Keep questions simple enough that everyone has a reasonable chance of knowing what you mean the first time you say it. In addition to multiple questions such as the one above, this principle weeds out questions with several linked clauses:
• Since eating meat sacrificed to idols might be confusing to a person who doesn’t know the idols are nothing, and since eating meat in temples might inadvertently involve one in idolatrous worship, what is Paul’s advice to the strong Christians in 1 Corinthians 8 regarding meat?
Technical terms can also leave people in the dust:
• In 1 Corinthians 7, how does Paul apply an eschatological hermeneutic to our process of decision-making about relationships?
Routinely scan your questions for words such as paradigm whose meaning most people don’t quite know but think they should.
Jesus’ questions were always simple. Even so, no one ever felt that He was asking a question beneath his or her intelligence. Keeping the cookies where people can reach them doesn’t require us to talk down to them. The simplest questions are usually the most profound.
Discipleship Journal, Issue 130 (July/August 2002) (NavPress, 2002).
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