I’ve pondered, discussed, debated, and argued about many things in my life. The order of that verb list isn’t accidental. I listed it sort of in order of how much time you ought to spend on each one. Argue very little. Debate in a few well-controlled forums. Discuss with many people. Ponder and pray more than you discuss.
Conversations are like liquid in a funnel. Conversations sort of scatters around at the top, catching all sorts of topics, and rinsing the walls of life’s containment into the mix. But as they continue, they start coalescing on very few intractible, fundamental, precepts of life. At this point, learning and growth tends to stall unless participants are willing to engage on questions that deviate from the “yes” or “no” variety.
Below are two questions that may be helpful with a willing partner when done in a giving (not taking) way.
- To the Humanist or Atheist, ask “Are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes?”
- To the Christian pursuing free love instead of obedience to God, ask “Are you being legalistic about grace?”
The last miscellanea I’ll include here is a favorite observation: “Experts aren’t”.