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Opening Closed Minds (pt. 2)

When you address controversial issues today, you can irritate or influence, but not both.

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This is part two of a two-part series. In part one, Hamilton shared some keys to his own success in preaching controversial issues, including showing honor to all standpoints. To read part one,click here.

Argue well for both sides

My underlying assumption in preaching this series of sermons was that controversial issues are controversial precisely because thinking Christians can reach opposite conclusions about the issues. If the issues were simple and the conclusion easily drawn, they would not be controversial.

With this in mind, I prepared each sermon just as I had been required to prepare for debates in high school—I studied both sides of an issue with the goal of being able to win a debate regardless of whether I took the affirmative or the negative side of the argument. In other words, if I was going to preach successfully on a controversial topic, I needed to be able to understand and fairly articulate both sides of the issue.

Only after I could do this was I in a position to bring ...

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