Alastair: Questioning the Questioners

Today I wish to call your attention to a piece written by Alastair at Adversaria as a guest blog over at Threads.  In it he challenges the popular emphasis upon questioning among millennials.

While questioning can be a healthy and important activity, especially in church settings where it is assumed that traditional beliefs can survive without having to give any accounting of themselves, the sort of questioning that occurs among many millennials can be quite unhealthy.  Frequently this questioning proceeds from a place where everything in the outside world is open to question but you, as the questioner, don’t have to give any accounting of yourself.

Above almost all else, gifted questioners need to be prepared to be questioned themselves. And it is at this point that I believe that Millennials face particular dangers. All too often, resistance to ‘predetermined answers’ can be a self-serving posture, designed to fend off anything that might make claims upon our loyalty and duty. With a ‘hermeneutic of suspicion’ we can distrust and selectively ignore all external authorities that might seek our obedience. A posture of cynicism leads us to be sceptical of all supposed beauty, truth, or goodness that might call us to change.

…Despite an emphasis on questioning, Millennials can often be surprisingly prickly about being called into question themselves. Challenges to our sexual mores and desires, the ethos and inclinations of our generation, our reliability as interpreters of God’s truth, and our qualifications to act as theological and moral authorities can be met with great hostility. This is frequently the dangerous flipside of ‘questioning everything’: a self-validating position of entitlement, which refuses to open itself up to question.

Yet this opening of ourselves up to question is central to our Christian duty. Near the heart of the Christian message is the declaration that we are in the wrong, that our subjective position is radically compromised, and that we must be put to rights by someone else.

Read Alastair’s “Questioning the Questioners”