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Still needing answers

May 18, 2013

I’d like to start by welcoming the new followers to this blog as a result of the serendipitous inclusion of a recent post of mine on the WordPress “Freshly Pressed” feature.  Thank you for your interest and welcome.  If you haven’t done so already you can see a little more about the purpose of this blog on the About Everyday Grace page.

If there is one thing I want to make clear it is that this blog is not a place to find answers.  There are lots of places you can do that, simply Google “Bible answers” and all sorts of people will be glad to give you them.  It is more likely that you will find questions and observations here, sprinkled with a few suggestions and comments.

There is a belief common in my generation of evangelicals that says that Christian growth implies an ever-increasing depth of certainty.  I am encouraged that I see so many younger Christians reluctant to buy into that definition of growth; that they are more comfortable with doubt as an integral part of faith.  I see support for their acceptance in my reading of the Bible.  Questions litter the Biblical landscape.  Here are just a few:

Am I my brother’s keeper? – Cain

Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? – Moses

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? – David

What strength do I have that I should still hope? – Job

How long oh Lord, must I call for your help? – Habakkuk

Who is this that even the wind and the sea obey him? – The Disciples

Who do you say that I am? – Jesus

What does this mean? – Disciples at Pentecost

In some cases the passages give, or suggest, answers to these questions, in others they are left unanswered.  Clearly God is comfortable with our questions.  I can’t find a single case where someone asking a question was rebuked.

Some of these questions are “soul” questions arising from the depth of a tortured heart.  Others are “circumstance” questions coming from seeing, and not understanding, the world around them.  I am glad for this as I to seldom understand the world around me.

I’ve come to not understand the need for, and not desire to have, final and exhaustive answers from God about absolutely everything.  I no longer need to search my Bible systematically for answers to an ever-increasing array of questions; leaving me free to read with the much more enjoyable task of knowing more of Jesus and the Father.

I’ve also come to see that, when we as a church propose some of these answers as edicts from God we often run afoul of those outside the church, or others within the church who have come up with different answers, and are least likely to be purveyors of grace.  All too often we seek such certainty in cases where I am not even slightly convinced that God wants us to pursue it.

Not having certainty does not mean I can’t have opinions and, as you see, I do.  But I hope to express them with grace.  For example, it is my opinion that an ever-expanding list of things to be certain about is not something God calls me to.  If you are certain that I am to be certain about something you are welcome to change my opinion.

But the God I see in Scripture was not troubled by questions and not particularly motivated to answer them all.  I want to embrace that reality, not fear it.  If I was forced to define Christian growth it would have to be our quest to ask better questions than to have more answers.

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From → Christianity

One Comment
  1. I appreciate your recognition that we won’t always, or even often, find clear answers from God. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, the more I grow, the bigger He gets. Nice to meet you! Judy

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