How do we communicate with people who disagree with us?
In today's polarized world, friends and strangers clash with each other over issues large and small. Coworkers have conflicts in the office. Married couples fight over finances. And online commenters demonize one another's political and religious perspectives. Is there any hope for restoring civil discourse?
Communications expert Tim Muehlhoff provides a strategy for having difficult conversations, helping us move from contentious debate to constructive dialogue. By acknowledging and entering into the other person's story, we are more likely to understand where they're coming from and to cultivate common ground. Insights from Scripture and communication theory provide practical ways to manage disagreements and resolve conflicts.
We can disagree without being disagreeable. And we can even help another see different points of view and learn from one another. Find out how in I Beg to Differ.
Tim Muehlhoff (PD., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication and gender. Tim is the coauthor of and . He and his wife, Noreen, are frequent speakers at FamilyLife Marriage Conferences, and Tim has served with Campus Crusade since 1986. They live in Brea, California, with their three boys. Tim has written about God, communication and faith in diverse publications such as the and . You can visit Tim's website at www.timmuehlhoff.com.
I head up a graduate program in Christian apologetics and I can't think of a better book to read if you want to engage others with the 'humility and respect' that the apostle writes about in 1 Peter 3:15. But understand, this book is for everybody: evangelists, pastors, spouses, friends, bosses, employees--anyone who needs to communicate with charity, confidence and clarity. Tim Muehlhoff has written yet another incredibly helpful book that really needs to be read far and wide.
-Craig J. Hazen,
founder and director of the Christian Apologetics Program at Biola University
For more than twenty years, I have benefited both personally and professionally from Tim's wisdom and coaching. He is a masterful communicator, and the principals contained in his most recent book are stunning. I can't say that I am looking forward to the next difficult conversation that I will have to have with a family member or friend, but I am confident that the timeless and proven principles contained in I Beg to Differ will help me communicate with integrity and clarity.
director of generosity initiatives and premium service, Leadership Network
A number of years ago I determined two very important things about marriage: we are naturally very good at initiating conflict, and we are naturally very bad at resolving conflict. How you resolve conflict in your marriage, family and relationships will determine the depth of intimacy you experience in these relationships. I Beg to Differ is '911 to the rescue' for relationships. This may be the most important book you read this year.
host, FamilyLife Today, founder and president, FamilyLife Ministries
Over the last twenty years or so, we have witnessed an explosion of important works in Christian apologetics. But what have been missing are books teaching us how to communicate our ideas in effective ways with those who have a different viewpoint. I Beg to Differ meets this need in a wonderful way. Muehlhoff brings together an expertise in communication, a deep integration of biblical teaching and decades of ministry experience to produce a book that is highly practical and theoretically solid. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how to interact with people of different perspectives.
-J. P. Moreland,
One doesn't have to look far to find myriad examples of incivility--from political commentators who cut off and ridicule their guests to boardrooms to church and faculty meetings to the dinner table. I can think of no one better than Tim Muehlhoff to provide insight and practical wisdom on how to navigate difficult conversations with grace and truth. Tim doesn't just apply his considerable scholarly expertise and biblical knowledge to the subject; he lives what he writes.
president, Evangel University
Having worked in college ministry for over twenty years, we are always looking for resources to help people engage those with differing views on campus. With Tim Muehlhoff's help, even difficult conversations can foster understanding instead of driving a wedge.
-Bob and Jill Fuhs,
Cru staff, Los Angeles and Orange County
This book can pull your marriage out of the communication ditch. It's practical, authentic and full of helpful insight. It can help you move your marriage to a whole new level.
cohost, FamilyLife Today
Over the years, Tim Muehlhoff's thoughts and guidance on personal communication have helped me grow as a person and as a leader. In I Beg to Differ, he once again provides me with strategies I can immediately apply to what I do every day, in business and in my personal life.
executive vice president, Trader Joe's Company
This is a deeply wise book. In it, Tim Muehlhoff offers hope, but not just hope; he also provides practical tools to help us communicate about differences in ways that foster growth more than division. Illustrating the book are powerful examples that are illuminated by Muehlhoff's seamless blending of insights from communication research and lessons from the Scriptures. The result is a book that resonates powerfully with our lives and invites us to become better versions of ourselves.
-Julia T. Wood,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Conflict can be an indicator light of a relationship trending toward intimacy. Because of this, if we want to experience the joys of long-term, authentic relationships, we have to learn how to navigate conflict well. My friend Tim Muehlhoff gives us a strategy and practical tools to help guide us in having those sometimes unpleasant but necessary encounters.
lead pastor, Fellowship Memphis
I love this book! My life can sometimes feel like a cauldron of conflict--from negotiating a price on a Craigslist purchase to serious disagreements with my neighbors, colleagues and family members. In I Beg to Differ author Tim Muehlhoff clearly articulates both the theory of conflict resolution and the practical methods of dealing with real people! This book has already challenged me to be a more intentional steward of my relationships. Read it, then reread it--the people around you will thank you!
executive director, Keynote (a ministry of Cru)
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