Polemics refers to the practice of challenging and refuting doctrinal errors or providing correctives within the same belief system (or religion). This may be contrasted with apologetics which attempts to defend one's beliefs to outsiders. Polemics, therefore, may be viewed as dialogue internal to Christianity, and apologetics as dialogue to defend Christianity to non-Christians.
The early church fathers are sometimes categorized as either polemicists or apologists based on the thrust of their writings.
The following are examples of practice polemics:
- Defending Monergism to those who are Synergists.
- Defending elements of Calvinism over against elements of Arminianism.
- Defending the complete omniscience of God to Open Theists, Process Theologians, and the like.
- Refuting other various doctrinal errors such as transubstantiation and consubstantiation regarding the Lord's Supper, etc.