A church with a heart for the community



Al Thompson

Answers and Questions

My partner Pat tells me that the answer is always chocolate, now what is the question?

At times it seems we are so busy finding answers that we do not know the question. I think it was Darwin who said that when he found a problem that required an answer within the hour he would spend 55 minutes looking for the question then find the answer in 5 minutes. Maybe wise words but they don’t often fit with the hectic lives that we live.

An answer I found, about my faith in God, came from a widely quoted summary of a quotation of Epicurus by David Hume. It is a bit intense but bear with me. “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent. Is He able but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call Him God?” When my wife died from a brain tumour I began to see this as an answer to my faith. Why call him God when he lets this suffering happen?

Then I felt Jesus with me as I grieved, before she died, when we grieved together and after she died when she was not there to comfort me. I felt comforted. I did not feel alone.

Assuming the answer from Epicurus and David Hume missed quite dramatically what is the question? Jonas Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine, said “what people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.” My discovery as I grieved was that I was not alone. I could feel the comfort and love of Jesus. The question was not who controls the suffering but who shares the love, the giving and the receiving. 

Letting this idea sink in is so crucial to my faith. So I will try to share my internal conversation in a different way. Within my management training I was given an American quotation on control. “The person who decides the options is the person with the power.” The people who vote on the options have minimal power. Sounds odd? If you choose to ask your child if they would like chocolate or sprouts for dessert, can you work out what the answer would be? So who has the power of choice? Choosing the question is so much more important than choosing the answer. So going back to David Hume he sets the question as “does God have to control evil to be known as God?” But my question is, does my belief in Jesus make an important difference to my life and if so how is that known to me? I really am a doubting Thomas, but His love is shown, it is felt and it is seen. 

My belief in Jesus begins to make me who I am. My faith is about everyday, it gives me hope for the future and most of all it brings love into my life that I can happily share with others. 

So my answer is always unconditional love; now what was the question?





Sunday 5th June and Wednesday 8th June. more...
Donated by Mr J Brown in memory of three family members. more...
Nancy :
Flowers were donated this week by Mr N Anderson. more...
Nancy :