Pursuing God intellectually: Being honest about our questions

by Travis Dickinson

In my last post, I gave an invitation to pursue God intellectually.

Jesus identified the greatest commandment as loving God with our all of who we are, and Jesus specifically included loving God with our minds. But what does this mean? I suggested that we understand this as pursuing God intellectually in a way that is consonant with other relational pursuits. When we love someone, we want to know things. We are intellectually curious about what makes them tick.

Now this was only intended as an analogy and all analogies break down somewhere. When it comes to God, we are not simply in the sort of love relationship as we are in, say, a marriage. Pursuing God intellectually has its own shape, its own approach.

What does this approach look like?

The first thing I want to suggest is that we be honest about where we are at intellectually on matters of faith. What I mean by this is that, we tend to act as if we have perfect confidence in all matters. Suppose you were asked, “when it comes to faith, what questions do you have?’ If there are not a ready handful of things that you are thinking about, then I want to suggest you are not intellectually pursuing God.

There are a lot of things about God, the gospel, Scripture and Jesus that are really straightforward. However, beyond these things, there seems to be no end to interesting and knotty issues that are worth thinking about. Again, they are not necessary for a basic understanding of Christian, but the pursuit of them makes for a mature faith.

Now this doesn’t have to mean that everyone is always deeply struggling with some aspect of faith. You may be a person who has found Christianity to be completely reasonable and deeply satisfying as a worldview. There may not be deep seated doubt that is causing existential angst. But you too should be exploring deep and difficult questions that you have about your faith, if for no other reason, because…


Pursuing God intellectually: Being honest about our questions – The Benefit of the Doubt