Questioning Evangelism Paperback – February 1, 2004
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Questioning Evangelism would be a definite asset to any church library.î (J.A.W. Church Libraries 2004-11-01)
A revolutionary look at sharing Christ with unbelievers by using Jesus' penetrating method of question asking to engage others in personal dialogue and life-changing interaction. (Faith in the Workplace 2005-01-25)
"Viewed from the evangelical perspective, this book borders on the profound. Viewed from any perspective, Newman brings a new meaning to the word evangelism. With huge amounts of compassion, Newman brings apologetics into evangelism and provides practical examples of how to evangelize by asking questions rather than giving answers. An excellent book for folks who want to communicate with their non-Christian friends without being a bigot." (William M. Easum Resource Shelf 2005-01-02)
"I read this book over vacation, and ended up highlighting and underlining the heck out of it! Not only does it aid you in answering the questions that some use to stump Christians and shut them up, it helps you discover different ways of relating the Gospel to the unchurched who are genuinely interested, but lacking the most basic understanding of what Christianity is about." (Amazon.com [customer review] 2006-03-13)
"Fuller's method is the best there is. He combines reading a chapter, watching someone explain the concept on DVD, and physically doing exercises out of a workbook (or on a whiteboard in a classroom). If you want to learn Hebrew and your don't have access to a schoolóbuy the book, workbook, DVDs and get studying. If you're teaching a class, integrate this into your semester, your students will thank you. You might ask how I know this works. Well, I was one of Fuller's students and now I'm doing a PhD in Semitic languages so it must have worked for me. (P.S. And no, he hasn't paid me to say these things. I say it because I want to help you learn Hebrew and/or be the best teacher possible.)" (Charles Halton awilum.com 2006-08-01)
"In an age where evangelistic programs are as numerous as declining churches, it is refreshing to find a text that does not propose another memorized Gospel presentation. Newman states, "The goal of Questioning Evangelism is to help people know how to think about an issue more than what to think." Newman's "better way" involves answering questions with questions; not for the sake of evasion but to allow the non-Christian to discover the underlying issue. Newman states, "At times (far too many, I'm afraid), I've answered questions with biblically accurate, logically sound, epistemologically watertight answers, only to see questioners shrug their shoulders. My answers, it seemed, only further confirmed their opinion that Christians are simpletons." (William E. Brown Faith & Mission 2006-07-01)
So many evangelistic techniques are concerned with what to say. We rarely consider what to ask. That's what makes this book essential reading. Questioning Evangelism is the most insightful, illuminating and heartening book I've read on the subject in the last ten years. If you find yourself getting discouraged by your evangelistic efforts, get a copy as soon as you can, and then read it on a public transportation system near you. (Barry Cooper The Briefing 2007-04-01)
From the Back Cover
There's no question about it—evangelism is essential to following Jesus. Unfortunately, sharing the Good News is often seen as a matter of using the right method. But methods don't go very far when a conversation about faith runs squarely up against a brick wall of defensiveness or veers off into an unfamiliar landscape of arguments and objections. What's a disciple of Christ to do then?
“Ask a question,” says Randy Newman. It is, after all, what Jesus did. This questioning style of evangelism is without formulas, without answers to memorize, and you don’t have to have a Ph.D. in theology to use it. If it sounds too simple, don’t worry. It worked for Jesus; it will work for you.
“Questioning Evangelism steps outside the boundaries of evangelism as usual and tackles the tougher issues of our modern day. [It] is a must read for all!”
Chosen People Ministries
“This book is must reading for those who want to learn how to bring apologetics into evangelism in a biblical and relationally sensitive sort of way.”
—J. P. Moreland
Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
“This book reflects both a deep grasp of biblical theology and a penetrating compassion for people. How very much like the Master himself!”
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Randy Newman has worked with Campus Crusade for more than twenty years—teaching seminars at a variety of locations from college campuses to the Pentagon.
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In Part 1 Newman tackles three objectives to help one become more effective in evangelism: (1) He exhibits why questions are more effective than just giving answers; (2) He gives examples from the book of Proverbs in what he calls "Solomonic Soulwinning"; (3) He articulates how questions pave the way for answers.
In Part 2 the author does an excellent job of showing how to maintain an ongoing dialogue with those who ask us the following questions (by devoting a whole chapter to each): (1) Why are Christians so intolerant?; (2) Why does a good God allow evil and suffering such as Columbine and AIDS?; (3) Why should anyone worship a God who allowed 9/11?; (4) Why are Christians so Homophobic?; (5) What's so good about marriage?; and (6) If Jesus is so great, why are some of His followers such jerks?
The last section in the book hones in on why its important to have more than just good questions and answers in evangelism. He addresses why having real compassion, empathy, and when knowing when to "shut up" are extremely important. Also, in the back of the book there is a helpful section entitled "Unanswered questions" and a study guide for each chapter in the book for group study.
I highly recommend this book for 4 reasons: (1) Newman writes by example. He has been sharing the gospel on University campuses for many years. He gives tons of personal examples of both how, and how not to, begin conversations with skeptics of all stripes. (2) Most of the questions Newman brings up are helpful - he gives lots of scenarios that most ambassadors of Christ will actually encounter in the real world. (3) This book will equip you to grow in the important skill of what Newman calls "dialoging" the gospel. (4) This book will give you more boldness and confidence in establishing meaningful conversations with nonbelievers that are friends, as well as strangers. It will give you various "lead ins" that you can use with confidence and bring naturally into everyday conversations.
Evangelism has always been challenging but this book will make dialoging the gospel more pleasurable. Personally, I've already used much from the book in dialoging with skeptics and have found these conversations stimulating, and look forward to more opportunities to share with others what I've learned. Most importantly, Newman reminds us to be more like Jesus in our character, the way we ask questions, and share the gospel - and that's a very good thing indeed!
We can appreciate Newman’s honesty here. As a career staff member with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) he had been trained in all of the various methods of evangelism. Not only had he been trained but he carried them out, and no doubt, trained others. What he discovers is that the method IS the madness and that true conversions are often the result of true conversations, not simplistic presentations.
Newman takes you along on a number of his ministry adventures where he meets face to face with the post-modern challenges of our day. You will appreciate the dialogue approach to much of the text as he interacts with individuals. These exchanges provide inviting interludes within selected chapters.
“Before people benefit from the Good News, they’re likely to be bothered by the bad news.” I would go one step farther and say that they need to be bothered by the bad news. We need to be bothered by the bad news. In fact, if your evangelistic approach does not address the bad news that “all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God”, your hearers may convert, but it won’t be a conversion to Christianity. I am sure you can point to a person or two in your life who has been burned by that approach.
Newman’s Jewish background serves to provide additional background to the Gospel message. But should his and others of his background be the only voices in the wilderness? I should say not. The Church needs to embrace the source of the scriptures and gain a deeper appreciation for the foundation from which Christianity became possible. Ours is a revealed religion that did not start in the first century, nor does it start with our conceptions of “God” apart from scripture.
So, hats off to Randy Newman, who has provided us with a thought-provoking entry in the line of contemporary evangelistic reads. If you liked Greg Koukl’s Tactics book you will also appreciate this one.
Top international reviews
This book, although a slog at times, is one of those sources of insights and strategy that makes it a gem. Everyone needs to be able to give an answer for their thoughts, beliefs and hopes (and even fears) - for those with a faith this is even perhaps more important. For those who are Christians, this is something the Bible calls us to do.
This book will enable you to start along the road to being able to give an answer for the hope that you have in Jesus; those already in that path will find in the book him,to and reflections to hones those skills and abilities already developed.
It a perfect book - but a valuable aid nonetheless.