by Mark Harwood
It was really quite exhausting! The questioner was plying me with question after question, hardly waiting for my answer to the previous one to finish. I had just given a talk explaining the relevance of the creation message and I was standing with a group of people at the book tables engaged in discussion on a range of issues. My questioner had challenged me on a variety of scientific and theological points seeking to discredit biblical creation. A small group had gathered around to listen.
It seemed to me as though I was in a ‘gun battle’ with shot after shot being fired at me. Then I realised that my challenger was not actually interested in my answers so much as in trying to trip me up on some point and thereby discredit biblical creation. It occurred to me that I needed to change tactics. This discussion should be like a tennis match, not a gun battle! In a tennis match, one player will serve, and his opponent will endeavour to ‘return serve’. If he does so successfully, the onus is on the server to deal with his opponent’s shot. And so it continues until one player is unsuccessful at returning the ball, at which point he must acknowledge, “Okay, you won that point.”
So, after my answer to the next question I immediately asked;
‘Do you understand my answer? Do you accept it?’
My challenger was momentarily taken aback by my direct questions. He tried to raise another issue but gently and firmly I brought him back to the topic;
‘Do you accept or reject my last answer?’….
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