Thoughts on Wilson-Bell Debate Part 1

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.


Christy said...

I agree. I was very impressed with the way Andrew wanted to clarify Bell's position. I also think that his doing so took Bell off guard a bit.
Another thing, (you might think I'm a bit crazy) when the camera stayed focused on Bell for some time, his expressions looked (to me) diabolical. I really wish I were a body language expert so that I could read the unspoken.

Anthony said...

Thanks for your comments, Christy. I agree that it appeared to take Bell a little off guard. Strangely, when a person's position is clarified, it does tend to take them off guard because most of the time it appears that we are not even listening to what they are saying but rather just getting ready with our next point.