Sunday, October 29, 2006

That's a Good Question

Maybe this has happened to you. You're talking with someone about Christianity and all of a sudden, they ask you a question you weren't prepared for at all. "Did Mary ever to spank Jesus?" "Why don't Catholics eat meat on Fridays?" "When he was on earth, did Jesus know about molecular biology?" "What does the Bible say about tatoos?" "If a baby dies and goes to heaven, will he or she stay that age for all of eternity?" The list could go on and on!

Assuming the question is an honest one (and not a smokescreen), how should we respond? We most definitely should not try to bloviate our way through an answer (which would probably turn out to be wrong anyway). If we don't know the answer, or if we've never thought about it before, we should simply say so. It's a lot better to give someone a good answer - even if it isn't immediate - than to give an answer that's wrong and could even be harmful. Just say, "That's a good question. I don't know the answer to it, but I'll get back to you with an answer." In my experience, the person asking the question will respect you a lot more if you say you don't know rather than pretending you do because your pride won't let you not know the answer to every conceivable question.

In short, if you don't know, say so. By doing that, you may have earned another hearing from the one who asked the question in the first place.


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