The Hardest Question to Answer

Author Alan Shlemon Published on 07/17/2018

I’ve been asked hundreds of questions about Islam, homosexuality, the problem of evil, abortion, the Bible, and many other topics. Some questions are easy, while others are hard. The most difficult question, though, is never about those topics. It’s about God.

The hardest question to answer begins with “Why would God...?” For example, why would God create Lucifer if He knew he would rebel and become Satan? Why would God create some humans He knew He would send to Hell? Why is God willing to allow a two-year-old girl to suffer with an incurable condition for a year and then die? Why did God choose to send Jesus to Earth in the first century?

Some of you might think, I can answer that! Well, sure, there are plenty of theologians, philosophers, and apologists that give interesting answers. I can muster a plausible answer, too. I do it all the time.

But here’s why this question is the hardest to answer. When someone asks, “Why would God...?” they’re asking me to explain the mind of God. Unless God has given us insight into His thinking or rationale through His Word, it’s impossible to know for sure why He does something or thinks something. All I’m doing when I answer, then, is speculating. That’s what theologians, philosophers, and apologists are doing. That’s what you’re doing too.

There’s nothing wrong with speculation, of course. We do it all the time. We shouldn’t confuse that, though, with giving people knowledge about the mind of God when that knowledge has not been made available to us. I usually make it clear before I answer that kind of question that I’m speculating or offering some options (aka guesses) as to why God does what He does. As the Apostle Paul asks in Romans 11:34, “Who has known the mind of God?”