“And when Apollos wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the
disciples to welcome him.
When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.” (Act 18:27-28)
The primary purpose of Apologetics (defending and giving an account of why we believe) in this account is not evangelism. Its not (primarily) to win souls. The outcome of apologetics here, according to Luke, was to strengthen the faith of those who had already believed.
Apollos was a great help to those who had been saved. How? He powerfully refuted the cynics and the nay-sayers – from the scriptures.
Apologetics is what the average Christian uni student needs to hear so they don’t get taken in by their lecturers. It’s what the new believer needs to nurture and strengthen their faith when confronted by argumentative friends and family. Its what the hormone driven teenager needs to hear to encourage ongoing purity. In these, and in countless other ways, apologetics helps greatly in sustaining our faith.
The goal of our apologetics must be to build up, as well as silence.
Apologetics is Pastoral. Therefore, its primary focus must be to guard, encourage and defend the flock.
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battles rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefields besides, is mere fight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” Luther.