Author Randy Newman suggests that we engage people around us in the way Jesus often did- by asking questions, even answering questions with questions. By using dialogue in this rabbinic style, we can engage people in such a way as to get them to think about their beliefs. Furthermore, and maybe more importantly, by doing so we can engage their hearts because a person’s acceptance of the gospel is not solely based on their ability to reason. Questions can get people who have never considered why they believe some things to be true to honestly think about them. Asking questioning can tear down strongholds of false views and build plausibility for the gospel. Examples of this kind of questioning dialogue, often from real conversations, are sprinkled throughout this book.
Of course, not all questions are genuine, or even questions at all, but rather attacks. Newman is aware this. Sometimes the best response is not to answer the attack but to ask a question. Even simple questions like “really?” and “so?” can turn a conversation around. It levels the playing field and opens the path for further serious discussion.
While remaining accessible, the book gives insight on how to respond to weighty questions such as “Why does God allow evil?”, “Why are Christians so homophobic?”, and “If Jesus is so great, why are some of his followers such jerks?” There aren’t easy answers to all the questions. Sometimes there are no answers but the point of this book is not to tell you what to think, but rather to give perspective on how to think about various issues and how to relate to people. We don’t have all the answers and shouldn’t pretend like we do. Rather, it is more important that we honestly and wisely interact with people while pointing to the hope we have.
The intended audience is those who have a strong grasp of the gospel and a desire to declare it to others. Unlike declaring and defending the gospel that serve as a foundation, questioning evangelism doesn’t always strive to give solid answers. Sometimes were not after answers; sometimes were after compassion. Questioning Evangelism is a book on evangelism that isn’t wooden and recognizes that we are mind, body, heart, and soul-questions and all. Not only that, but it is also quite enjoyable to read with plentiful anecdotes and points to ponder. Who would have thought?