All participants for written debate 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 (including 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) Each participant must agree to the terms and conditions of a regular author under contract with Ichthus Publications.

(6) Each participant should be willing to engage in radio and podcast discussions of the topic (as applicable, and as arranged by the publisher) in order to promote the published work.