Classical apologetics is a method of apologetics that begins by first employing  various theistic arguments to establish the existence of God. Classical  apologists will often utilize various forms of the cosmological, teleological  (Design), ontological, and moral arguments to prove God’s existence. Once God’s  existence has been established, the classical apologist will then move on to  present evidence from fulfilled prophecy, the historical reliability of  Scripture, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus to distinguish Christianity from  all other competing forms of theism.

Classical apologetics (also known  as traditional apologetics) has as its distinctive feature a two-step approach  to establishing a Christian worldview. Classical apologists are often hesitant  to make an argument directly from miracles to the biblical God. Rather, they  prefer to appeal to miracles after having already established a theistic  context. Modern proponents of classical apologetics include R.C. Sproul, William  Lane Craig, and Norman Geisler.

Christian philosopher Norman Geisler  summarized the difference between classical and evidential apologetics in this  way: “The difference between the classical apologists and the evidentialists on  the use of historical evidences is that the classical see the need to first  establish that this is a theistic universe…The basic argument of the classical  apologist is that it makes no sense to speak about the resurrection as an act of  God unless, as a logical prerequisite, it is first established that there is a  God who can act” (Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics).