The purpose of this blog is to ask questions about the Christian faith and the Bible in order to better understand them.  Many Christians think questioning our faith is wrong or at least unseemly.  I remember when I was in a class at a Bible institute and I asked a question about the topic we were discussing.  An audible gasp came from another student who then exclaimed:  “He’s questioning God!”  Fortunately the professor knew I was just trying to understand the topic at hand and replied appropriately.

Why has asking questions of God become taboo in Christianity?  Marvin Olasky notes that:  “Many Christians are passive and complacent in their faith, forgetting that the word Israel means the one who wrestles with God.” [1]  Olasky is referring to Genesis 32 where Jacob is about to meet his brother Esau and he is uncertain how Esau will receive him because Jacob had essentially stolen Esau’s birthright from him.  The night before Jacob meets Esau he goes off alone and wrestles all night with a man (who the Bible does not clearly identify).  As daylight approached, the man requests that Jacob let him go but Jacob refuses unless the man blesses him.  The man then blesses him by stating:  “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” [Genesis 32:28 ESV]

Why would we wrestle with God?  The reason is because we are finite.  We cannot assume we have accurately interpreted the Bible; we cannot assume our version of reality is accurate.  Additionally, we have a sinful nature that is opposed to God.  As we strive to better understand ourselves, the world in which we live, and how God relates to us, it should not be surprising that we would wrestle with God.


[1]   Marvin Olasky, “Graduation presents”, World Magazine, May 18, 2013, p. 28.

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