Summary of the Method
Experiential apologetics is often considered one of, if not the weakest of all apologetic methods with the lack of scientific basis. Experiential apologetics uses the personal experiences of one person in order to testify and convince people of the truth of Christianity. As the name implies, Experiential apologetics uses ones own experience to claim the superiority of their viewpoint over any other method. This will allow many different ways to approach any person with some sort of viewpoint of Christianity. This method has little in the way for people to defeat the claims that one person makes without calling them a liar about their own experience. Ultimately, this method relies on the Holy Spirit to convict the heart of the listener that what they are hearing is the truth and thereby convince the hearer to abandon their old way of thinking and accept what the speaker is telling them. The main benefits of this method are that every Christian can do this approach, every person can relate to another’s personal experience, and it can be very moving and effective if the listener trusts the speaker.
Critique of the Method
The downside to experiential apologetics is actually fairly simple. While there is little that can be done to destroy the claims made by someone using experiential apologetics, the experience of one person holds little value so far as a skeptic would be concerned. Due to the fact that there are any number of religions where experiences play a role in the foundation of ones belief system, it makes it so that no one experience holds more value than any other experience. The experience a Christian may offer can only be validated by the individual. This makes it so the experience of a Christian has no more (or less) value than the experience offered by other religions. “Buddhists offer a moment of enlightenment as a proof. Mormons speak of the burning in their hearts. That is not to say that these experiences are equally valid; however, to test the validity of these claims is impossible.” Taken to the end result of Christianity being based upon experiences, we would see that fideism would be the result of experiential apologetics whereby reason cannot justify belief in a God unless one uses faith alone. The end value of experiential apologetics can be seen in that it can be a great addition to other methods of apologetics, especially evidential apologetics and can be incredibly useful in a complementary role but lacks power on its own because of the ability to reproduce experiences in other religions while being scientifically unprovable.
Align to the Approach
The majority of theologians in particular who have used the experiential approach to apologetics tend to have been popular in the past with the likes of Tertullian, Karl Barth and Soren Kierkegaard, and Rudolf Bultmann. Some have argued that Ludwig Wittgenstein was a fideist and would fall under this category of apologists as well. Another main grouping of experiential apologists would be many evangelists who although while not necessarily attempting apologetics do so through their evangelistic ministry by using their experience as a truth claim.
 Ergun Caner, “The Need for Apologetics: A Summary of the Essentials of Christianity” (Lecture 4, Liberty University APOL 500, Lynchburg, VA, March 21, 2011)
 Hindson, Ed & Ergubn Caner. The Popular Encycolpedia of Apologetics: Surveying the Evidence for the Truth of Christianity. Eugene: Harvest House Publishers. 2008. 66.
 Mcgovern, Ken and Bé Szabados. “Was Wittgenstein a Fideist? Two Views.” Sophia 41, no. 2 (2002): 41-54, http://search.proquest.com/docview/821693620?accountid=12085.43.