More than not, I am mostly around--in a traditional sense--conservative Christians. Some of them are fundamentalists and some attempt to be wooden literalists (though, with a few questions, this falls through). One thing I've noticed, though, is that a number of people seem afraid of questions. 1. They are afraid that if they ask them, it makes them seem less pious and faithful, and 2. If they don't ask them, they are not questioning God and the Scriptures and so, again, they look poius and faithful. I have a lot of trouble with this mindset and approach!!! I call it omniquivocance (did I just coin a word?): the avoidance of all tough questions and theological/Scriptural issues.

I really try to encourage people to ask hard questions. I attempt to motivate them to think about and answer questions too. It is my belief that within the gathering of the Church, no question is out-of-bounds. If people can't ask questions in the Church then where can they? It is also my belief that no question is threatening to God. He is big enough for any and all of our questions. So, questioning is a good thing as far as I see it. Just as well, avoiding questions, skirting important Scriptural and theological issues is a bad thing; equivocating is never fruitful.

I do not take the postmodern view that "it is all about the question" but rather, that questions are important. I believe that sound answers are important too. I guess I just wrote this post because it has been on my mind lately. Do you have any thoughts on this subject?


  1. I always get the feeling that the fundamentalist avoidance of questions has to do with 1) fear that they are somehow wrong and if one piece is taken out the entire Jenga tower will fall down; 2) if the question their understanding of God they are actually questioning God since there is no difference between the two - to do so thus calls God a liar; 3) God's providence somehow annihilates our inherent need to reason through things that do not make sense with experience.

    In short critical thinking in general is a bad thing because to a fundamentalist, it places them somehow above God. What is odd is that critical thinking is an activity that demonstrates the frailty of human understanding more than anything...

  2. Drew,
    I have intuited a number of these thoughts as well. I think these are all valid points.

  3. I am definitely working on this in myself. It’s not so much in the avoiding questions area for me as it is being able to answer the question on the spot, which in itself proves I’m guilty of omniquivocance. You know what I mean, you’ve asked me questions and I don’t have answers. It’s disappointing. I get the impression though that I have to have the answer to the question in full or at least in part when I’m asked something and if I don’t you’re not interested in the answer later because I’ve had time to think about it, research it, etc. But I want to know the answer!

  4. Cody,
    Interesting that you read this in light of some of our previous conversations. I was unsure as to whether the last part of your statement was a "statement of fact" or a kind of "question", the part that begins: "I get the impression..."

    If it is a statement of fact, especially concerning our conversations, I would reply that just because you were unable to answer the questions on the spot, does not mean that I am uninterested or will be later. If it takes researching, by all means, research. Often times it is research that illumines everything for us. In lieu of our most recent conversation, I was not uninterested but just wary or better yet, a little apprehensive/worried because it was such a huge decision but a few fundamental questions were not asked/answered.

    If your statement has nothing to do with our previous conversation, I understand the general point I think you're trying to make.

    If it is a question, well, for the record, I am interested and research is always a good thing.