The Jews of the Hellenistic Diaspora thus found themselves interpreting their particularity in terms of a thought-world that bore no original relationship to it. The particularity of Israel was sometimes a burden to them in relationships with Gentiles, but it was also essential to their own sense of national and religious identity. Without it, they could not survive as a people. yet they could not survive with it, either, unless they were prepared to explain and defend it in terms intelligible to the larger world, and the very process of explanation and defense tended to alter the characteristic of the thing being explained.
From, Dirt, Greed and Sex, by L. William Countryman.
The great problem with today's Christian public interaction is that it is largely reactive and so the agenda has been set from outside the church. The result is that the church becomes increasingly positioned over and against secondary and marginal issues which in turn become much greater and assume a more central significance than they should have. In defending our faith against these attacks we run the danger of becoming a caricature of ourselves and losing sight of what really makes us who we are. Apologetics is very important, even essential, to maintaining a diaspora identity but it must be done wisely with an eye on the effect engaging in such a defense has on us. The first task of apologetics should not be to convince the scoffer but to preserve the integrity of that which is being defended. Otherwise even if we win such battles they will be only Pyrrhic Victories.