Comments 4

Facts Not Opinions

“The way you say something can often be as important as what you are saying. There are ways to discuss criticisms in a judicious manner by qualifying or hedging your language (“It seems that something is the case,” “So-and-so appears to do something,” etc.). You want to avoid inflammatory language that deliberately provokes. Your choice of words matters. For instance, the word failure is more negatively charged than the expression “neglect.” Likewise, to say someone “completely missed” a piece evidence is more negative than noting that he or she “overlooked” or “did not sufficiently consider” some data. There are ways to communicate the same conclusion without overstating your case with an arrogant attitude. Give others the benefit of the doubt; remember the Golden Rule.
The virtue of restraint will help you keep the focus on the evidence and avoid overstating your case. This will affect your choice of language and help you steer clear of logical fallacies. Never attribute to other people sinister motives or otherwise speculate about their motives.
Even if you think you know what motivated another scholar to lodge a particular argument, rarely can you be sure what is driving him or her to take a particular position. Calling your opponent the antichrist, or a blasphemer and heretic, will not win him or her over to your position. Attitude makes all the difference when we are disagreeing with someone.”
Excerpt: Andreas J. Kostenberger, The Character of God and the pursuit of Scholarly Virtues (Wheaton: Crossways Publishing, 2011) 132, 133
Picture via Foe
This entry was posted in: Apologetics


There are three things I think about every moment of everyday... they consume me deeply. How to: 1. Refine my theological understanding 2. sharpen my ethical rigor 3. and heighten my devotional intensity. These are the things I write about. Welcome you to my blog... Join me on this incredible journey of exploration and discovery of all the things God has in store for His children. Join by following or subscribing. I appreciate your thoughts, comments and friendship. Walter


  1. Anonymous says

    Great points! Accusatory language is counterproductive in discussion, and undermines our ability to effectively communicate in a manner worth listening to!


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