Someone appreciated my discussion yesterday about the importance of listening to, and repeating the questions of our generation. So much so that they asked me a question: so what are some of the questions of our generation?
First, I think there are questions that transcend all generations. These are the truly big questions of existence. These are questions like the ones so exquisitely captured in the cult movie favorite Bladerunner, when Harrison Ford thinks to himself as he watches a human robot terminate (die): “I guess in the end he was just looking for the answers to the same questions we all have: ‘Where did we come from?’ ‘Where are we going?’ and ‘How long have we got?’” These are the universal big questions that will always be relevant.
Then there are questions that are barriers to faith for many people like, “How could a loving God allow the suffering of innocent people?” or “Why does God say there is only one way to get to him?” “How can the Bible contain the word of God when it contradicts itself?” “Is there really a hell?” “How could God send anyone there?” These questions are mostly theological, but they do keep people from believing or they can be used as a smoke screen for those who don’t want to believe for other reasons.
Then there are questions current to the culture. Is global warming for real? Are we killing our planet? Aren’t there many ways to get to God? Is truth relative? Or I asked Chandler, my 17-year-old son what are the questions his friends ask the most, and he said, “Why?” The “Why?” question. That one will go just about anywhere.
Now I suppose you want answers to all these questions, but no, that isn’t the point. Even if we could answer them, we wouldn’t want to, because the point is to identify with the question and the person asking it, not answer it. You answer the question and the discussion is over. There’s nothing left to talk about. Questions are for conversation, and we want to keep the conversation going.