Questions First, Answers Later

woman turning asideMy series “Asking Good Questions” spun that theme mostly toward discussions with other believers who are drifting into questionable beliefs and practices.

But the idea is also useful for talking with nonbelievers—especially about hot topics. We’re hesitant sometimes because we fear we don’t have the right answer, will look stupid, or will lose a friend. But what if we merely ask a series of questions and let the other person answer/defend/explain … and do that for several layers down, holding back on giving our own answer/idea?

For example, a not-so-funny funny circulated about giving little kids sex-change surgery. In the dialogue, the little child keeps asking for permission to do things: drive, smoke, etc. And the mom keeps saying no, that he’s too young. But at the end she readily agrees when the child asks to “change gender.” Because we see the child’s string of questions, it’s so obvious that the mom isn’t being consistent in her reasoning.

So if, for example, we met a parent considering this surgery for a 5-year-old kid, we could ask that parent things like “Will you let the child drive now too?” or “I know a 5-year-old who insists he’s a giraffe. Would you get his neck surgically lengthened and have spots tattooed on?” And continue with several questions rather than spitting out answers. Save your own answers/evidence for next time. Hopefully, the person will think further on what he himself said, think on the why behind his views.

Your adult Sunday school class or small group could role-play some scenarios and then discuss.


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