“That’s A Good Question”
There is nothing wrong with a good question! In fact, we all love a “good question.” We should all improve our ability to ask good questions. People who ask good questions, simply put, become smarter. They grow through genuine learning. By the way, a good teacher will spawn good questions. Bad teachers are irritated by good questions. To make the connection for you, the Bible is full of excellent questions.
As a gentle aside. A good question is not one intended to show everybody your IQ. Nor is a good question one that is asked to make a point. That is not a question, it is a statement. If you need to make a statement, find the right venue. A good question can, in fact, make a good point, but the purpose of a question is to satisfy a genuine need to learn and grow. Growing requires humility and genuine listening.
Now back to my point about a good question. The first question recorded in the Bible was uttered by the enemy of God to undermine faith. The damage done by the “serpent” still echoes to this day. “Did God say?” was his question. The serpent had no intention of reinforcing Eve’s faith. His goal was to create a rift of doubt that would erect a stronghold of unbelief. God’s first question in the Bible, on the other hand, was to ask Adam “where are you?” Do you see the difference in the questions?
One was asked in doubt to strike at God. The other was asked in love and compassion to draw man back to God. As I see it, there’s nothing inherently sinful in our asking a good question, especially about things which we have genuine doubts about. Doubts are meant to protect us from gullibility. Doubts can be a means of reinforcing faith rather than destroying it. It all depends on the reason for the doubts. As I understand it, there is a difference between “honest” doubting and “veiled” unbelief.
I hear a thousand “facts” a week that I doubt (I exaggerate!). So, I question. I read lots of information every week that raises my curiosity. I doubt. I learn. I grow. Like the question I read this week from Paul’s claim that “we will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the trumpet of God sounds” at the end of the age. The dead will rise and we all will be resurrected in a new body.
The question that was posed to Paul was predicated on the fact that he firmly established that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a verifiable, historical fact. (See the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians.) So someone in the Corinthian church asked in response: “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”
Paul responds with “how foolish.” Or as the NLT puts it, “what a foolish question?” He evidently knew something about the question that we don’t see in the text. The question was asked out of unbelief rather than in faith. It was posed in a way that revealed a stubborn refusal to accept the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Which was an established and accepted common fact in the first century. (See Acts 26:26.) Then Paul goes on to teach the Corinthians how, in fact, the dead will be resurrected. He concludes his chapter with one of the most thrilling claims in all of Christianity. See 1 Corinthians 15:50-58!
I look forward to studying it with you, church family. See you on Sunday, God willing.