Good Questions

Business conceptOne of the best compliments a teacher can pay to a student is to say, “Good question!”  A good question demonstrates that the student understands the material well enough to ask an intelligent question and that the student understands the limit of his own knowledge. That level of subject- and self-awareness isn’t as common as any teacher would like.

Not all questions are good questions. When the student exerts no effort to think or see an obvious answer, his question does no good. When he intentionally misses something important, his question will not be good. Even absent those errors, it’s possible that a student’s question is just simply nonsense. Don’t believe me? Ask a teacher.

N.T. Wright wrote,

“Many of the questions we ask God can’t be answered directly, not because God doesn’t know the answers but because our questions don’t make sense. As C.S. Lewis once pointed out, many of our questions are, from God’s point of view, rather like someone asking, ‘Is yellow square or round?’ or ‘How many hours are there in a mile?’”

He also wrote cautioning us about our study of God, because our questions and debates about God are often “like pointing a flashlight toward the sky to see if the sun is shining.”

God is open to our honest, meaningful questions, but Wright may have revealed why some of our questions go unanswered. Sometimes when I ask, “Why” – it’s just possible that my question, from an eternal perspective, just doesn’t make sense. Do you remember how God dealt with Job? God ended his silence by asking the questioner this question, “Why do you confuse the issue?  Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?” (Job 38:2 MSG)

Our goal is simple Christianity. Much of Christianity and life is simpler than we often make it, but we do need to remember that God is infinite while we are finite. Einstein said that we should aim to make everything as simple as possible—but no simpler. Never lose sight of the eternal majesty, prominence, and glory of God.