When Asking Beats Telling – Reflecting the Heat Back
Key Bible Verse: Let me ask you a question first … . Did John’s baptism come from heaven, or was it merely human? – Luke 20:3-4
Bonus Reading: Luke 20:1-8
At a dorm-room Bible study, the host’s antagonistic roommate showed up—along with a handful of likeminded friends. “I suppose you think all those sincere followers of other religions are going to hell!” said one, more as an attack than a sincere inquiry.
“Do you believe in hell?” I responded.
After a puzzled silence, he said, “No. I don’t believe in hell. I think it’s ridiculous.”
Echoing his word choice, I said, “Then why are you asking me such a ridiculous question?” I wanted him to honestly examine the assumptions behind his question. His face indicated that he was considering issues of judgment and God’s righteousness for the first time in his life.
Another guy chimed in, “I do believe in hell. Do you think everyone who disagrees with you is going there?”
I asked, “Do you think anyone goes there? Is Hitler in hell?”
“Of course, Hitler’s in hell.”
“How do you think God decides who goes to heaven and who goes to hell? Does He grade on a curve?”
From there, the discussion turned civil, and serious interaction about God’s holiness, people’s sinfulness, and Jesus’ atoning work ensued.
—Randy Newman in Questioning Evangelism
My Response: Do I really need to know all the answers to represent the gospel?
Thought to Apply: Learn what questions non–Christians are asking (some indirectly), and what to ask to move the conversation in a Christ–ward direction.—Randy Newman
Adapted from Questioning Evangelism (Kregel, 2004)
Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me share the Good News in a less cut-and-dried manner, softening hearts through relational give-and-take.