I have done approximately 50 radio and podcast interviews over the last five years. During that time I’ve been on The Bob Dutko Show (103.5 WMUZ, Detroit, Michigan) five times which, by my counting, is more than any other program. (I believe The Drew Marshall Show comes in second.) If you visit the show’s website you will quickly discover that Bob and me, we’re very different. But that makes it all the more interesting to appear on his show. Just today Bob invited me on to talk about the issue of dialogue in pluralist society based on my book You’re Not as Crazy as I Think: Dialogue in a World of Loud Voices and Hardened Opinions (Biblica / InterVarsity, 2011).
I always appreciate it when hosts aren’t afraid to invite on guests with whom they have some disagreements, and this case certainly qualifies. Bob’s happy to engage in disparate opinions, not least because I suspect he recognizes that the truth often emerges in the midst of an exchange. As I explain in the book, we need to rethink our views about “argument” as something bad to be avoided:
“The verb to argue comes from a Latin word meaning ‘to make clear’ or ‘to demonstrate.’ Even more interestingly, the word derives its root from arg, meaning ‘to shine.’ So the essence of argument is found neither in anger or aggression, nor for that matter I obfuscating rhetoric or clever sophistry. Rather, in its lofty essence, to argue is to shine, to demonstrate or make something clear to another. It is the admission of significant disagreement on a particular issue and the attempt to make clear why we hold the view we do with the intent of persuading others to hold the same view.” (You’re Not as Crazy as I Think, 105-106)
Hopefully we had some good argument, and thus some shining forth, in this dialogue. You can be the judge: