Asking Questions

The importance of asking questions is illustrated by Picasso who said:  “Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers.”  That was his way of noting that sometimes the questions we ask are more important than the answers we obtain.  If we do not ask questions, we will not find answers.  The type of questions we ask largely determines the answers we get.

Why Ask Questions about Christianity?

When we talk about Christian apologetics, asking questions about the validity of the Christian faith is necessary and worthwhile.  However, in this blog, we accept Christianity as true.  Our discussion will concern various aspects of our belief system or doctrines.  In this instance, asking questions might seem counter productive.  The Bible is the source of our beliefs and doctrines; it is the source of all truth.  If this is true, why would there be any criticism, argument, or debate about our Christian beliefs?  Should we not just believe what the Bible tells us?

We ask questions about our beliefs for two reasons.  First, The Bible teaches we have a responsibility to ask questions about what we are taught concerning our faith.  Paul commands us to “Test everything. Hold on to the good” (I Thessalonians 5:21).  How can we test our Christian faith unless we ask questions about it?  Peter instructs us to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (I Peter 3:15).  How can we know our reasons are valid unless we ask questions about them, subject them to criticism?

The second reason we ask questions about our beliefs is because of another tenant of our faith—we are finite.  No one questions that we are finite.  Our daily experiences teach we are limited or restricted in what we can know and do.  Even human progress tells us we are finite; there would be no progress if our knowledge and abilities were not lacking to some degree.  Christian doctrine agrees because the Bible has a considerable amount to say about the limits we face (e.g. Job and Ecclesiastes).  While everyone admits we are finite, very few think through the implications.

One implication of being finite is that while the Bible is infallible, our interpretation is not.  That is why we have so many different “versions” of Christianity.  Within the Christian religion we have the Protestants, the Catholic Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church to mention the major ones.  Within the Protestant branch there are a multitude of different denominations.  All of these different belief systems have arisen because people interpret the Bible differently.  God must look with amusement at all the different religions and denominations each claiming to speak for him.  It must also make God sorrowful.  Jesus’ prayer in John 17 was that all who believed in him should be one and the purpose of this unity was “. . .to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them. . .” (John 17:23).

Being finite means our concept of the nature of God and how he relates to us is not necessarily accurate.  As C. S. Lewis states:  “My idea of God is not a divine idea.  It has to be shattered time after time.” [1]  How does God shatter our ideas of him?  He does it when our experience does not match our theology; he does it when we discover contradictions in our beliefs; he does it when we encounter “difficult” passages in the Bible.


The Purpose of This Blog

The purpose of this blog is to explore questions about the Christian faith with the aim of arriving at a better understanding of God and how he relates to us.  To ask questions about our faith has negative connotations in the Christian community but the Christian philosopher David Elton Trueblood maintains “A faith that has never been tested is not only not appreciated, it is not even understood”. [2]  In this blog, we will ask tough questions of God.  We do not believe God is fragile.  We do not believe God is threatened if we ask questions.  God has promised he will reward those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6) and we will take him at his word.


[1]  C. S. Lewis.  A Grief Observed.  New York:  HarperSanFrancisco, 1961, p. 66.

[2]  David Elton Trueblood.  Philosophy of Religion.  New York:  Harper & Row, 1957, p. 20.

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