I think that John Martignoni made a lot of very good points in the original article.
But to me, the issue that I have is that admitting that our culture has a certain problem with sensitivity does not imply one can now be overly personal and sarcastic and fight with people when “debating” them. If we *know *that a person is going to be turned off by our style, we can safely assume they’re going to likewise tune us out, or just treat us like an enemy to get annoyed at. That does our cause absolutely no good.
I’d like to offer a good example of this from John’s newsletter:
… [Matt Slick’s] response to my email about the Catholic men’s conference consisted of the following: “Hmmm…But Catholicism preaches a false gospel.” matt
So, I took it upon myself to respond to his email as follows:
"Oh, goodness me! Of course it does…what was I thinking?! I meant to announce the conference I’m having with speaker Matt Slick:
Topic 1: The Gospel According to Matt Slick
Topic 2: Matt Slick Traces His Line of Authority Back to the Apostles
Topic 3: The Infallibility of Matt Slick
Topic 4: We’re still working on topic #4, but I know it’s going to be a good one…
Can I put you down for one reservation?
Now, can anyone really say that this type of humor is going to be an effective tool of evangelization? Or is it just going to alienate them? And if it does alienate them, what then? Are we to mock them for being mamby-pamby sissies who can’t take a good rib? Hm.
I think John makes a great case for very basic apologetics, but I also think it’s a good idea to go out of our way to be respectful of others, and to not give them reasons to completely ignore the case we’re making. If we come across like we’re just trying to win an internet fight, we’re not going to be effective.