Understanding the other side

This past week, we had a debate at FIU MMC about biblical inerrancy. The concept of inerrancy revolves around whether or not the Bible is true and trustworthy, accurate and reliable, perfect and authoritative.

As a Staffworker with InterVarsity I regularly affirm:
The unique divine inspiration,
entire trustworthiness
and authority of the Bible.
I believe in biblical inerrancy, as do all of our leaders. But, for the purposes of the debate, we needed to find someone (on short notice) who could represent the other side.

So, I stepped up.

I presented a 30 minute argument, answered questions and did my best to represent the a theological position that I don't hold.

Have you ever tried to do that, to represent the other side?

As I prepared, I found myself struggling to empathize with the other side. All of their arguments seemed easy to unravel. They lacked nuance or a complete picture of the facts.

Often, discourse stops that this point. We assume the other side are all pinheads. We assume they are idiots or jerks or fools. We listen to people who affirm our views and affirm our views until we can't understand how anyone can disagree with us.

Look at politics or theology. You'll see distinct communities ... tribes ... who gather and amplify each other's beliefs. Amplification in the echo chamber can be great (or horrible). And it often comes at the cost of empathy and understanding.

What do you do to help yourself better understand the other side?

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