Jonathan Edwards, Affectionate PreacherJonathan Edwards was famous for preaching that aroused emotional conversions in New England. However, he's never been particularly known as an apologist. He never wrote a formal work on apologetics, though he planned to, and much of his miscellanies are filled with apologetic material where he engaged the Enlightenment idealism of the day.
Michael McClymond and Gerald McDermott's The Theology of Jonathan Edwards illustrates Edwards's sophistication as an apologist. Edwards preached during the hey-day of John Locke's philosophy of empiricism, which denied any form of innate ideas and insisted that all human ideas (God or otherwise) must originate out of the mind's reflection on things derived from the senses. In other words, unless something can be touched, smelled, heard, seen, or tasted, it cannot be known. Knowledge of God and knowledge from God is, then, immediately disadvantaged. But Edwards believed that the believer's spiritual sense of God---"sense of the heart"---is a kind of evidence for God. Faith is a form of "seeing for oneself." It is not blindly believing the account of others, as so many describe faith. Faith is "tasting and seeing" the reality of God and his gospel. This spiritual perception of God brings immediate certainty of a "first hand experience." Turning Locke on his head, Edwards granted that a believer must see with his own eyes, but with the eyes of the heart. This seeing gives the believer more intellectual certitude than what human reasoning from empirical evidences can afford. But what McClymond and McDermott neglected to mention was how Edwards labored to not only show that you could taste the truth, but also that the truth was sweet. Edwards employed "sense of the heart" apologetics to argue with your senses that God is more delightful and satisfying than anything else. Edwards toiled in his sermons with imagery and analogy to reveal the beauty of God as the only thing "appreciated and rested in for its own sake." He ultimately aimed to help the unbeliever see that he has nothing in his life so good, so lovely, and so satisfying as Christ, so even if the skeptic doubted the gospel to be true, he would hope that it was. Do you preach about God in that way? Do you "argue with the senses" of your listeners? Edwards tempted skeptics, so to speak, to be dissatisfied with whatever currently contented them.
C. S. Lewis, Apologist of HopeI may get nasty emails from "the experts" for this suggestion, but from what I can tell, if you want to get a sense of the apologetic method of C. S. Lewis, you should read chapter 10, "Hope," in Mere Christianity. For Lewis, creatures are not "born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists." And if I have desires that no earthly measure can satisfy, it does not mean that I am delusional or that the universe is a fraud, but "that I was made for another world." All our hopes and dreams, desires and wants can never finally rest in earthly pleasures or else, as Lewis put in, we are like the child far too easily pleased with mud pies that he cannot imagine a holiday at sea.
I'm not aware that Lewis ever offered a rational defense for heaven, but he sought to convince his readers that life is not worth living unless such a place exists. He doesn't allow us to be neutral about the matter. The created world was never meant to be an end in itself. The heavens and earth do not declare their own glory, but the glory of another. Divine glory is not found in them, but through them. As Lewis puts it in his famous work The Weight of Glory, if we mistake created things for the thing itself, "they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited." Lewis gave his readers reason to believe that his God satisfies better then theirs; that they've been eating mud clots and calling them truffles all along.