questions

Let’s make this a conversational, question-and-answer blog, at least some of the time. You leave questions in the comments. I’ll respond. Sometimes, maybe, I’ll ask questions and you can respond.

I’ve found that answering questions is thrilling for me, and this will give me an opportunity to answer the questions in my email inbox which I’ve been ignoring for weeks. Ask anything: family, God, theology, child-raising, movies, accounting, directions, math homework, whatever.

I may not answer, but I’ll consider anything, and if I answer, just remember that you are more important to me than my opinions. If you disagree, I won’t be bothered, but please don’t stop being my friend.

If you’re too chicken to put your name on the question, I’m good with that – use a fake name and this email address (leaving a comment here requires an email address): dalepratt@comcast.net

The first installment begins now with a question I received from a friend in an email today.

Question: Does God know everything?

My opinion: Yes, God knows everything. I think we’re tempted to let him off the hook and minimize his knowledge because it helps us make sense of things, but doing that really just reduces him to a superhuman rather than God – the thing God must be to really be God.

In other words, the problem is ours, not his. We don’t understand how things work, so we modify the character of God to fit into our reasoning. The problem is not God, it’s our reasoning, and more so, the misunderstandings we have about God.

I prefer a big God who is in everything and knows everything. I think that’s the biblical God. I also want him to be accountable for all of the stuff that happens.

When my sister-in-law died, for example, I struggled with blaming someone for a while and ultimately ended up pointing my finger at God. If he can’t hack it, he really isn’t all that great. The buck has to stop with him. He alone has the ultimate power over life and death.

The issue, then, is that I have to be able to trust and believe in the sovereignty of a God who has the capacity to do things that I consider evil, knowing that in his view, with all things considered, things that appear to be evil can actually be good.

A simple example is disciplining a child. I promise my kids they’ll learn certain lessons while they’re in my house. The learning process might be painful – appearing evil to them – but the ultimate outcome is desirable for both of us – it is good.

I have to believe in a God who can love me and kill me at the same time. I have to believe in a God who knows about, and is intimately involved in, the lives of people suffering in horrible conditions all over the world at this moment. I have to believe that it is in his control and authority and is redeemable and being redeemed.

A God who is less than that is really kind of pathetic.

7 thoughts on “questions”

  1. really accounting questions???you usually are so hush hush about that part of your life. Which you should be so proud of it because it’s awesome!!! hmmmmm I’m sure I can come up with some questions….

  2. What exactly is it that you are struggling with?

    What does it mean to “live in Christ”? (Why is it “in” and not “with” or “for” or “like”? Just curious.)

    Do you think that God expects you to do more than believe in Him and spread love and the Good Word? Such as what?

  3. As your mom might say, I love you, Dale Pratt. So you know that I am out here reading and listening. Any question? Hmmm, here’s one: Why does God allow the key to randomly not release when turning the car off? Just kidding. Provocative article. Isaiah 1:18 says ” ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool’ “. My experience with God has been … He is not Wizard of Oz-esque, He is in no way intimidated by our inquiries, challenges, and questions. He does not hide behind the cloak. In fact, For us, through Jesus the veil of seperation was torn in two from top to bottom. Rather, He reveals Himself, His designs, and, to the degree (I believe) we are up to it, He evens reveals His specific plan for the issue of the moment.

    For sure He, again, reveals Himself, and any sin, (sorry for my political incorrectness as sin and personal responsibility seems passe these days), that might be hindering my relationship to Him and is c l o u d i n g my ability to see clearly His plan and Himself.

    Keep writing and we will continure reading and occasionally responding. Love you, man.

  4. The lure of being able to ask you a question is to strong to pass up. Like the mouse that is currently hiding / residing in my house, I only show myself on this blog when the prospects of good food outweight the fact that it feels like a trap. None the less, here is my question:

    If you could only give one sermon to us, what would it be (the sermon, not just the topic / focus)?

    Thanks for endulging me. Phil

  5. answer this one smart guy!! no seriously, i can’t get this one into perspective. i believe that all humans are capable of hitler-like atrocities, that we are all depraived, capable of the most hideous acts. furthermore, i believe that i am capable of hitler-like atrocities. not at the level of millions of lives ruined or lost but certainly at the level of tens of lives ruined or lost. here’s the hard part: i believe that i am capable of doing these things to the people i love most, my children. i do not want to do them harm, nor, by the grace of God, will i. still, i feel that it is within me to do so. does this make me, like paul, the chief of sinners? or does this make me a monster? are we all, in fact, capable of the most unimaginable acts or am i sick, seriously sick? if the answer is the latter, call social services. now.

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