No matter which side of the issue we find ourselves on, these are some good guidelines I think:
1) Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.
2) Know the person before you attack the position. Forming relationships may not change your theology, but it will definitely shape your tone. It is possible to hold the position of Jesus without the posture of Jesus.
3) Stay calm. These issues are incredibly emotional. Progressives feel that these are matters of justice requiring rigorous advocacy. Conservatives feel that the Bible’s integrity and the viability of the historic faith is at risk. This creates an emotionally super-charged debate that is too visceral to be beneficial. So work hard to remain calm.
4) Don’t require from others what you refuse to offer yourself. The position of many on these matters is, “I’m totally convinced I’m 100% right about this. But you need to hold your views loosely and consider what I have to say.” That’s a conversational non-starter if I’ve ever seen one. No wonder we have a bunch of progressives and conservatives in isolated echo-chambers who talk past each other.
5) Keep it salty. This conversation has become “salty” in one sense. The right calls the left “heretics” who “don’t believe the Bible.” The left calls the right “oppressive” and “hateful bigots.” We need to keep our language salty, but in the Colossians 4:6 sense: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt …”