Random thoughts on productive discourse

I have a lot of issues with the way we “do church” in America. I think we do a few things right, but I think we’ve done off the rails spectacularly in many other ways.

But the biggest problem is that we don’t seem to be able to talk about it constructively. It is difficult to be opinionated and yet gracious. Be non-judgmental and you’ll be accused of being “soft on sin.” Try to think deeply about topics and you’ll be accused of doing too much fancy thinking.

I am dedicated to learning the truth, and I believe that all truth is God’s truth. I also believe that truth is found in Scripture and in the cosmos that He created. When those come into apparent conflict, how can we resolve it productively — or at least disagree with respect?

Many people strong hold to an ideology without even realizing it. Or they insist it’s Just the Way Things Are. Most young-earth creationists are this way, and it makes any discourse very difficult.

What can we do to improve?

  • Have respect for other points of view.
  • Be aware that you hold to an interpretation of Scripture, and it may not be correct.
  • Separate major issues from minor issues.
  • Argue respectfully.
  • Respond to an argument on its merits and don’t just dismiss it because “you clearly don’t know the Scripture well enough.”
  • Love.