Of the many books on evangelism, what stands out about Newman’s book, Questioning Evangelism? For me, it was how I could picture myself practicing the concepts in this book.
The book is broken up into three sections to help readers digest the content. The first section talks about why questions are an effective tool in evangelism. It explains why questions can be better than answers to create meaningful spiritual conversation. The second section discusses different questions non-Christians are asking today. I found this section surprisingly relevant to today’s culture as well as balanced with grace and truth. The third section explains that asking and answering questions isn’t all there is to it. There are issues Christians need to work through with God for effective evangelism, like their own hard-heartedness, anger, and lack of compassion toward others.
Not only is the content informative, relevant, and practical, but the writing style is engaging. Newman adds personal accounts to help readers see applications to the principals discussed and doesn’t shy away from mistakes he’s made. He’s not a superhero. Rather, he’s a Christian in need of God’s grace in all things, including evangelism, like the rest of us which makes him relatable.
The best part about this book is the wisdom that it offers. Randy backs up his principals with Scripture. He references Jesus’s use of questions in evangelism and references Paul’s evangelism efforts in Acts, but he also references the book of Proverbs and Job to give us insight into the human heart. These insights into the human heart give us discernment in what our non-Christian friends may really be struggling with.
One example from the book: Someone may ask you, “How can you believe the Bible?” but may need more than a history lesson. “Some Christians mistakenly respond with a history lesson. We display charts of manuscript statistics, quote little-known archaeologists… but our questioners remain unmoved, because historicity isn’t the issue. Authority is. And despite the question that’s posed (e.g. Why do you believe the Bible?), these are the real questions: ‘Why do you submit to the Bible?’ ‘Why do you allow it to dictate how you live?’ ‘Why should anyone give allegiance to the book that discourages looking out for number one?’”
I highly recommend picking up a copy of Randy Newman’s book, Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did.
If you want to dive deeper after reading the book, consider joining Christianity Explored at our Training for Trainers event August 2 in Littleton, CO. Randy Newman will be there talking more about the effectiveness of questions in evangelism. Our Training for Trainers event is for anyone who wants to teach others in their community how to use Christianity Explored as an effective outreach/evangelism tool.