One of my colleagues told me the story of a professor, a brilliant man, whose father couldn't support the family. As a boy, this professor listened as the extended family argued over who was going to get stuck with raising him. In the middle of their arguing, feeling abandoned and unwanted, he slipped away to his room. There he found solace and escape in books.

His initial reaction to Christianity was to ask skeptical questions. He's not the only one for whom intellectualism becomes a way to mask pain. More than he needed his thinking corrected, he needed his heart mended. That brilliant boy did find healing in Christ, and today teaches seminary courses.

My ministry has brought me into contact with thousands of curious, questioning people. I've discovered that people ask spiritual questions because something in their lives isn't working. Uncertainty, fear, and pain provoke their questions. What they really want isn't information, but relief.

Most seekers' questions, whether intellectual or emotional, indicate underlying issues. Choosing to believe in Christ carries major internal ramifications. Snappy, pat answers don't satisfy these inner struggles. Nobody wants a two-cent answer to a million-dollar question.

Behind every question is a person asking that question, and we need to minister to that person—if we can find him.

What do you think?


A great irony in Scripture prompted me to rethink how I answer seekers' questions. When the Son of God walked the earth, people came to him with dilemmas, doubts, and questions. He had all answers available to him. And yet he met their questions with questions of his own.

In Luke 10:25-26, "An expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal ...

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Fall
Fall 2002: Generosity  | Posted
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