The Dilemma of the Unanswerable
From my Sunday morning sermon notes…
(We left the service only to learn of the inexplicable tragedy that had just happened in Sutherland, Texas.)
Christianity isn’t immune from the dilemma of the unanswerable. Unanswered questions are part of our faith. Perhaps that’s one reason it’s called, “the faith.” If all we had were answers and no questions—if Christianity just contained things we could control and manage, understand or grasp—we wouldn’t need faith.
Faith is not faith merely when it is confirmed by miracles that are visible, and cooperating circumstances. “This is the victory…even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
“We better reserve a room in our thoughts and mark it, ‘Things I don’t understand.” – T. F. Tenney
Explaining why bad things happen—even to good people—is like trying to divide 6 into 14. 14 divided by 6 = ? You can divide six into most of 14, but there is something left over. So, a decimal point is added, and you divide it again, and again, and again. You are always going to end up with a fraction, and not a whole answer. If you work on it from now to the end of time, you will always have something left over.
Paul didn’t even try to give any plausible rationale for all the horrible things that happened unto him; he just said they “happened.” (See Philippians 1:12). He said, “And we know that all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28). He didn’t say that he understood the “why”…he just knew that God would work all things together for good…according to His ultimate purpose.