Classical Apologetics is that style of Christian defense that stresses rational arguments for the existence of God and uses evidence to substantiate biblical claims and miracles. It is quite similar to evidential apologetics and appeals to human reason and evidence. Early Classical Apologists include Augustine, Anselm, and Thomas Acquinus. Contemporary classical apologists are Norman Geisler, William Craig, and J. P. Moreland.
Some of the arguments relied upon for proofs of God's existence are the cosmological argument and the teleological argument. The cosmological argument attempts to prove God exists by stating that there has to be an uncaused cause of all things. That uncaused cause is God. The teleological argument uses the analogy of design; that is, the universe and life exhibit marks of design. Therefore, there must be a Designer. Other times, strict evidence is used establish Christianity's validity. Of course, both aspects are also combined in classical apologetics.
An example of the latter might be as follows:
Allen: I do not believe Jesus rose from the dead?
Paul: Why not? The eyewitnesses stated that they saw him after his resurrection?
Allen: Sorry, I can't accept that. The Bible has been rewritten so many times it cannot be trusted.
Paul: But the manuscript evidence for the New Testament shows us that the manuscripts have been faithfully and accurately transmitted to us. We can trust the documents and we can trust that the Bible is reliable.
Allen: What manuscript evidence?
Paul: The fact that over 5000 supporting Greek manuscripts of the New Testament have been discovered, when examined, shows us that they are all copied with extreme accuracy. The New Testament alone is over 99% textually pure. In addition, another 20,000 manuscripts in other languages also have been discovered. All these manuscripts range from the second century to after the turn of the first millennium. They all demonstrate an amazing accuracy and consistency within the copies. Therefore, we can trust that the New Testament which has been transmitted to us as accurate. Since we can trust the documents, we have reliable eyewitness accounts of the resurrection accurately recorded and transmitted to us.
Allen: Even if the New Testament is reliable, I still cannot believe Jesus rose from the dead.
Paul: But, if it is reliable and it accurately records eyewitness accounts of Jesus' resurrection, then why won't you believe the witness? If Jesus did indeed rise from the dead, then what He said is true.
The preceding very simplistic dialogue has strengths and weaknesses but it demonstrates a way of using evidence and logic as a defense to support the resurrection, a biblical miracle.
A variation on this could focus on prophecies and be as follows:
No argument is without strengths and weaknesses and all Classical Apologetic approaches have been tackled by critics. But, the critics are not left unanswered and Christians have, in turn, refuted the refutations. This back and forth process of point-counter-point is going to continue until Jesus returns. Nevertheless, God commands that we do our best to defend the faith and classical apologetics is one of the means to do that.
Much of the information here on CARM can be used in a classical defense. There is documentation for biblical manuscript evidence in the Bible section. There is a list of prophecies about Jesus also in the Bible section and more. I recommend you go to the Apologetics Dialogues section and read a few of them to see how different subjects can be used. If you want logical approaches, try some proofs for God in the Atheist section. Finally, if you really want to test yourself, get on the internet, find a chat room through AOL instant messenger or Yahoo instant messenger and go in and debate with people in religious discussion rooms. You will learn real fast what you need to know.
Whichever you do, think of apologetics as a mosaic of skills and knowledge that God uses in the believer to bring truth to the world. At first it is not that easy to do, but it gets easier and easier the more you do it.
Adherents to this position have been Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, R. C. Sproul, and Norman Geisler.