The two most important questions an evangelist can ask…

15 May

I have reservations about the accuracy of this post’s title, but I’m pressing on. (The most important question of all is Who is Jesus? but I believe that ultimately He asks it, even if He uses our mouths.) Assuming that Jesus asks folks who they think He is, the two most important questions WE can ask in conversation are “What do you mean” and “How do you know.”

These two simple questions will deliver you from having to know everything about apologetics just to have a conversation with a non-christian. They will help you to frame the context of your conversation so that you can steer it in a productive direction. They will literally do the heavy lifting for you. These two questions are the foundation for virtually every spiritual conversation I have.

Asking “what do you mean” accomplishes so many different things for us as we dive into spiritual conversation. It makes our friend feel cared for because we are seeking clarity rather than just refuting whatever they have previously said. It also prevents us from responding to a claim that was never made in the first place. Most importantly it forces our friends to make an assertion. This matters because the person who makes the assertion is the one who must argue for it (see our second question). This takes the heat off of us, and puts it on them. (Not that we want “the heat” on our friends – but we also don’t want to have to respond to speculative, ungrounded claims). An example will help:

“Don’t you think it’s a bit arrogant to say Jesus is the only way to God?”

I could launch into a defense of Jesus’ divinity, but instead I’d rather have them make the defense. So I ask my question (what do you mean?)and get something like this:

“There are many roads to God.”**

All of a sudden their accusative question transforms into a statement of belief. Now instead of me defending “Jesus is Lord” my friend will be defending “All/many roads lead to God.” It isn’t that I don’t think Jesus is Lord or that I have no good reasons for my belief but rather the notion that this belief will be more attractive once we address the false one in its place. In other words, I won’t consider “Jesus is the only way” until I have reason to doubt “All roads lead to God.”

The next step is to ask “How do you know?” (Post coming later this week!)

**You might not get there immediately…click here for an example of the winding road. The bottom line is that the person who asks about arrogance is operating under the assumption that all/many roads lead to God.

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