Are we answering questions people are not asking? The gap between those with theological training, and those without has become so great, and developed so quickly, that the spiritually mature can be unaware that their answers fail to meet the questions of the spiritually unaware.
Henry Nouwen’s ‘Reaching Out’ points out that a hospitable teacher will draw out and develop his pupil through asking questions and giving space for the pupil to express themselves.
Since our society abandoned any interest in Christianity long ago, it challenges us to explore the issues they are dealing with. Since our society is pretty much in a relationship train wreck, this would seem to be a sensible place to start asking questions.
A second point of Nouwen’s is that we can only hear the answers to the questions that we are aware of.
Many of our answers are about truth and righteousness. These are often thought of as divisive to a generation that craves good feelings, harmonious relationships and positive experiences. Of course, much of the Bible is about truth and a righteous life, this perspective however is only one of a number of ways in which the Lord addresses the human condition. For instance, Jesus also addresses our motivations for action. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus challenges ‘righteous’ actions performed out of selfishness. Maybe this is a more appropriate angle for a society totally committed to image, and a new self-righteousness bound up with politically correctness?