I don’t mind talking with Christians who are going through the process of questioning their faith. I believe that questions are a very natural, normal, and healthy part of the process of drawing closer to God. The problem that I see, however, is that some Christians never get _past_ that process of questioning their faith. They are caught in a perpetual cycle of self-doubt and self-critique.
There’s something to be said for calling all our beliefs into question periodically. We are, after all, finite beings, prone to errors in logic and judgment. As such, it’s often a good idea to just say, “But what if I’m wrong,” and follow that line of thinking to its logical conclusion, studying all the relevant data and evidence that we have available. If we don’t ever arrive at a final conclusion, however, then what exactly is the point of the questioning process? Isn’t this process of asking questions supposed to be done with the end goal of finding actual answers?
It’s pretty standard practice in our culture today to doubt everything – our beliefs, our assumptions, our actions, even reality itself. It’s postmodernism at its best – we can’t know everything exhaustively; therefore, we must assume that in all things we are at least a little bit wrong and we must assume that ultimately we cannot truly know anything.
The first part of that philosophy – we cannot know everything exhaustively – is essentially true. Our finite minds simply cannot wrap themselves around every bit of knowledge that there is to know. I would even generally agree that in all things (or at least most things) there is a good possibility that we are a little bit wrong, simply because we _can’t_ know everything. ((Though, we may actually be completely correct without fully knowing or understanding all the details that go into said belief. Just because we don’t know all the factors that go into a decision or belief does not necessarily mean that said belief is necessarily wrong or incorrect, but when new information _does_ come to light, then we should take the time the re-evaluate our beliefs and see if anything has changed.)) Where I beg to differ is the statement that we must assume that ultimately we cannot truly know anything.
It’s discouraging to see this philosophy creeping into Christian thinking. The Bible claims to have all that we need for righteous living and all that we need to know God and have relationship with Him. ((The validity of biblical truth is called into question exactly because postmodernism asserts that we cannot know anything conclusively due to our limited ability to know and understand. Postmodernism casts a pall of grey over everything, making the exhaustive pursuit of any knowledge a vain and futile pursuit.)) The Bible has even been demonstrated to do exactly that, when its principles are accurately and consistently applied. Yet, we see a greater number of Christians who do not believe that the Bible can be trusted, that the only thing that can be known and taken as real in our Christian walk is the _experience_ that we have, the way that our faith and our walk with God make us _feel_. That, I think, is a very dangerous formula, leading both to embracing heresy unintentionally and to the immersion of oneself into a false understanding of who God truly is that is based solely on our subjective, and often erroneous, feelings and understandings of the experiences of life.
Questions are good, to a point. They are meant to help us find the answers to the important questions and to help us learn the _how_ of defending our faith in a world that is increasingly skeptical to the existence of God and hostile to His followers. We are called to have faith, yes, but perhaps more importantly we are called to test our faith. In so doing we find that our faith is solid, that it is consistent, that it is exactly what the Bible claims it to be. We are then able to go boldly and confidently into the world, practicing those things that bring us closer to God and make us His ministers of truth and peace to a world that is lost in its own soup of lies, confusion, and conflict.
So, go ahead and ask your questions. Just make sure that you are really seeking, and open to, the answers.