Why Questions Are Better than Answers
I had an absolutely fabulous revelation to day when talking with my sister about all the issues I’ve been thinking through lately. We were talking about the Bible, and how it’s so darn full of seeming contradictions and paradoxes, and how frustrating that is when all you want from God’s Word is a straight answer.
Then we got to musing…maybe God did that on purpose. Why? Because maybe, the more I study the Bible, the more questions I have, and the more desperate I am for answers. So I dig more, I study more, I pray more. And eventually, so subtly I don’t even realize it, I find that the questions themselves—the very pursuit of answers—is what fuels my faith.
Why is there suffering? Did Adam and Eve exist, or is the bulk of Genesis myth? What are the right beliefs? Why is loving so hard? What happens in the afterlife to people who have never heard the name of Jesus? Does God truly condemn homosexuality? Is the Bible inerrant? If it’s not, why should I still trust it? Is it possible for me to live out the love of Christ when I am so immersed in this dreadfully materialistic life that I have?
I could go on and on. I didn’t even have to pause to think of the next question as I wrote out that list—these questions are the mere tip of the iceberg.
Slowly, I’m learning to treasure my questions as an earnest expression to know God more deeply. Having—and subequently, providing to others—a straightforward answer to every question about Christianity, theology, doctrine, the nature of God, etc., even if these answers seem to be provided clearly in the Bible (chances are the answer isn’t as clear as it seems!), puts God in a box. It limits God, and snuffs out His mystery.
And so, I will no longer presume to know the answers to all the hard questions Christians have asked throughout the ages. Instead, I will try to learn to rest in them, accept them—even as I wrestle with them—as part of my faith journey.