Yesterday I posted a video that I had seen that showed a small debate that was between Andrew Wilson and Rob Bell on the topic of homosexuality and the church. If you have not seen that video, check it out here.
In this post, I wanted to share one of the first things that stood out to me from this video. This “thing” that stood out like a neon sign on a dark night was the way in which Andrew Wilson clarified the argument. He was careful to make sure that he heard and understood what Rob Bell was saying and what his stance was.
I believe that this is one of the most overlooked parts of debating. When two parties are debating a topic, often what happens is that each side is working up their arguments. Not much attention is given to really clarifying the other side’s position. Too many people have the focus of winning the debate rather than winning the other person to their side. When no effort is given to actually hearing what the other person is saying, then the likelihood that any real good coming of it is slight.
In the mentioned video, Wilson does one of the best jobs of clarifying the other’s position that I’ve seen. Before he makes any point, he makes sure that he knows exactly the position that is held by Bell. This would be a well-learned lesson by Christians looking to share the important truth of the Gospel. Instead of just having our arguments arranged in firing order inside our head, we should listen to the other person and see what direction the conversation/debate needs to go.