Those who need redemption are unable to be persuaded because their fallen condition predisposes them toward suppressing the Truth.
As a result, when the Apostle Paul took the gospel to the Greeks, he did not attempt to persuade them with reason but with the power of God. I Corinthians 4:20.
If any group of people were subject to being persuaded by reason, it was the Greeks. The Greeks gave us Plato and Aristotle.
Millennials are on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Greeks. They are more driven by emotion than reason. The Greeks produced stoics; Millennials produce snowflakes.
Apologetics has a purpose though, even today. While we shouldn’t expect we will persuade someone to repentance by argument and reason alone, reason and apologetics can be used to cast doubt on a non-Christian’s worldview and respond to objections against Christianity.
When I was sharing the gospel on campus once I asked a non-Christian student what he believed. He said he believed everyone was basically good and that we all had the spark of God in us. I asked him on what he based that belief. He said he just felt that was right. I told him feelings were not very good evidence. Sixty percent of all people who get married feel they will be married for live and end up getting divorced. I then began to share the gospel with him.
Using reason in this way takes the Christian out of a defensive posture, and when done diplomatically, often draws the question, “We’ll what do you believe?” This is the opportunity explain what one believes and why.
Apologetics can then be used to respond to objections. Why is there evil in the world? What about evolution? Isn’t the resurrection just a story made up by Jesus’ disciples? Removing objections is important but it is only a part of the process.
At some point the conversation must turn to the gospel, discussion about sin, separation, from God, and Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection. This is where we lean into the Holy Spirit and His anointing to convict and draw people to the Father. But leading someone to reconciliation with Jesus is never done purely with reason. Reason might get someone on the path, but it is the gospel gets them home. GS