And so, herewith, are my suggestions for questions:
- Mr President, if you died tonight and stood before God, and he asked you "Why should I let you into heaven", what would you say to him? An evangelical would focus solely upon the death of Christ and his atonement on the cross for sin. If the president attempts to use his own works or deeds as the basis for entering heaven, then his faith is not in Christ to save, and he is not an evangelical.
- Mr President, can you please give an example of how God has guided you during your time as president? This is a general question that would reveal how the president thinks God guides. The key is whether or not he mentions the Bible, since the Bible is considered at least a major way that God guides amongst evangelicals.
- Mr President, do you think that sincere, devout and peaceful Muslims go to heaven when they die? This is a "gotcha" question that will force the president to either deny his faith or to sound arrogant. All evangelicals believe that the Christian faith is an exclusivist faith, which would mean that even devout Muslims are unable to reach heaven. If he thinks that devout Muslims go to heaven, he's not an evangelical.
- Mr President, do you think that God could forgive someone as evil as Osama Bin Laden? How? This is a question that will further outline the president's understanding of how God forgives. For the evangelical, no sin is too big for God to not forgive, so long as the sinner puts his faith in Christ. The "how" question would expand this answer. If Bush says he does not know, or focuses on anything apart from Christ, his answer is not one an evangelical would give.
- Mr President, which is your favourite book of the Bible? If he reads the bible (as he says he does) then this should be answered easily, along with some explanation of why that book is his favourite. Vague answers or "it's all good" are not acceptable for an evangelical, who sees the Bible as being very important in his/her life. If Mr Bush can't give a good answer, the chances are that he doesn't read the Bible.
- Mr President, when Jesus was on earth, do you think that he may have occasionally sinned? This is a question that would show up Bush's understanding of Jesus. If he believes that Jesus is God and is perfect, his answer would be a simple "no - Jesus did not sin". If he gives an "I don't know" or a "yes" in response then he has a deficient understanding of who Jesus is and is therefore not an evangelical.
- Mr President, many sincere Christians think that Jesus didn't actually rise from the grave, what would you say to them? Similar to the last question, this is another "gotcha" that gives him little room to move. Evangelicals believe that Jesus physically rose from the dead and Christians who deny this are in grave error, no matter how sincere they are. If Bush is brave and says this, then chances are that he is an evangelical. If he talks about their sincerity of faith as being more improtant that the fact of the resurrection, then he aint an evangelical.
© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
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