I gave a talk to a good-sized audience on a large university campus, on the subject of civility. The folks who attended were mainly from campus ministry groups, many of them evangelical. There had been some controversy over “culture wars” issues on that campus in recent months, and they asked me to address questions about how we can best deal with public controversies in a Christian spirit. One point that I made with a special emphasis was the need to talk with our opponents face-to-face, whenever possible, before going public with our criticisms.
Afterward the leaders of one of the evangelical campus groups came up to talk with me. They told me how they had run ads in the campus newspaper, stating the evangelical understanding of sexual fidelity, with some mention of their opposition to same-sex relationships. One of the gay-lesbian groups had countered with an angry published response, and they had gone back and forth a bit, trading letters to the editor. “It has gotten a bit out of hand,” they said. “Realistically, from your point of view, how should we have handled it differently?”
Read Mouw's advice and the outcome of the situation here. If more Christians followed suit, would there even be a "culture war" raging today?