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Moving from Shootout to Tennis Game

Many of us engaging in apologetics are confronted with people who say they want to ask questions, but instead, they want to slap leather with us. It seems that they want to play the "Gotcha!" game, and if an apologist is unable to answer a question or objection, they can further justify their rebellion against God. (Embarrassing the apologist is a bonus.) A favored tactic of scoffers is to turn a discussion into a shootout, rapidly firing their statements and not allowing a response. 

When dealing with misotheists and evolutionists, many fire off questions without allowing answers. We can change shootouts into something productive.
Cropped from Pixnio / Amanda Mills
In the Nye-Ham debate, Bill Nye exploited the debate rules and indulged in a related tactic known as elephant hurling, where Ken Ham was unable to respond in the allotted time.

Something I've pointed out many times is that misotheists and other evolutionists often rely on intimidation. While 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to sanctify Christ and be ready to answer, there is no command about getting pummeled. Also, there comes a time when we discern that we're being played and shake the dust off our feet, because many unbelievers are happy to waste our time. (That must be balanced with responding to honest, but sometimes abrasive, seekers for answers.) Several ways exist where we can take charge of the situation instead of allowing ourselves to be bullied.

On social(ist) media, mockers get together like the Clanton gang at the O.K. Corral, guns blazing at the apologist. I disremember when, but apologist Matt Slick discussed how he would engage with several atheists. When they started shooting their verbal and text guns, he told them to select one as a representative instead of trying to deal with all at once.

Not a seeker of information. Click for larger.
Used under US Fair Use doctrine for educational purposes.
In the more common one-on-one situations, an atheist or evolutionist will just keep firing. It's happened to me on several occasions. Sometimes it's all at once, or a question would be answered and then the asker simply moves on to the next. To keep from being hustled by those who don't want to hear a biblical creationist perspective, we can change an encounter from a shootout into something resembling an exchange — like a tennis game.
It seemed to me as though I was in a ‘gun battle’ with shot after shot being fired at me. Then I realised that my challenger was not actually interested in my answers so much as in trying to trip me up on some point and thereby discredit biblical creation. It occurred to me that I needed to change tactics. This discussion should be like a tennis match, not a gun battle! In a tennis match, one player will serve, and his opponent will endeavour to ‘return serve’. If he does so successfully, the onus is on the server to deal with his opponent’s shot. And so it continues until one player is unsuccessful at returning the ball, at which point he must acknowledge, “Okay, you won that point.”

So, after my answer to the next question I immediately asked

Don't raise a racket, you can find out what happened by reading the entire article at "Anyone for tennis?"

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