Does it make sense that good arguments would cure our tendency to be argumentative? Well, according to William Lane Craig (one of the world’s leading Christian Apologists) this is precisely the effect he has observed in himself and others (quoted from Craig’s book On Guard).
Ironically, if you have good arguments in support of your faith, you’re less apt to become quarrelsome or upset. I find that the better my arguments, the less argumentative I am. The better my defense, the less defensive I am. If you have good reasons for what you believe and know answers to the unbeliever’s questions or objections, there’s just no reason to get hot under the collar. Instead, you’ll find yourself calm and confident when you’re under attack, because you know you have the answers.
As I shared in another post, the accumulation of knowledge seems to get a bad wrap, but the positive effects in a person’s life can be utterly transforming. If you find that you get into a lot of unnecessarily heated debates, part of the problem may be that you haven’t studied enough. That may not be the entire problem, but at least that’s a part of the problem that isn’t too hard to remedy; just hit the books! Speaking of books, On Guard (by William Lane Craig) is probably a pretty good place to start. And if that’s not enough, you can always check out Apologetics 315 for recommended resources on the web and in print.
And while you’re studying, maybe you should take some time to contemplate other possible reasons why you get hot tempered. Maybe Arguing with Friends could help you figure some of that out?
One theme I want to develop at this website is the sharing of stories of people who have engaged in the big conversations of life – whether they go well or poorly. William Lane Craig’s reflection isn’t quite a “story” per say, but it is a personal reflection on what it takes for these kinds of conversations to succeed. If you have a story of a “big life conversation” that you would be willing to share, I would sure appreciate hearing it. Drop me a line (my contact info is here) and let’s chat!
And even if you don’t share your stories, keep an eye on this site for stories from myself and other people. I previously shared my own personal story about how I got into Apologetics, including some of the good, and bad, aspects of my role in the conversation. I will aim to share, and dissect, one story each week.