Rules for Debate

image courtesy of Andrew Carpenter via Picasa

While I am always up for a good discussion and debate, I need to remember to come to the table with humility and gentleness. As Tripp Crosby states in New Rules for Debate, I need to spend more energy trying to understand others’ perspectives than in making my own point. It’s a great application of Philippians 2:3-4,

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

He gives three good principles that I need to carry into debates:

  1. Assume others have valid reasons for their positions.
  2. When listening, really listen (and ask questions), instead of using that time to formulate my own statements.
  3. Go into the moments hoping to learn.

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