The Unexpected Way to Effectively Make Your Point

Part 4: Greg shares the third step in the game plan for sharing your Christian convictions with others. 

Other videos in this series:

Focus on Gardening

Want to Share the Gospel? Start with This Question

The Burden-Free Step in Discussing Christian Beliefs

00:11 The tactical game plan is meant to help you

00:14 maneuver carefully and productively in a relaxed way, in a friendly fashion, in

00:23 conversations with people who don't share your convictions while providing a

00:28 tremendous amount of safety for you. The first step is to gather information. You

00:34 gather that information by asking some form of the question, "What do you mean

00:37 by that?" The second question is to reverse the burden of proof. That is, once

00:43 you learn what a person's view is, you want to know why they believe that view.

00:47 They made the claim, they bear the burden of proof. You can ask them, "Now how did

00:51 you come to that conclusion?" If it turns out that you want to go further, then the

00:57 third step of the game plan is to make a point using questions. You never want to

01:03 abandon using questions at every stage of the tactical game plan because they

01:09 give you a tremendous amount of latitude, liberty, and effectiveness without

01:14 requiring you to take any responsibility on yourself. So what you want to do is,

01:19 you want to enlist the other person as an ally. You want to assemble your pieces

01:24 by having that person help you put them on the table,

01:28 and if you help them to do that, it's going to be very difficult for them to

01:32 take that piece off of the table. Let me give you an example of what I'm talking

01:37 about. Once, somebody said, "Prove to me that God exists." I said, "First of all, do

01:43 you think that things exist?" He said, "Yeah, of course." Yeah, I know.

01:46 It's a simple question. Great. Now he's just put a piece on the table – things

01:49 exist. Second question, "The things that exist, have they always existed?" In other

01:55 words, is the universe eternal? And so he said, "No, I think the universe is not

01:59 eternal, that it came into existence." Then I asked the third question,

02:03 "What caused everything to come into existence?" And here you only have two

02:09 options: Either some thing or no-thing. Now, what have I done? I'm making an

02:14 argument for the existence of God based on the existence of the

02:21 cosmology or the cosmos which is a cosmological argument. In other words, the

02:25 universe came into existence. What caused it? It's a very very usable fruitful

02:32 kind of argument. But notice how I got there. Instead of just throwing it out, I

02:36 am setting it up by asking questions to have that person give me the pieces

02:41 that I need, okay? So there's me trying to make my point by asking questions to get

02:46 the pieces on the table before I get to my point. Another thing that you want to

02:50 do, another point you may want to make, is you may want to exploit a

02:54 weakness or a flaw, okay? But you want to use questions to do that. So I had a

02:59 young man tell me that I was judgmental. So I asked the question, "What do you mean

03:05 by that?" Clarification. He said, "Well, it's it's wrong to judge.

03:09 You are you're finding fault with somebody else, and it's wrong to do that."

03:13 Okay now he's made another statement. I got a piece on the table, and I said to him –

03:17 now notice this is a question – "If it's wrong to judge, then why are you judging

03:23 me right now?" Now, I could have said, "Well, you're judging me!" That's a claim. Now

03:28 it's an accusation. That's a fight. But if he says, "It's wrong to judge," then I hold

03:33 him responsible for his own ethical view. "Then why are you judging me right now?"

03:39 Little later he said, "Well I think it's wrong to push your views on other people."

03:43 So I asked him a clarification question, "Is that your view?" He said, "Yes," and then I

03:48 said, "Then why are you pushing it on me right now?"

03:53 Another question that keeps me safe. I'm not making a claim. I'm not advancing my

04:01 argument, I'm using questions to point out a weakness or a flaw in that

04:08 person's view. Now there are dozens and dozens and dozens of ways of doing this,

04:13 and you're gonna find this out just through practice. But if you start with

04:18 your game plan, and you ask questions about the person's point of view, "What do

04:22 you mean by that?" Then questions regarding the reasons that they have for

04:27 their view now, "How did you come to that conclusion?" And you decide you want to go

04:31 further to use questions to make a point, either to advance your own view in some

04:36 way or to exploit a weakness or a flaw you see in the other person's, that is

04:43 the most powerful and effective way of moving forward. Plus, keep in mind there's

04:49 no risk to you at this point. You are asking questions almost the whole time.

04:53 You're engaging in a friendly way. It is a wonderful way to powerfully make your

05:01 points as a follower of Christ.

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Greg Koukl