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I think humor is a very useful tool for apologetics. However, there is a distinct need to make sure we do everything in gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). Thus, it would be very hard for me to utilize humor in a gentle/respectful way as an apologist. I note that many people do manage to do so (generally) with success.
So my view is humor in apologetics? yes. But it must be in a Christian manner, rather than simply mocking opponents.
I understand your point. It is difficult to do. And it can be overused.
The whole intent of the cartoon is to highlight 2 things: 1) every healthy relationship has some element of humor to it (should include apologists and the people we interact with); 2) humor is meant as a means to an end. :)
It seems that when a genuinely held belief of this or that group is summarized, at times they can be unintentionally funny. Personally speaking, I try to avoid mocking (and I certainly avoid name-calling), but I don’t avoid stating the obvious conclusions of a given statement, like the “Mormon’s ‘Devil’s Tail’: The Book of Abraham”. That’s my type of satire and that was funny to me, though it might appear to be “mockery” to some.
(NOTE: The intent in the cartoon mentioned above was to show the obvious conclusion for Joseph Smith’s explanation of figure 7. Had he actually known what it was, he would likely not have labeled it “[g]od on His throne”.)
I appreciate your visits and interaction!
I think your points are very true. And I wasn’t implying that your humor was “simply mocking opponents”. That phrase was intended as a general prescription. I just know that generally speaking I probably couldn’t do it because while I think I’m doing pretty well on learning the ropes for debate, I’m not so good at using humor therein. Mostly, I know I would fail and just use it to mock the arguments of my opponents. Therefore, I tend to avoid it at all costs… which is why I enjoy this site so much.
Oh, I appreciate your kind words.
I didn’t mean to imply that I thought you were saying I was mocking opponents. I mentioned the cartoon above because of all the cartoons I’ve drawn so far, it just seemed to me that the Devil’s Tail one would probably be most likely seen as mocking, which it wasn’t.
Have you seen the Christopher Hitchens / Douglas Wilson interaction called “Collision”?
Almost every debate Hitchens is in is one in which humor is overly used, almost as if it were contageous. However, in my opinion, Wilson used humor in the form of satire to show the silliness of some of Hitchens’s arguments.
In one example where they were discussing beauty and how atheist find the teachings of Christianity make no sense, Hitchens started talking about traveling through a black hole and seeing both the past and the future at the same time. Then Wilson remarked (paraphrased), “Does it make sense to you that you could see the past and the future at the same time, provided you were headed toward a big black hole of nothing? Can you sketch that on a blackboard for me?”
In the context of their debate, it was dead on. As soon as he said it, everybody got the point. I’m trying to learn from his many interactions.
Your visits and labor are appreciated!
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