‘Questioning’ Evangelism: using inquiry in dialogue

RecommendationQuestioning Evangelism: Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did (Randy Newman, Kregel 2004).

Yes, you read it right. 2004.

I don’t get out much. My “to read” section in my office is three entire shelves of books. Oh, well.

Drawing on his experience as a campus minister with Campus Crusade for Christ, Randy Newman suggests here that many of our methods of engaging people with the truth of Christ — and where we have no real method, our natural tendency — can be counterproductive and not a little bit off-putting.

Instead, he asserts that we should use the methods of Jesus, a rabbinical device of answering questions with questions in order to lead the questioner to see his own biases and presumptions, to recognize ulterior motives in the question, and to arrive at the answer without being force-fed mere data.

Using inquiry in this way also forces the believer to actually listen to the question and for the motives behind the question.

Newman provides useful examples of dialogue for many of the categories he discusses. However, Newman’s material seems focused on the college environment, understandably, and it would be useful to know how he would address his ideas to the workplace, social situations, and so forth (after all, most of leave college…at some point).

Overall, Questioning Evangelism is a useful discussion of engaging non-Christians in sincere discussion. Worth reading.


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