Why are we afraid of asking questions?

Hello gang!

There's lots to come this week, including a book review (I hope) of Falling Upward. Also to come soon to the blog (probably not until I return from Africa) will be the long anticipated review of Love Wins by Rob Bell. I've been waiting for a while to get my review in to try to let the dust settle.

But this post, not a review of the book itself, is actually a review of said "dust" we're all waiting to settle. Rob's book caused a great stir when it was being previewed and advertised. It's reception has been mixed since it came out and people actually started you know, reading it. And as someone who has an unbelievably long standing love affair with all things Rob Bell, I've found myself at the center of some questions from friends (and not so-friendly people).

Some would argue that the book is the best thing since sliced toast.

A significant portion more than that would argue that it's the most dangerous book to come out since they gave away free knives in cookbooks.

And still others don't think it's the secret to the meaning of life, but it's also not as bad as a lot of the hype makes it out to be (What are the odds that the media would blow something out of proportion?)

If you ask me (and again, we'll get to my views when I finish my second read through and get around to posting a review) all three are valid positions. This book does offer a lot of freedom to people who for years have felt trapped by a particular brand of Christianity. This book is dangerous to faiths for whom this is a new and murky topic (though, whoever said Christianity avoided danger?)

My problem is with (as in most cases) the tone of the argument around this book and the beliefs expressed within. Because (and again, I'm reading the book again because I went through pretty fast the first time around) it seems to me that this book is not a statement of theological fact. It's not a doctrine statement. It's not a decree. It is in it's most basic and rudimentary form, a book that asks a lot of questions.

Leading questions? Probably. Deep questions? Sure. Unnerving questions? In some cases. But truthfully, questions are all this book seems to offer us. It comes across to me as Rob trying his best to understand the world, and even more importantly, to understand the world through the lens of the grace and peace of Jesus Christ. Which leads me to my big point and question for us today:

If we affirm (and I do) that Jesus Christ is the "way, the truth, and the life," and not only that, we affirm (again, I do) that he is the ultimate source of truth in our world and all worlds, then what question could Jesus (and/or our faith in him) not be able to handle? Is there a rabbit hole so deep that it actually leads us away from the ultimate truth of the universe? And if so, is it still an ultimate truth?

If I am asked questions, even questions that may or may not rattle my faith a little bit, won't that ultimately lead me to a deeper and more resounding understanding of my relationship with Jesus?

Actually, the problem occurs to me just now after typing that sentence. Jesus Christ is the absolute truth in the universe. Our faith (by which I mean our system of beliefs and doctrines) is not. When we engage in a sort of tribalistic Christianity, in which only our view points are true and everyone else's are wrong, then questions can cause us a great deal of harm.

But if we open ourselves up to the ultimate truth, even if that truth is outside of our particular faith system or doctrinal statement, then questions aren't threatening at all. The truth will ultimately do what it always does.

It will set us free.

More to come, but I'd love to hear your thoughts!