"The key to the Columbo tactic is that the Christian goes on the offensive in a disarming way with carefully selected questions to productively advance the conversation. If you hit a roadblock when witnessing, ask a good question. There are three basic ways to use the Columbo tactic that can tame the most belligerent critic, each launched by a different question. Three uses, three questions:This quote was taken from Greg Koukl's Ambassador Basic Curriculum, "Tactics in Defending the Faith" which can be obtained at his website, http://www.str.org/. Hopefully this will can serve you as you seek to be a faithful of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. To gain information and stay out of the "hot seat" - "What do you mean by that?"
2. To reverse the burden of proof - "Now how did you come to that conclusion?"
3. To indirectly exploit a weakness or a flaw in someone's views - "Have you considered...(then finish the sentence by offering an alternative view that gently challenges his/her beliefs, possibly exposing a point of weaknesss you uncovered in the answers to your first two questions. For example, "Have you ever considered that the existence of evil is actually evidence FOR the existence of God, not against it?")