Debate is fascinating. Using just the right amount of pathos, logos and an ever-ready counterargument are essential but so is timing. I waited until just the right moment to remind my brother that whatever was rumbling around in the closet was sure to get him first since he slept in the bottom bunk. Just like Novacaine, it worked every time.
Luther notes the power of well-executed debating strategies against the devil in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians in his discussion of chapter 1 verse 4:
“Let us equip ourselves against the accusations of Satan with this and similar passages of Holy Scripture. If he says, ‘Thou shalt be damned,’ you tell him: ‘No, for I fly to Christ who gave Himself for my sins. In accusing me of being a damnable sinner, you are cutting your own throat, Satan. You are reminding me of God's fatherly goodness toward me, that He so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. In calling me a sinner, Satan, you really comfort me above measure.’ With such heavenly cunning we are to meet the devil's craft and put from us the memory of sin.”