Wednesday, December 28, 2016

On the Paucity of Pat Answers

Many people think Christianity gives a lot of pat answers. It really does the opposite. Lately, I've noticed how cryptic some of Jesus' sayings are and how his sermons seem to be a series of non sequiturs. He doesn't use the three-point sermon model; no, He is not that clear. The paucity of pat answers in the Bible complicates things and challenges my thinking. It is mysterious, confusing, and complex. And there are no simple answers, as much as I would like there to be. By faith, I believe the Bible is divinely inspired, which is why I haven't given up trying to understand difficult passages or uncomfortable ideas. In between the famous Judge Not paragraph and the Golden Rule paragraph sits something just as powerful but more often neglected. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Asking, seeking, and knocking involve much more proactivity than simple pat answers do. It takes effort to wrestle with God, with questions, and with truth.

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