You may have heard of “Questioning Evangelism” by Randy Newman – it was one of the books briefly mentioned in this term’s bible study booklet. Steve also mentioned it during one of the recent Connect 09 talks. I picked it up from the church library earlier this year, thinking it may be useful in doing uni ministry as questions often come thick and fast in conversations with those who are seeking Christ, or those who are wanting to find holes in the Gospel.
Why do people ask questions? Is it that they are truly seeking the saving message of Jesus? Or instead is it a smoke screen to cover for the pain and anger they have towards God? Do our responses actually show the Gospel? Or do they show a lack of compassion or interest in the person’s eternal life?
This book (as well as the Connect talks) present many challenges about motives in which we may share the gospel and how we do this. It has made me think about the care and compassion I have for those people I want to share the gospel with. I often feel as though I am not answering their real questions and what I have realised that that is probably actually the case. I have not been answering the question behind the question and have not really understood how they have come to their conclusion about God and Jesus. Looking at Jesus’ example in Mark 10:17 – 28 (and Luke 18:18 – 30) gave a fresh perspective on how to simply and curiously ask questions about what exactly the person is asking.
“Questioning Evangelism” doesn’t give you the answers, in case that is what you are wanting. Instead, it aims to help you think about how to use questions in a loving and compassion way so that the gospel of Jesus is not only proclaimed but lived out.
I too can recommend this book, as I have been reading it. It has helped me have confidence that I don’t need to know all the answers, but to try and see what is the real issue behind the person’s question.
I agree that we need to ask questions to find out the real issue but we also have to be careful that we remember not to become questioning machines that really puts people off.