All participants in our “Essential Christian Debates” series must agree to and meet the following guidelines: 

(1) Participants reside in the United States.

(2) A debate thesis must form a “yes” or “no” question (when only two participants are involved). For example,

    • “Is the love of God compatible with eternal conscious torment?”
    • “Is compatibilism taught in the Gospel of John?”
    • “Is the Shroud of Turin a medieval forgery?” 

(3) The ideal participant will have a Doctorate degree. However, each participant will hold, at a minimum, a Masters degree or will have shown competence and/or contributions in the field of the debate topic through education, publishing, or teaching.

(4) Word-count limits are as follows (inclusive of footnotes):

    • Affirmative opening statement (7,500 words)
    • Negative opening statement (7,500 words)
    • Affirmative rebuttal (4,000 words)
    • Negative rebuttal (4,000 words)
    • Affirmative cross-examination (6 questions [100 words each], 500-word response to each)
    • Negative cross-examination (6 questions [100 words each], 500-word response to each)
    • Second affirmative cross-examination (6 questions [100 words each], 500-word response to each)
    • Second negative cross-examination (6 questions [100 words each], 500-word response to each)
    • Affirmative closing statement (4,000 words)
    • Negative closing statement (4,000 words)

(5) Participants should be willing to actively promote the published work in a public setting (e.g., podcasts, radio interviews, social media, speaking engagements, etc.).

(6) Each participant will receive a $250 gratuity upon completion of the debate. This one-time payment is distinct from the standard royalty rate of 15% of net proceeds (split between both contributors) and should not be considered an advance against royalty payments.

(7) There is no typeset fee associated with the “Essential Christian Debates” series.