Vol.V No.IX Pg.5
November 1968

The Skeptic's Question

Robert F. Turner

A preacher told me of a question he had been asked — one somewhat on the "zany" side, but asked in apparent sincerity — and how he spent many hours trying to find a direct and scriptural reply. When he finally went to the querist with the answer, the material was brushed aside with little or no notice, and another question was asked.

About par for the course, I would say. A fool can ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in a day. One is under no obligation to devote time and attention to a querist who will not meet the responsibilities of his position. If he has no position — simply seeks information — let him maintain the role of an appreciative disciple. But the man who can not teach, and will not learn, is not worth the salt it would take to "cure" him (PRO.23:9, 29:9).

Paul said, "Foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes" (2TI.2:23). Of "unlearned" Vincent's Word Studies says, "undisciplined — questions of an untrained mind, carried away with novelties; questions which do not proceed from any trained habit of thinking."

Many of the questions asked by skeptics or unbelievers are unworthy of consideration, being asked solely to discredit or "stump" the believer, and have no constructive purpose. Does the querist honestly seek the answer? If asked to reveal weakness on the part of the believer, to what end? Is the querist genuinely interested in the ultimate well-being of the person questioned? What has he to offer of a constructive or positive nature? Is there reason to believe (from past "fruits") that the querist would accept the consequence of, and be motivated by the answer to his question, correctly given? It is right to consider such questions before attempting a serious answer.

We should realize, and freely acknowledge, that many questions about God, and the things of God find answer only in the realm of faith, God has revealed, by His Spirit, things which "the wisdom of this world" can not encompass (Read carefully 1CO.2:1-13). The very nature of God makes revelation a necessity — to think that deity could be subject to man is to demote God go the level of his creatures. Questions about such matters can, therefore, be answered only with a "thus saith the Lord".

Understandably, the unbeliever is not willing to accept such answers — but this only proves that the question is out of order. The existence of God can be seen in "things made" (ROM.1:20); The nature and identity of God are seen in His manifestations of Himself (EXO.3:1-f, etc.); but in NT in Jesus Christ, JOH.14:7-10; and "signs, wonders, divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost" confirm the divine source of the words spoken by chosen messengers (HEB.2:3-4). Until these things are accepted by the skeptic, there is no reason to deal seriously with questions about the content of the revelation.

And we have a right to expect some answers from the unbeliever. Let him "puzzle" awhile about the beginning.