Debate

7 Principles of Disagreeing Well

"Thomas Sowell once said, 'It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.' Humility must precede all healthy learning and dialogue. An awareness of our own limitations will not only force us to take a more humble stance ourselves but also compel us to grant grace to our fellow human beings." - LifeWay

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Disagreement Fatigue and 2020: How the Events of the Year Will Shape Christian Interactions in 2021 and Beyond

"...it’s been a devastating year of conflict. And we’re all tired from it. But I’ve noticed a concerning pattern of response to perceived conflict in recent weeks, particularly on social media: Fatigue has led many Christians to avoid any kind of disagreement." - Natahsa Crain

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Veith: We’ll Live-Blog the Debate!

"As the debate proceeds, I’ll offer my thoughts in the Comments feature.  But don’t make me do all of the work.  I invite you, dear reader, to join in with your own comments.  I hope we have participants from all political perspectives.  We would thus represent the “General Public” in our responses, without the media filters and without the vitriol." - Gene Veith

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“The offense caused by the truth does not detract from the necessity of the truth. On the other hand, rash words can devastate.”

"The Latin term ad hominem literally means 'to the man.' ... 'attacking the person of a source rather than his or her qualifications or reliability, or the actual argument he or she makes.'" - Ref21 

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Handling Controversy With Rules of Persuasion

"No matter the theological issue, we can be sure that a litany of quick-fire responses often only exacerbate the issue for those who are in need of biblical instruction and theologically nuanced clarity. To that end, I would suggest that the antiquarian tripartite modes of persuasion (i.e. ethos, logos, and pathos) are helpful when seeking to engage in theological controversy." - Church Leaders

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From the Archives – Toward Arguing Better

Conservative Christianity needs more people who argue well. It does not need more people who quarrel well!

Scripture opposes quarreling, along with the behaviors the KJV renders as “strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings” and “tumults” (2 Cor. 12:20). But arguing is something else. Scripture calls us to argue and to do it well. Every Christian is obligated to develop and exercise the skill of thinking and communicating clearly with the goal of persuasion.

With that as a working definition of argue, let’s consider a few basics for arguing better.

Argue for the right reasons.

Why do people argue? Unflattering reasons come quickly to mind. As sinners, we often argue to gain the esteem of others, to defeat someone we don’t like, or to try to win an imagined (or real) competition for loyal supporters. Sometimes people argue because they have a contrarian disposition and enjoy the challenge and repartee. (For these, the question is not “Why argue?” but “Why not argue?”)

But for Christians, the proper goal of argument is to establish the truth or rightness of ideas or actions.

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth (NKJV, 2 Tim. 2:24–25).

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