Tuesday, September 16, 2008

John Fischer's Catch of the Day

When I first met Robb, he introduced me to John Fischer, an author, songwriter, and all around good guy who I appreciate a lot. His books were very formative for us and just this summer, our ladies coffee clatch read 12 Steps for the recovering Pharisee, (like me). I get his daily email and thought I would include it here for those of you interested in the discussion swirling around William P Young's (GREAT) book, The Shack.

Catch of the Day

Real questions
by John Fischer

Okay, I get it now. Many of you have been recommending The Shack by William P. Young to me as a book I would like. Well, I have not read it yet, but I did read a brief interview with the author, and any one who would answer the question, “Do all paths lead to God?” with “No, most roads don’t lead anywhere, but God will go down any road to find you,” is definitely on my team.

Anyone who would ask, “Do all paths lead to God?” doesn’t deserve a straight answer anyway. Such a question is as loaded as the questions the Pharisees asked Jesus all the time. It’s only designed to trap you or at best pigeonhole you. Many Christians have a whole arsenal of questions like this designed to test your doctrinal pedigree. The assumption being, answer these all correctly and you’re in. I don’t even think Jesus would give a straight answer to these types of questions. In fact, Jesus rarely gave a straight answer to any question. He always seemed to send people away scratching their heads. That’s because the kingdom of God doesn’t consist of right answers. You can get all the answers right and not even be close to the kingdom.

Jesus answered the real question underneath – the one people were really asking but didn’t know how or didn’t have the nerve. We need to learn to probe under the surface of the questions people ask. Are they hiding behind the question? Are they genuinely seeking an answer or are they trying to discredit you and justify their unbelief? You might want to refuse to answer a question based on the sincerity or lack of it with which it was given.

Real questions deserve real answers.

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