The Importance of Questions: Ask and It Shall Be Given

Robert Thomas Quiring —  July 2, 2014

“There’s no such thing as a stupid question.”  That is the sentiment we are taught as youngsters and it is repeated throughout our lives. However, most of us have a strong memory of asking a “stupid question” and having everyone laugh at us at some point.  As we grow older, many fear to ask questions because we’re afraid that we’ll appear unintelligent or uninformed.  I have found this is even more true with our faith and our Christian education.  “Judge a [person] by [their] questions rather than by [their] answers.” -Voltaire

Question Mark

Asking questions and seeking answers is how we strengthen and deepen our faith.  So, my challenge for all of us is to do just that – to start asking more questions about our faith.

  1. What are your questions: So, what questions do you have about your faith?  About our religion?  Biblical questions?  Theological questions? Philosophical questions?  Write them down.
  2. Don’t be afraid to follow a lead: I asked my religion professor in college what he thought about heaven and hell and he didn’t answer the question himself, but directed me to a book – The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis.  I was superbly annoyed by this at first because it meant more work for me and I just wanted the easy answer.  However, I have repeatedly found that when wise people refer something to you – it is almost always worth your while.
  3. Who to ask:  Who should we bring our questions to?  The answers you receive will depend on who you ask.  Sometimes we ask certain people our questions because we know we will be comfortable with their answers.  Instead ask yourself, “Self, who is the most knowledgable person I know on this subject?  Do I respect them?”  Ask them.

Good luck.  Did I miss any of the reasons why questions are important for our spiritual development?


PS – The preamble to this post was a Lord of the Rings conversation with Brian C. Dees about why the eagles could not have just flown the Ring to Mordor and destroyed it as illustrated in this popular video.

Dearest Brian,

I have been pondering the notion that in LOTR Frodo could have just ridden an eagle to Mordor and destroyed the ring.  There seem to be many holes in this theory.  Wouldn’t the Eye of Sauron clearly see Frodo and the ring flying on an eagle to Mount Doom?  Wouldn’t they be more exposed to the Ringwraiths and their Fell Beasts as well?  It seems like sneaking into Mordor was the best and only feasible option. Thoughts?

A couple of thoughts on the eagle issue.  First, yes, there would be concern about the fell beasts and archers in Mordor.  Eagles might be able to contend with the fell beasts in aerial combat, but perhaps not while ensuring the safety of hobbit passengers.  Also, the eagles only enter Mordor after the Ring has been destroyed, so that may indicate that they were wary to do so.
Moreover, in the Tolkien mythos, eagles are actually Maiar, like Gandalf.  The Valar and Maiar generally do not intervene directly in major events in the history of Middle-Earth, preferring to provide advice and counsel and allowing mortal Men and Elves to drive history.  It is also possible, along the same lines, that the eagles wanted to avoid being influenced by the Ring, just as Gandalf did.

Thank you once more for calming my concerns.  However, Gandalf played a large role in having the ring destroyed.  He was the architect of the entire pursuit.  He did not want to interact with the ring directly though as you noted.  I wonder how an eagle would wear a ring?  Or at least, place it on his finger.
Gandalf played a role, and orchestrated the events that led to the Ring’s destruction, but he left the actual execution of that plan to Men (and Hobbitses).  I would think that an eagle would not even want to be near the Ring; one did not have to wear it in order to be effected by it. But we did also see that the Ring can subtly change its size in order to fit the finger of the Bearer; perhaps it could bend slightly to fit a talon?

Robert Thomas Quiring

Posts Twitter Facebook

Robert is currently serving as an Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Pensacola, Florida. Robert is a husband, father, pastor, sweet tea lover, technology enthusiast-er, and webmaster of Masterin' the Pastorin'.