Ridicule as the weapon of choice

Scot McKnight shares a post by a friend of his who was distressed by how well atheists do in debates.

A key paragraph:

Bill Maher, Christopher Hitchens, Penn Jillette, Richard Dawkins, etc, specialize—not in philosophical thought—but in ridicule. And that means the new atheists excel on the only evangelistically-effective playing field that matters—that of human emotion and desire. Most Christian apologists conversely seem content to surrender that ground in their preference for mere rationality. This is a tragic mistake and it’s the primary reason Christian belief is diminishing, marginalized and an easy target for nighttime comedians.

The post reminded me of something Allan Bevere posted earlier in the week that quoted Thomas Jefferson saying the only proper response to the doctrine of the Trinity is ridicule.

I am reminded of the drunk rowdies who used to show up where John Wesley preached.

And I am reminded of the mocking Jesus endured at the hands of the Roman soldiers.

Ridicule is the primary tool of those who want to assail belief. It appears it always has been. The only response I know of is that offered by our Lord on the Sermon on the Mount: poverty of spirit, meekness, humility, peaceableness, love. If we live as Christ calls us to live, we can survive people being snarky.