• David McNitzky

Ask Good Questions

Isadore Rabi is one of many great intellectuals to have come from the Jewish faith. He won a Nobel Prize in physics. He later attributed this accomplishment to his mother. Starting when he was a young boy, she sent him off to school not with the typical “be safe” or “have a good day” but with this admonition, “Ask good questions.” When he came home she would not ask if he had had a good day, rather she would ask, “Did you ask good questions?” In that way she made him a scientist, he reasoned. People of faith are made the same way. In Exodus 13 and 14, children are encouraged to ask questions about the Passover. When Jesus was twelve we find him in the temple asking questions (which like practitioners of the Socratic method may indicate that the young Jesus was actually instructing the teachers). Biblical scholars note that Jesus rarely answers questions in the gospels; he almost always responds to a question with a question.

When we understand the important role which questions play in our faith development, we are ready to appropriately deal with doubts in our faith. Instead of being embarrassed or ashamed of our doubts, and than trying to hide them; let us see our doubts as questions to pursue. These pursuits will in time both deepen our faith and grow our relationship with God and others. I hope you that will join us for our January sermons on doubt. Please know your doubts are welcome here. You may not win a Nobel Prize but I believe that your honest inquiry will lead to new discoveries.

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