"And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."
Life is full of questions. Many of those questions are not meant to be answered. In such a case, what's the point? Why ask a question for which there is no definite answer?
The point may very well be to stimulate discussion. It may also be to encourage people to think. Critical thinking is not a lost art. As long as we humans have discerning minds, we will continue to rationalize and analyze.
One night in a homeless mission, after a service, a man came to me and said, "I'm sorry, but I disagree with something you said in your sermon." I replied, "That's fine; what was it?" He looked somewhat taken aback, and asked, "It's OK to disagree?"
I replied, "Of course, that means you were listening and you are thinking." One of the greatest rewards a teacher or preacher can have is to stimulate people to think. I do not recall what he disagreed with, just the fact he was responding.
I taught industrial arts. To say it is a "brick and mortar" subject is not an analogy. When I asked a student a question, I expected a specific answer. The question may have concerned metal or wood or electricity; the answer may have actually been brick or mortar.
At church when I was teaching Bible study classes, I asked totally different types of questions. Many times these questions did not result in a specific answer primarily because there was not one. At times, the class discussed one question for the entire class period.
For example, one question appearing unanswerable is, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" If you take Genesis literally, the chicken came first because God created the beasts of the fields (Genesis 1:25), not the eggs or the nest.
What does it take to get people to think? We now have machines that think for us. These may make life better in some cases, but it certainly does not contribute to the quality or intellect of the people. A controversial question sometimes works quite well.
A question I once asked in a Sunday school class really backfired on me. "Is Satan real or a concept?" That class quickly confronted me for even asking such a question. Much of the population sees Satan as a fictitious concept but that group most certainly did not! That intended discussion did not last very long at all.
Another question that might spin off such a philosophical topic might be, "Can spirituality and logic coexist?" This is not a black and white issue. There may very well be an enormous gray area. That is why the resulting discussions create so much more than definitive answers.
So, if there are no, or few at best, definite answers (brick and mortar) to these questions, why ask them? Is it to invoke thinking as a legitimate goal? We (teachers) like to think and motivate students to think. These discussions and brain-storming sessions, in many cases result in usable, meaningful answers.
In classes such as philosophy, psychology and many other areas of academia, think-tank methods are at the top of the methodology list. The thinking process is essential in problem solving. Yes, I know that statement was so basic and obvious, it went without saying. However, many times people simply fall into whatever someone else says and do not consider alternatives.
To "talk-it-out" can be an accepted method for solving differences or answering some questions. In so many cases, an understanding can be reached without blood-shed by simply talking about "it" if both parties are reasonable. We all know, usually from experience, it is completely futile to attempt to reason with an unreasonable person. The result must always be what is best for the advancement of the Kingdom and for the good of the body.
Acts 17:2-3 "Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, 'This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.'" I understand, many of the words used by King James in 1611 may have a different meaning to us in the 21st century. "Reasoned with," in this case probably means, discussed with.
People disagree simply because our perceptions vary. It would be a robotic and boring world if we all thought alike. If a tree falls in the woods, if no one is there to hear it, is there a sound? If there is no eardrum for the sound to impact, no sound is registered. However, the sound waves are present so a potential exists. Is it even possible to definitively answer this question?
We certainly do prefer and care if the sound of the gospel registers in someone's ear. For it to register and produce actual sound, someone has to speak it. Perhaps a more logical question would be, "Have you told someone about Jesus today?"
What difference does it make if the chicken or the egg came first? Such questions exist to make us talk and think. Bible concepts often can be ambiguous and leave themselves open for discussion.
There is abundant scriptural evidence that Heaven, Hell and eternity are realities. Because we have faith in God, we also have faith in the reliability of the Bible.
This brings forth one more question. Why take a chance? If Heaven and Hell are in fact, real, why take a chance on being wrong? The results would be catastrophic. Christ Jesus crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected. That was not a question!