Matt's blog

“ In response to a tough question... ”

Thursday, 25th February 2016 - 18:35

During a lesson this week, we were discussing the resurrection - evidence for, theories around, how do we make any sense of it... A student commented that they 'couldn't get their head around it', my response to which was, 'That's OK. I think Christianity is intellectually satisfying so don't stop thinking.'

To which another student replied, 'But you basically believe that God will send him to hell for not being able to get his head round it, so it's not OK at all, is it?'

Very good - but when I need to think on things, I say so. So I did! I commend that student for the high level of the questions they are asking and hope they continue. I also said I would like the opportunity to come back to them on what they said once I had had some time to consider it.

So, here goes...

I maintain that Christianity is intellectually satisfying - but I think the element missing from the conversation that day was that faith has to come into it somewhere. Just as it does with all worldviews, actually, religious or not. We cannot know everything, so at some point we have to decide what we will give our lives to without having all the answers.

A quick illustration that might help…

When deciding to get married, you can't know everything about the person you are marrying. You know what you know, and based on that you make a decision that they love you, you love them back, and you want to commit yourselves to each other for the rest of your life. It's risky and scary when you think about it. You will change, they will change, life will change. But you can't approach it half-heartedly because marriage only works when you throw everything into it. Body, mind, heart, soul, cash, time, emotions, hopes, dreams... Only when you do that can you know the truth of what love and marriage really look like.

You would expect to spend a long time thinking all this through, but at some point you will need to decide what you are going to do. So the question you ask before you take the plunge is not, 'Do I know everything?', but, 'Do I know enough?'. I would argue that we can't know everything about Jesus, but we all know enough about Jesus if we know the very basics. The answers to more complex questions may come over time, and we have to live with some questions marks longer than others. But at some point we have to decide what we are going to DO.

That’s not to say we stop thinking – obviously! But the invitation I read about God issuing in the Bible is to ‘taste and see that he is good’ (That’s in Psalms 34 v8). The implication being, as I have been saying, that at some point we need to ACT,take God at his word and trust he will be all he says he is AND MORE, even with our questions, doubts and uncertainties. Or not. But I am convinced it's the most important decision anyone can take.

I am aware this is just the next part of a conversation, but hopefully I’ll see that student around and we might get a chance to talk more in the future.

But in the meantime, my prayer for them as a seeker after Truth is that they will keep looking and that they will find God true to his word - that 'you will find me when you seek me with your whole heart' (Jeremiah 29  v 13).