I comment from time to time on dialogue and diversity (most recently here), a pair of topics that I regard as particularly important. It’s important amongst Christians because we have much in common, but we often focus on difference. It’s important in general, because we do share a home planet, however much we might think some other folks come from interstellar distances.
A couple of the requirements that I believe are important for effective dialogue is knowing what you believe yourself, along with a willingness to search out both the common ground and the major differences, and then express those politely.
This morning I read a post on the evangelical outpost, titled What Evangelicals Owe Catholics: An Appreciation. Now what precisely interested me about that article, seeing as I’m neither Catholic (nor even ex-Catholic) nor am I evangelical? It was an excellent demonstration of precisely what I’m talking about in terms of dialogue.
I recommend going and reading it, for content, yes, but especially for method.