I think a formal debate would be good, because you can lay down some ground rules, structure, etc. For example, each round can include 5 questions that the other party is required to answer. The first one who answers a challenging verse with "God's ways are higher than our ways", loses the debate.
I will be sure to put priority in my schedule to moderate, and I will be fair to the best of my ability, and work to curtail any biases since I do favor TeeJay's position. We can set up a 'grandstands" thread for people to comment on the debate. Are there any takers, anyone willing to enter the fray? We will pin the thread for all of eternity.
Now I would prefer an oral debate at TeeJay's ranch, but in order that I don't get sued for wrongful death, I'll want a big supply of rattlesnake anti-venom.
Okay I'll do it. And I can think up some very good rules.
1) Every verse posted most be addressed unless it's not on the subject and is random talk.
2) If a verse is skipped the opponent has one chance to address it.
3) No fix all answers. What is claimed has to be explained and proven by the word of God, not denominational beliefs or individual beliefs. We are after truth that is supported by God's word.
4) If the answer to a question is not known then you have to say: I don't know. This will save a lot of beating around the bush.
5) Either side at anytime can call a timeout question. This is when more detail on what was said is needed for one side to better understand what is being talked about, or how something works.
6) Each side needs to agree that being wrong on some issues does not mean you are totally wrong. it only means that either your belief has to be adjusted to fit, and if it does not fit you may need to reexamine what you believe, Because if there is going to be a problem with admitting to being wrong then the debate is not going to work for either side.
7) Because some people may work, time between answers can take up to 5 days unless more days are needed and agreed to. Things can happen to make it not possible to get back here when we would like.
8) If the two opponents cannot agree with moderation on an issue it can be determined by a forum vote. And only those who understand the issue can vote unless the issue falls along the line of breaking rules. Then anyone can vote.
9) Grandstanding for your side is not allowed. Saying things like: To all, blah blah blah. The debate is not only for working out truth between opponents, but for the members as well.
10) like in a court room, the judge will call a side bar or the arguing parties can call a side bar. When their is a complaint about an opponents debating tactics the words "side bar:" will be posted along with the complaint. This is to show that what is said is not part of the debate and that the mod can address it. In this way the complaint can be separate from the debate.
I also believe that a thread needs to be started on what each side believes. This thread is not a debate thread but an information thread. In this way each side gets to ask the questions needed before the debate starts so a lot of time is not wasted on trying to feel one another out on their beliefs. And it will also gives subjects to address from both sides. This can be part of the formal debate, if it seems like a better idea, that can last for a couple of pages before the debate starts. In this way the things said can be addressed as part of the debate. But I think it would be better as a separate thread.
11) There will be no name calling, no judgments, no categorizations. Either the word of God proves what you believe or you lose.
12) Questions that cannot be answered can be answered later if the opponent researches the subject and comes up with an answer. But of course not every questions can be answered.
My philosophy in any debate is that I prefer to be proven wrong. That may sound funny but look at it this way. If you are really searching for truth what's the quickest way to get there? To be corrected so that you don;t waste time dealing with what is not true. So being right does not matter to me as much as having truth. Anyone who can argue halfway decent can look right. But having truth is much harder to achieve, and if my debate opponent cannot have the same attitude then I ask to what end do you debate?
Now all that might make me sound like a push over to convince and you'd be wrong. I will accept what is said when it's proven and supported by God's "whole word". Not a verse here or there taken out of context. So if there a verse that contradicts then you have to make that fit. If it's ignored then you did not convince me.
12) It should also be agreed that there is no perfect denominational belief. No man can obtain God's perfect truth as for the same reason no denomination can be perfect either. There are no perfect churches and no perfect pastors. That we can only strive for as much truth as we can obtain. If the opponent on either side thinks their belief is perfect then the debate is a waste of time. Because someone who cannot be corrected on anything is not worth debating.
13) Leeway in the first few posts should be allowed on breaking rules until both sides understand the boundaries. After that there won't be an excuse.
14) Or a demerit system where only 2 or 3 points is allowed on breaking rules before person is booted out.
If the debate causes bad attitudes these attitudes shall not be carried on after the debate or in other threads in open forum during the debate.
15) If this debate on osas stalemates, and they often do, each side can pick someone they know that believes as they do to carry on the debate if agreed to by both sides.
If anyone else can think up some good rules or if certain ones should not apply and why I welcome the suggestions.