The Power of a Two-Letter Word

by Greg Koukl

Ridicule is not an argument. Here’s a more effective two-letter strategy.

I would like to tip you off to the power of a simple, two-letter word.

When used properly, it has the ability to stop an aggressive challenger in his tracks, turn the tables, and get him thinking. This modest word is a little giant, putting the ball back into his court and putting you in the driver’s seat of an otherwise out-of-control conversation.

That word, used as a question, is “So?” Here is why—and how—it works.

Many challenges to your convictions as a follower of Christ amount to nothing more than “trash talk,” cleverly worded insults meant to intimidate, denigrate, disparage, and subdue. They have great rhetorical power and initially sound completely persuasive.

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The problem is, trash talk is just that—trash, a garbage attack that has no bearing on the issue at hand. You need a reply that will immediately show it for the nonsense it is.

Often, your best response to trash talk is to simply agree with the put-down and then use that powerful, two-letter word. “So?” In other words, even if the charge were true, what follows from it?

Here’s one example: “Christians are stupid.” The afternoon before I lectured to a crowd of 400 students at UC San Diego, I learned that many of the young people on campus thought Christians were stupid. That information gave me a good opening for my talk…

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