Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stop the Debate and Start the Dialogue

I'm participating in a discussion group on Facebook that just changed its name from "Christian Debate" to plain ole "Christianity." I like the change. For as much as part of me relishes the galvanizing heat of intellectual battle, I want to believe that the whole me cherishes dialogue more. This is what I posted there this morning about it:

What I'd like to see us left with is DIALOGUE about Christianity. Dialogue isn't debate. That is, it's not about people defending their preconceptions and attacking opposing ones in a forensic battle of intellect, biting wit, and clever gotchas. It's people of every participating persuasion respectfully, even reverently opening themselves to one another intellectually, emotionally, and, for want of a better word, spiritually in deep sharing and examination of each others' perspectives in an effort to apprehend and clarify truth or, at the very least, to arrive at a greater degree of mutual empathy.

Is this possible in a "place" such as this with the vast diversity of people participating? Not on your life! Is it an "impossible dream" worth approximating as closely as possible by those of us who share it? I think so, and I hope I'm not the only one who does.