You Don't Need All the Answers
As soon as your friend opens his mouth you know what’s coming. Another barrage of difficult questions you don’t know how to answer:
“If God’s so loving, why is there so much suffering?”
“How can you believe in God when science gives us better answers?”
“What gives your God the right to tell me what to do?”
On top of your homework, after-school clubs and your parents’ demands for a tidy bedroom, you don’t know how you’d ever manage to find out the answers to all these questions.
The good news is you don’t need all the answers. What you need is a question of your own.
Here it is (get ready):
Why do you think that?
Sorry if that seems like an anti-climax!
Your friend may not realise they have beliefs of their own
But the reality is that while your friend wants to challenge your beliefs, they may not realise they have beliefs of their own. These beliefs are under the surface, like the roots of a tree. Their questions are the tree that grows out of their root beliefs.
Most people don’t think about these sorts of beliefs. That’s because they surround us; the air we breathe is full of assumptions like:
- God doesn’t exist
- Science has all the answers
- Only I can define my identity
These assumptions are in the TV shows and films we watch, the books and magazines we read, the music we listen to. They are so common that people don’t realise they are beliefs, not facts.
We all need to look at our assumptions about the world
Part of having good conversations about faith is helping our friends see that they have beliefs of their own. We want to help others see that we all take things for granted. We all need to look at our assumptions about the world.
When you ask ‘Why do you think that?’ you aren’t avoiding the question. You’re inviting your friend to look at their own view of the world, and think more deeply about it. That’s when the real conversation starts.