argue against paganism, which largely collapsed as time went on (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13675). Schaff illustrates numerous arguments used.
§40. The Positive Apology.
Christian apologetics also demonstrated the superiority of Christian thought. Schaff notes the primary argument - that prophecies came true (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13714). They also looked at events which were symbolic of others. These we refer to as types and antitypes (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13734). Jesus’ miracles are also used in the argument for the superiority of Christianity. Christianity is also defended based on the changed life of its adherents (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13760). Christianity is shown to be reasonable and adapted to our deepest needs (Schaff 2014, Loc. 13780).