Monday, February 4, 2008

Ahh, the Debates

You hear a lot about them these days. They're on TV fairly regularly, featuring those familiar faces we've all grown to...know. Our family has been following the Presidential debates, Republican and Democrat, as we've examined the candidates, their views, and their records. It's interesting to watch the process unfold.

It's evidently a year of debates. Two of our children are taking debate at school, and they have spent a great deal of time preparing for their individual contests. Tomorrow is round two. The topics are The USA PATRIOT Act and Standardized Testing. Ahh, the debates.

The preparation for a debate is interesting stuff. The affirmative side sets the tone, defines the issues, and leads the pack. The negative side can anticipate and speculate what their opponents will say, but they never really know for sure. It's really somewhat of a gamble.

The only way to do really well in the debate is to know the issue. Being extremely familiar with all sides and details of an issue is the only way to cover your bases and be prepared for whatever your opponent might say. Missing one small component could be the downfall of a team. The one point they are unable to counter may cause them to lose.

There is also a certain etiquette to a proper debate. While disagreements are inherent to the very idea of debate, a proper level of decorum is expected. Indeed, it is required. Losing your cool is a sure-fire way to lose the entire competition.

I sometimes wonder why Christians often lose in the realm of debating. I'm afraid that sometimes we just don't know the issues. Oh, sure. We know what others have told us we should believe. We may even vaguely know the reasons. Can we articulate them to others? In a respectful and encouraging way?

Ouch.

But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.
1 Peter 3:15 NAS

Dear Father, please forgive me for all the times I didn't know what to say and for all the times I shouldn't have said a thing. Amen

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