It’s not wrong to ask hard questions—about the science of nature or the theology of God. In medicine, I’d wonder about the competence of any physician who wasn't inherently inquisitive. We’re always learning more and finding ways to apply the truths we've learned.
The spiritual world is no different. We learn and grow by thinking, asking, considering, and wondering.
We arrive at the point of assurance along the pathway of questions and doubts. Some church leaders are afraid of people asking hard questions, but Jesus welcomed honest discussion.
When John the Baptist sent a messenger with a question about whether Jesus was really the One, Jesus replied, “Tell him the facts about what you've seen.” We give Thomas a hard time for doubting the resurrection, but Jesus didn't condemn him. He showed his old friend the nail prints in his hands and invited him to believe.
In his excellent book, The Reason for God, pastor Tim Keller says that honest wrestling with doubts is like white cells producing antibodies to protect against future diseases. He writes,
A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she has failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.” [Timothy Keller, The Reason for God, (Riverhead Books, New York, 2008), p. xvii.] Don’t be afraid to ask questions about cosmology, physiology, psychology, theology, or any other subject. If people try to tell you that you “just need to believe,” find someone who is willing to talk more deeply about the issues you've raised. In the church today, some patient, reflective people value rich dialogue about important topics, and they don’t settle for simplistic answers to complex problems. A few parts of the church, however, react defensively to any question they can’t answer easily. We need to honor people who think deeply, not only the learned professors and theologians, but also the people in pews who are searching for truth.
Do you feel comfortable asking hard questions about God? What are some questions you’ve wanted to ask but were afraid to voice?