Monday, December 05, 2005

Asking Questions

Judson Poling says that "most seekers' questions, whether intellectual or emotional, indicate underlying issues. Choosing to believe in Christ carries major internal ramifications. Snappy, pat answers don't satisfy these inner struggles. Nobody wants a two-cent answer to a million-dollar question." How do we get at those underlying issues? Poling notes that Jesus often answered a question with a question. Using that technique, he suggests some questions to ask:
I've found several specific questions effective at reaching the underlying issues. Now, when someone asks me a spiritual question, I almost always reply, "That's an interesting question. What do you think?"

Another good question: "What situation in your life makes you wonder about that?"

Sometimes, however, a seeker's questions and thoughts do require challenge. For instance, many seekers today are struggling with Jesus' claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. "No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). They ask, "Does Jesus really mean he's the only way? Isn't that kind of narrow-minded?" "If I were to say that he really meant it," I reply, "would you rule out the possibility that it's true? Why won't you even consider that a possibility?" Such questions help them examine their skepticism.

When I was in college, students often boasted phantom objections and rationalizations to discount Jesus. Cutting through these smokescreens, I sometimes asked: "If you found out you were wrong, what would be at risk?"


Milton Stanley said...

Good stuff. I recommended your blog today at my blog! Peace.

Wayne Shih said...

Thanks for the recommend. I appreciate Transforming Sermons, not only for its content but its concern to build up and encourage.