Why Can't We Get Any Straight Answers From Christianity?
The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
Why can't we get any straight answers from Christianity?
Well I hope we can. There are complex things in the Bible, and Peter, writing about the apostle Paul, said that many things he said were difficult to understand, and people twist them to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:15-16).
I preached a sermon one time called "Why God Inspired Hard Texts," so I've thought about this sort of thing.
I'm not sure I know the answer to that, but it seems to me that if everything were easy and straightforward, no controversy at all, nothing complex, nothing apparently out of sync with my little human brain and its ability to discern contradictions, then I bet there would be a question here like, "If this is really God's word, why is it so simple? Why isn't it more complex? If this is really God's word, why wouldn't it cause some difficulties among us humans? This book looks like we're as good as God!" There would be a question like that here.
But there's not a question like that here. Rather, there's a question about when you try to explain something like justification and how it relates to works and to faith, and it looks as though you're trying to have your cake and eat it too or speak out of both sides of your mouth.
And people use that sort of thing to walk away from the glories of Scripture rather than penetrating through them to the clear things.
If I were talking to a newer or a prospective believer, which I probably am, I would say, "Read the whole thing and see if there is not enough that is crystal clear and beautiful and compelling that you are willing to join those of us who are walking with Christ and saying, 'Lord, you've shown me yourself. You are so true and trustworthy and glorious. And your portrait is so clear, that I'll live with the parts that seem to require complex answers and I'll work with those who penetrate through.'"
So I think Christianity does give straight answers—lots of them. And I'll do my best to try.
© 2015 Desiring God Foundation. Distribution Guidelines
Share the Joy! You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in physical form, in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For posting online, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. For videos, please embed from the original source. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2015 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org