Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Questioning Evangelism

Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman was a profitable and engaging read. The title itself is stimulating and sufficiently ambiguous - forcing the onlooker to begin asking questions - what does he mean "Questioning" evangelism? The first section of the book, in particular, was stimulating. His discussion of the value of asking questions in the task of evangelism was eye opening and encouraging - both as a means of defusing anger and infusing knowledge. He has a number of concrete examples from his own experience as a campus minister that serve to highlight how it works. His questioning methodology is an important step toward making our evangelism more personal. The tendency to run over folks in the midst of trying to communicate our pre-packaged digest of the Gospel is disturbing at least and destructive at worst. Neuman’s insistence on the necessity of a personal encounter, listening to the other person and responding to their specific concerns was very rich. The second section of the book in which Neuman responds to a number of specific challenges is helpful but spotty. Some conversations, suggestions are far more helpful than others. The conversational format is helpful. Supplementing his material with Doug Wilson’s Persuasions fills up some holes and directs the conversations to the power of presuppositions in our reasoning process. Overall very worth reading.