Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. - 1 Peter 3:15 NLT
Here is a fantastic definition of what a premise is:
A premise is the assumption of an argument that is meant to justify the conclusion the one making the argument is hoping you’ll come to. If one fails to establish the premise to his argument, one almost always fails to convince others of his conclusion. On the other hand, if one establishes a premise one will more than likely get others to agree with his conclusion. - from the article, "Never Accept the Premise of Your Opponent’s Argument" by Steve Deace, Townhall.com
We want to do what Jesus did and change or correct the premise of questions we get asked, to what should have been asked to lead to salvation. Jesus did this many times. Let's become expert in delivering the gospel and become expert in rephrasing questions about life and give context to a topic so the truth can be established.
The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. - Psalm 119:130 NLT
The premise in the questions we use to deliver the Gospel or teach the scriptures, should speak toward salvation and understanding the Lord. They should steer away from conversations that devolve into confusion.
This is an integral tool to delivering the gospel at every opportunity and creating an opportunities where it may not seem to exist.
The AntidoteThere is far more that is assumed in a question than we may think. In an honest effort to create the appropriate context of seeking the truth and to bring understanding to a topic, we will always want to set the premise. In many cases we will need to reset the premise by presenting a new question.
So what strategy should I take to be sure the proper context and thoughts are communicated? How do I set the premise?
There are strategies and skills that can be developed. First understand that setting the premise starts with a desire to come to the truth.
Quick Prep List:
- Always desire the truth.
- Be an expert listener.
- Actively Stay on Topic.
- Rephrase and repeat the questions.
- Ask questions.
- Do not look for agreement (more on this to come).
- Be willing to learn.
Have you ever had a question asked you, that no matter how you answered it, you knew the other person was going to draw the wrong conclusion?
Sure you have. We all have. Communication is a skill that is developed over time. When we engage Christians and non-Christians alike there will be challenges to delivering the Gospel and teaching God's ways.
Let's become expert communicators. Understand what a premise is and how to identify a bad premise. Once you can see it, solutions will present themselves and generally require rephrasing the question. It is a powerful tool.
It takes time to master some of these techniques, so start with the small things and work your way up to the big stuff. Remember that consistency is your catalyst for growth.
Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.