Cover image for More light, less heat : how dialogue can transform Christian conflicts into growth
More light, less heat : how dialogue can transform Christian conflicts into growth
Phelps, Joseph, 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco, Calif. : Jossey-Bass, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 192 pages ; 24 cm
Preface -- The author -- The heat of our battles -- The light of dialogue -- Motivating Christians toward dialogue -- Dialogue in action -- The challenge of Christian dialogue -- Managing versus fighting -- The Bible and dialogue -- Living the dialogue: a church's story -- World of dialogue -- Appendix: resources for dialogue -- Works cited.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BV4597.53.C58 P594 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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So often the call to dialogue masks a requirement that we set aside our deepest convictions on important questions. This book should be required reading for everyone who is about to enter into a potentially divisive debate.
?Richard Mouw, president, Fuller Theological Seminary

This breakthrough guide introduces a powerful armistice for those battling the Christian culture war?Dialogue.' As a basic healing practice, dialogue enables people to discuss issues and disagreements in ways that allow them to learn from each other without attempting to demonize or convert the other's thinking. Dialogue enables Christians at the grassroots level to effectively speak for themselves and listen deeply to each other, discussing fundamental disagreements in open, constructive, and mutually respectful ways.

Pinpointing what separates the Christian left and right, More Light, Less Heat provides the tools individuals need to constructively engage in dialogue, demonstrating how participants can strengthen their arguments and bring forth a mutual understanding of their adversaries. In ways that will decrease the isolation and anxiety that often accompanies such faith-based debates, the author offers clear and concrete models to help participants better articulate their beliefs while understanding the beliefs of others.

Author Notes

JOSEPH PHELPS is pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He has been a leader in the establishment of a variety of community programs including a food bank, community ministry, and antiviolence campaigns. His experiences during the Baptist split of the 1980s make him a veteran of the kind of conflict that calls for dialogue. A popular speaker and workshop leader, Phelps has published articles on dialogue in a wide range of denominational publications.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Phelps provides a guide to reasoned discussion of such volatile Christian issues as homosexuality and the ordination of women. He begins by describing the elements involved in productive dialog and how it can be beneficial for both sides. As a Baptist pastor and community leader, Phelps brings real experience of such church conflicts to his writing, and as a weekly columnist he knows how to deliver his message in readable, persuasive prose. Phelps understands that these issues are important to Christians and that both sides are worthy of consideration. He is most interested in facilitating articulate, civil discussion so that points of difference can become sources of growth. He demonstrates how dialog can be promoted through the use of nonthreatening discussion techniques and gives examples of successful dialogs in various churches. Annotated lists of organizations and publications that facilitate dialog are included. A useful guide; recommended for public libraries.‘C. Robert Nixon, MLS, Lafayette, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 The Heat of Our Battles
2 The Light of Dialogue
3 Naming Our Fears
4 Establishing Ground Rules for the Conversation
5 Understanding Why Christians Fight
6 Turning Our Differences Into Sources of Growth
7 Hope and the Bible2s Invitation to Dialogue
8 Living the Dialogue: One Church2s Story
9 When God Enters Our Conflicts
Resource A Organizations That Facilitate Dialogue
Resource B Selected Publications on Dialogue