1. Respect others – we are all made in the image of God so treat each other with the respect that this warrants.

2. Understand the importance of the topic – there are three varying levels of importance when talking about theological issues (which tend to cause the most controversy), but these levels can also be applied to other topics. The first level is Dogma, these are things that we all can agree on as being foundational to being a Christian, human, American, etc. The second level is Doctrine, these are things that are important to your specific identity and your associations. Doctrine is what makes up the differences between denominations. The third level is opinion, these are things that really have no bearing on anything practical but still are fun to talk about sometimes. So understand these levels and use them to gauge the importance of the discussion.

3. Be able to defend your point – We are all intelligent people with a plethora of resources, so make sure that you have done your research or at least approach topics you don’t know that much about with some humility.

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