The Unskeptical Questioner
by Barnabas Piper
Skepticism is the preferred belief system of the intellectual. Ever since the Enlightenment brought about the emphasis on empirical evidence it has been on the rise. A general attitude of “prove it” has pervaded among those who are, or would like to be seen as, sharp thinkers. From Daniel Dennett and Stephen Hawking to Jon Stewart and Joy Behar, skepticism reigns
I even consider myself a borderline skeptic. Not the rabid, virulent sort, but rather one who is prone to questions and teeters on the brink of that slippery slope into “prove it.” I am insatiably curious and very rarely is the first answer I receive satisfying. There must be more. So I keep questioning things, especially relationship, belief, and aspects of faith.
For many Christians, someone who questions everything is already a skeptic. Questioning is seen as a mark of unbelief. There’s a fine line, though, between being someone who questions and being someone who refuses to believe any answers—a true skeptic.
In fact, I don’t think many skeptics actually question anything. They may phrase their challenges as questions, but their heart is set on rejection and disproving, not asking. To truly question something is to query it and to ask about it for the sake of greater and deeper understanding. This may lead to evidence that disproves or to propositions worthy of rejecting, but the heart behind it is to learn, to know.
And in this sense, we ought to question everything. And I do mean everything…
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