I'm working on a new perspective on an old idea. A while back I offered to moderate formal debates here at Wittenberg Gate. The feedback I got told me, 1) that generally it was thought to be a good idea, but 2) the formal format was intimidating to many of you, and 3) nobody wants to go first.
So for a while now I've had thoughts bumping around in my head about what my goals are and how else I could best help something like this happen. I want to promote meaningful, respectful dialog in the blogosphere. I want to highlight the kind of discourse that doesn't simply entertain those who already agree with a position, but really helps people understand one another's perspectives. I want those of us who read it to not only better understand another point of view, but also to learn by example how to better use our voices to the marketplace of ideas.
Then this week I've been enjoying an inter-blog dialog with another blogger about church and state issues and I've been thinking that this is more of what I want to see happen.
So...this is what I've done. I have set up a new blog site, associated with Wittenberg Gate, which I call Evangelical Diablog. I got the site up today. Tomorrow I will work on getting it set up with the various aggregators, get a Google search box and Blogads, and all that stuff. The weekend will be a busy one, but then early next week I can start working on content.
We're going to skip the formality unless there are debaters who want to go that route. What I would like to do is link to or republish (with proper permissions, of course) dialog between Evangelical Christians and others or between two Evangelical Christians. If folks want the conversation to take place on Evangelical Diablog, that would be great, too.
I don't want to fill the site up with a whole lot of chatter, though. I have no interest in highlighting the typical blog jousting in which two opponents take turns attempting to knock the other off the horse. I want to feature dialog that is a model for all of us to follow, in which the Evangelical participant(s) honors Christ with his or her level of discourse. I'm looking for conversation in which real communication takes place and though the participants may not necessarily change their opinions, they at least come away understanding each other better.
If that means I can add only one dialog to the site in a month, that's fine. I value quality over quantity in this.
Quality, though, refers to the level of discourse, not the resume of the participants. I'm happy to link to a humble housewife like myself and I'm happy to link to a PhD in philosophy. (Humble housewives with PhD's are welcome, too.)
This is not the kind of thing I can do alone, though. I need your help. What I would like you all to do is to help me find those dialog diamonds that are out there in the dark caverns of the blogosphere. Whether it is at your blog or someone else's, when you know of the kind of discourse I'm talking about, would you email me and let me know where it is? If you have a topic you would like to discuss with someone, would you email or comment on Evangelical Diablog and issue an invitation?
For now, you can stop by Evangelical Diablog and see how the construction is going. Comments are enabled, so when you visit, share your thoughts and advice.