Questions without Answers

When I was a younger Christian, I was told and educated in church and by other Christians around me at the time that we are, as the people of God, meant to have an answer to everything, or at least, most things.

Things that we didn’t have the capacity to understand were all given the ‘Ha ha ha! We’ll know when we get to heaven’ treatment, such as what heaven looks like, or why  a particular event happened or didn’t happen.

We were even encouraged to give answers to the whole problem of suffering, and you can pick up countless books and pamphlets which give an answer to that question.

And, in most part, I agree with those books; we live in a fallen world, sin has corrupted things, evil is in the air as it were…

But when it came to the point where someone would explain to someone that they were suffering because they must have unconfessed sin in their life or that God was punishing them for past wrongs, it got way out of hand – a totally unbiblical approach to pastorally dealing with people. It’s wild accusations like that which help kill the church and breed sadness, despair and hopelessness in people.

I was chatting with some first years yesterday about Theology and discussing some things that we learn in classes. I have to say, some of them looked horrified at some of the things I said. I made it clear that I wasn’t expressing my own theological standpoints, but still, the amazement was there that someone could teach such ‘heresy’ – whatever that means, and whoever that applies to.

What’s the point of this post? It is this – we need to be comfortable as Christians with admitting that we don’t have all the answers. Firstly to ourselves, and secondly to others. People seem to think that Christianity is solid because they can conjure up formulated answers based on some sort of systematic theology to practically any any question imaginable.

Except, Christianity isn’t solid because of that, because we simply cannot formulate answers to every possible question. No, Christianity is solid because of the very person that makes up the word ‘Christianity’; Christ. His life, his death, his resurrection power.

He is the one who holds it all together. And believe it or not, he is the one who has the answers, yet not all of those answers are revealed to us in this present age.

What do you think about this issue?

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Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about

  • “We need to be comfortable as Christians with admitting that we don’t have all  the answers. Firstly to ourselves, and secondly to others.”

    This was the subject of my first endeavor into the world of writing for publication.  We are of a mind on this:

    http://www.philippianjailer.com/2009/02/what-you-know-that-just-aint-so-reprise.html

    I examined the account of the various reactions to Jesus’ healing of the man born blind in John 9 and conclude the following (quoting in part):

    Each of these examples demonstrates how flawed assumptions lead us to distort the facts and evidence to fit whatever belief systems we’ve constructed for ourselves. Those systems may be built variously upon our education, or the worldviews of our culture, family or close friends, or even church doctrine! Failing to appreciate our imperfect ability to grasp God’s perspective while clothed in these sinful and finite bodies, we treasure the easy answers. We forget the meaning of 1 Corinthians 13:12, that even believers see “dimly” and know “in part” while still clothed in our earthly bodies. Whether lazy, arrogant, or merely desiring to feel self-assured and confident, we round off the sharp corners to make everything fit within our tidy theological paradigms.

    In order to avoid these pitfalls, explore the boundaries of your doctrinal comfort zone and expect to be challenged on what you “know.” Remember that Elijah knew he was “the only one left” before God revealed to him that there were still 7,000 who had not bent the knee to Ahab’s false gods. Job was convinced that God had made a mistake in exposing him to harm before God opened his eyes and caused him to put his hand over his mouth. Peter firmly believed that he must not go into the house of a gentile before God taught him that he should not call any man unclean. Each of these saints was a strong, upright and mature follower of God, and yet each had to let go of some basic error in order to learn a surprising new truth.