“If you could ask God one question, and you knew it would be answered, what would it be?”
That is the last question of the first week of Christianity Explored which Growth Groups are doing together this term. I always find that lots of good questions come out. One group’s questions included:
- Why if God is a good God does he punish people through hell? Why just not let those people into heaven?
- Why does God allow suffering?
- Are our lives predetermined or predestined?
- When does the second coming happen?
Maybe your group had similar questions – or maybe you have those questions! If so, you may be wondering where to turn. Here are some suggestions:
- Christianity Explored has a series of short answers to hard questions: Tough Questions
- Glenn Scrivener has just launched a site with FAQs: 321 Frequently Asked Questions
- The Gospel Coalition has a series of one-minute answers to tough questions: One Minute Apologetics
- UCCF has an excellent website on tough questions: Bethinking.org
- Living Out has a good website which will help you think about questions relating to sexuality: Christian and gay | Living Out
- There is an excellent series of short, well-written books on Questions Christians Ask (e.g. Where was God when that happened? Is hell for real?) Questions Christians Ask | The Good Book Company. I will put a stand with all these books at the back of the Church Hall this Sunday so that you can have a browse.
- There is also an excellent series called Questioning Faith (e.g. Where is God in all the suffering? Can science explain everything?) Questioning Faith | The Good Book Company
- There is a series of Little Black Books (e.g. Suffering and Evil, Predestination) which are useful.
- There is a book If you could ask God one question? by Paul Williams and Barry Cooper which looks at the 12 most frequently asked questions about God, and Amy Orr-Ewing has written But is it Real? which answers 10 common objections to the Christian Faith.
Another great resource is the St Mary’s library which has lots of books for use by the church family.
Deuteronomy 29:29 says: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” This verse is a reminder that there are things which God has revealed to us and also things which, for now, we won’t understand because God has not chosen to reveal them to us.
You may know the words of the hymn I cannot tell why He, whom Angels worship by William Fullerton. Each verse starts with those words ‘I cannot tell’ and then speaks of something which is outside the author’s grasp. The second half of each verse starts with the words, ‘But this I know’ and then continues with a truth which God has revealed to us.
If we are dealing with the things of God it is inevitable that there will be matters which are beyond our grasp. It is right to keep asking and thinking about them but we must not let them preoccupy us so much that we neglect the wonderful things which God has revealed to us which are sufficient for us to know him, are a firm basis to trust in him and are the foundation for the hope we have in Christ.