I’m leading a bible study with a group of high school seniors and college freshmen. This might be the most motivated group of people I’ve ever worked with. Its very exciting. When we met last night to go through Genesis 2-3, they brought out 20-30 significant questions about the text.
It takes courage to ask questions. You’ve got to feel comfortable with who you’re with – you can’t be afraid to look stupid. There needs to be a feeling of safety, of protection.
More than that, you have to be hungry. You genuinely want to know the answer. Its about curiosity but it goes beyond curiosity. There’s a hunger to know more – to recognize the answer might impact and change your life. It’s a hunger to be impacted, to be taught, to learn at a deeper level.
One thing I have learned is its not the answer that matters. It’s the process of asking questions and searching for answers. Someone asked why the authors of the Bible didn’t write a companion guide to their books – to give an explanation of what difficult passages meant. It would make things so much easier. I doubt that. The Bible is like poetry. Its not intended to be easily understood and obvious in meaning. Its not intended to be super-accessible. Clarity is a high value but its not the highest value. Clarity exists for the spiritually-minded.
Another person asked if Genesis 2-3 supports people going without clothing, since Jesus has reversed the curse of original sin. What an awesome question! How often do people ask that in church, expecting and wanting a serious answer?
My favorite question had to with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why was it put there? Did Adam and Eve know evil before that? Is it possible to reverse the choice?
We go on all sorts of tangents but they’re actually quite enjoyable because they’re text-oriented and behind each question, there’s a desire to know God better. I sometimes worry if we’re covering enough content in the study. That’s an unnecessary anxiety. If people are asking questions, interacting with the text, and discovering truth on their own, that’s the best possible content.