I’ve got a surefire way of taking the wind out of an opponent’s sails. When I state something, I sometimes will ask the person, “Do you understand?” Then I move for the win: “Do you agree?”
Once a debater has agreed, there is no getting that territory back. You can win a debate from me (Nobody has yet, but that possibility exists), but you’ll have lost valuable ground in the process!
William Fay has a similar tactic. Show them a verse from the Bible and ask them, “What does that mean to you?” If they mis-interpret it, he’ll advise, “read it again.” The entire goal is to get them to say exactly what the verse says. This way, Biblical truth becomes their truth. The only exception he has is John 14:6 – “What does that mean to you?” becomes “Is there any other way to get to heaven?”
When they answer correctly, they have been stripped of the Universalists’ argument. They have surrendered precious ground they can never get back. As Fay says, “The Bible’s truth has become their truth.” You can tell it’s worked when you ask, “Is there any other way to get to heaven?” and the person acts either annoyed, or incredulous that you’re asking the question.
By quoting Darwin’s maxim that “there must be many missing links” and Haekel’s stipulation that “In the coming years, many thousands of missing links will be discovered…” you can then ask the Atheist, “Do you agree with Darwin and Haekel?”
They’re now in a quandary. Darwin is the High Priest of Evolution, and few want to publicly disagree with him. They will reluctantly agree, seeing the trap coming and unable to get away. Kind of like a fly in a web and the spider is coming…
hit them now with the big gun. “Haekel said this in 1875. There’s still no evidence for the missing links.” They’ve just conceded that there’s no evidence from the fossil record for Evolution. One leg of Evolution down, five to go!
They’ve conceded it. There’s no way to get it back.