Friday, August 05, 2005

What are They Really Asking?

At last week's bible study a friendly Christian man we met at the bookstore launched, unprompted, into a critical evaluation of the Bible translations we were using. This week the same friendly brother in Christ interuppted our study to tell us, with great zest, all about predestination. We were studying marriage.

It struck me (about the time the man grabbed my shoulder when I tried to turn the conversation back to marriage) that this otherwise wonderful man believed that making his position known was more important than having a two-sided and mutually edifying conversation. And I had a moment of fear when I thought, what if he approaches some non-believers in this book store and behaves the way he is behaving toward us?

So I was very pleased to find this wonderful article by our own Judson Poling at Poling reminds us that it's more important to answer the needs of the person you are talking to than to be a walking encyclopedia of Christian factoids.

The article is linked in the title.


Steph Stanger said...

I read the article..yea for me! such a great reminder to be sensitive to people. I think so often we get way to caught up in being right that we miss the heart of the matter. you have grown a TON in this area Kim. I think (especially when you are talking face to face with someone) you are soo good at being sensitive and getting to the issue...not getting caught up in theology! Good article and good point thanks for the reminder to be sensitive!

Crystal said...

Kimmy, I read the article too. Very interesting! Remember Thursday night when we were talking about people who argue with you using questions, and I said when this certain person and I argue he will answer my questions with questions and some how everything gets turned around to me? Now I see why it works. =oD

This part, "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?"

This is the approach Jesus used when he asked, "What's written in the Law? How do you read it?" It gives me an opportunity to understand the person. It also affirms that I care for him or her, even more than I do about having the "right" answer.

Often, exhibiting care for the questioner is a greater ministry than answering the question.

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

I thought that was awesome. Really thought provoking.

Friar Tuck said...

Yes! More important to be loving than to be right.

Crystal said...

Kim I was reading more of these Christian Bible Studies on Christinity Today and they are pretty good.