Coping with Difficult, Unanswered, and Unanswerable Questions

Difficult, unanswered, and unanswerable questions are often catalysts for paradigm shifts in technology, medicine, and in personal and community value systems.

Challenging questions important to Christian value systems are often about origins, evolution, pain and suffering, age of the earth, and various creation scenarios. Christian education has a responsibility to help individuals learn how to honestly cope with difficult questions in ways that fortify their trust in the biblical worldview. Sometimes, this means learning that the answer to a question may not exist, may exist while being currently unavailable, or that the question may be considered in alternative ways.

A Difficult Question is one that has a tentative answer and might later be determined to be Unanswerable or have an answer different from what has been accepted.

An Unanswered Question as yet has no proposed answer, but we think we can eventually discover an answer.

An Unanswerable Question is one for which we have no way to obtain information/data for formulating an answer.

Some Answers Can Wait

There are profound messages in the story of Job. Job wanted to question God about many things that were happening. God agreed to let this happen but first he posed questions to Job. Job where were you when I did this? Explain how I did this? And, Job had no answers and accepted a relationship that transcended getting all the answers. There were things behind the scenes that Job didn’t understand. Job eventually expresses his commitment to serving God even if God choose to slay him. Job’s relation with God was a faith-based experience that transcended any Difficult, Unanswered, and Unanswerable Questions posed by his tormentors or by God.

 Recognizing that some questions are not answerable can help us cope with our own questions, and lead us to trust the information given us by a loving and trustworthy God.

 – The finite will never completely understand the infinite. –

Robert D. Moon Jr. PhD

This entry was posted in Biblical and Theological Perspectives, Philosophical and Historical Perspectives. Bookmark the permalink.

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