In this episode I talk with Dr. Randy Newman about the importance of asking good questions. Whether it be in class, in relationships, or in conversations about our faith, the ability to ask the right questions is often the key to great conversations, learning, and growth.
Randy is one of the best “question-askers” I know. He has shared some of his wisdom on this topic as it relates to sharing the good news of the gospel with others in his popular book Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People’s Hearts The Way Jesus Did. We begin with the principles he shares in this book and broaden the conversation to the many other types of conversations we often have.
Randy and I have been friends for over 30 years. Though we no longer serve together in the same ministry, we remain close friends. I am always a better person after our conversations, due largely to Randy’s ability to ask me good questions!
Randy currently serves the Senior Fellow for Apologetics and Evangelism at the C.S. Lewis Institute.
In this podcast we discuss:
- What happens when we ask others questions
- How Randy’s Jewish background helped him learn to ask good questions
- How his failures in sharing the gospel lead him to begin asking questions
- The starting assumption that causes us to not ask questions in evangelism
- Examples of how his questions led to good conversations with skeptics of the Christian faith
- Tips to help us all get better at asking good questions
- The importance of how we ask questions, in addition to the questions we ask
- The value of “asking permission” to have a conversation about spiritual matters
- How we can respond well when a non-believer asks us questions about our faith
- How Jesus modeled for us how to ask good questions to get to the real issues
- When we should not answer questions we are asked by non-believers
- How students can excel academically by asking their professors good questions
- Why and how to respond with questions when a professor is openly hostile to your faith
- How a student’s respect and questions helped an atheistic professor come to faith in Christ
- Accomplishing more by accomplishing less in conversations
- How asking good questions helps us develop deeper friendships
- Why asking questions serves others and is a tangible way to show love
- The importance of asking good questions when on a date, and what to listen for in his or her answers
- Some questions to ask when searching for a good church, and the right people to ask
- Questions to ask when choosing a major, and the right people to ask
- How to have great summers by asking the right questions
- Errors to avoid when asking others questions
- The important role of asking God hard questions, and asking others our hard questions about God
- Examples in media of those who ask good questions, and those who don’t
- Randy’s newest book, coming out in September!
Resources mentioned during our conversation:
- Books by Randy:
- Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did
- Corner Conversations: Engaging Dialogues About God and Life
- Bringing the Gospel Home: Witnessing to Family Members, Close Friends, and Others Who Know You Well
- Unlikely Converts: Improbable Stories of Faith and What They Teach Us About Evangelism
- Mere Evangelism: 10 Insights from C.S. Lewis to Help You Share Your Faith
- Lyle Dorsett
- Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
- The “On Being” podcast by Christian Tippit