Questions in Three Stages

questions and personal growth cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward


I wrote a book, “Questions are the Answer”. 

I talk about three stages of questions. 

A door is closed, swinging, or open. Like questions! 

The first kind of questions is closed. The answer is yes or no. Black or white. No grays. One or the other. This is a time of certainty. 

The second is swinging. The answer is yes and no. Two options. It's still a black and white world, but it’s getting more complicated. This is a time of confusion. 

The third kind is open. The answer is that there isn't an answer. There may be an answer but we don't know what it is, we don't pretend that there is, and we remain open to see it when or if it comes. This is a time of contentment. 

I suggest we grow through these stages of questions.

These aren't really stages, but ways of seeing. Reality is not in the future waiting for us. It’s here now, giving us clues to its truth if only we would see. It’s not reality's elusiveness but our resistance to it that’s the problem.

Example: the Bible. 

The first kind may answer, "Is the Bible true?" with, "Yes, it's literally true", or, "No, it's not!" 

The second may answer, "Do you mean historically or theologically? Parts seem true and others don't. And what about other religions’ scriptures? I'm confused!" 

The third may answer, "What do you mean by 'true'? Even though it isn’t all historically accurate it conveys some truth. Perhaps it speaks truth with metaphor and myth?” As the theologian Barth said, "I take the Bible far too seriously to take it literally." 

Want more? Get my book!

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