Ever get uncomfortable listening to opposing views? Some believers get defensive and feel pressure to defend the entire Christian worldview when confronted with one objection to the faith! I’m suggesting we reduce this pressure by employing a modest goal and a simple strategy: Get the skeptic thinking by asking sincere, but strategic questions.
Ask Good Questions
Jesus did it, too. Sean McDowell recently noted how the gospels record Jesus asking 288 questions! Think about it. Many people who oppose the faith are merely repeating slogans they’ve heard but never really considered: “The Bible’s full of contradictions,” “Christians are intolerant,” or “All religions are basically the same.” No need to get defensive.
Truth is on Our Side
Even if you’re totally new to this, there’s apologetic value in a confident believer simply remaining calm under fire. Ultimately, the truth is on our side, and lies are not defensible. Because of this, we can exude confidence by engaging critics with a relaxed, conversational approach which uses more questions than statements.
I love how Greg Koukl says:
Apologetics can look more like diplomacy than combat.
I like that—a lot. In fact, I recommend his book, Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, all the time! It’s an easy read and the tactics are practical. For example,asking questions like “What do you mean by that?” or “How’d you come to that conclusion?” can help critics consider what they believe and why they believe it—perhaps for the first time. It’s also important to assure believers that it’s no problem to say something like, “That’s a great question. Let me think about that and get back to you.”
Pastor Lance Hahn echoed this sentiment in his message on 1st Peter 3 at Bridgeway Christian Church:
It’s OK to say, ‘I don’t know! Let me go ask someone at the church.’
Since I used to teach apologetics classes at Bridgeway, I actually got to field some of these questions! But I’m confident that if believers do their homework, they’ll find there are good answers to the hard questions. And even this exercise can strengthen their faith—a faith we can defend without getting defensive.