Asking questions takes the pressure off you by helping put the ball back in their court.

General Conversation Tactics

What do you mean by . . .?*

You need to ensure you and the person you are talking to use the same definition or nuance. At other times, you need to ensure you are discussing the same concept. 

Asking, "what do you mean by . . ." helps you gather details into what they are stating and the emotions they have attached to their belief.

How did you come to that conclusion?*

This question puts the burden of proof on the one making a claim. When someone makes a claim, there is a responsibility to back that claim up with evidence.

Have you ever considered . . .*

You can offer your concern with what they have stated and then gently give an alternative viewpoint.

"I sense you are passionate about this subject. May I ask what drives your passion?" or "Out of all the questions to ask, why this one?"

Allow the emotions behind the question to emerge. They may be hurting and not looking for an answer (e.g., asking, "How could God allow children to die?" because they have lost a child and are hurting). 

Suppose there is pain or brokenness behind the question. If so, steer the conversation on the more profound need for the present situation: empathy and God's goodness amid a sin-cursed world.

If God is really against . . ., would you agree with Him?*

This question helps determine if reasoning with proof is needed or if it is a heart issue.

Do you consider yourself a tolerant person?*

We only need to tolerate things with which we disagree. When someone says they are tolerant, they have committed to discussing the issue with gentleness and courtesy.

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*Questions and answers were taken from Gregory Koukl, Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, Zondervan Reflective, (Grand Rapids, MI, 2019).