As the Reformation was kicking off in Germany just shy of four hundred years ago, a series of debates was proposed. On one side, Luther & his supporters, Karlstadt and Melanchthon. On the other, Eck, who would humbly announce his arrival by walking through town surrounded by a bodyguard of seventy six men, fifes and drums playing.
As is the way of all debates, before the arguments over the core issues began, they argued over how they would argue. The format. Should there be books to refer to? Who should the judges be? And (early on) should there be stenographers present to record the debates verbatim?
Eck argued against. They might reduce the white hot passion of the verbal exchanges. Philipp Melanchthon wryly replied -
"The truth might fare better at a lower temperature."
I've been watching various conversations this weekend, in the church (locally and nationally), in the world (nationally and internationally), and been reminded of Melanchthon's dry wit and remarkable wisdom.
And hoped I might remember it myself when it matters.