Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love


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Identifying and Defining the questions



A large part of why the Orthodox Church has no answers is the fact they won’t admit that there are any legitimate questions. Answers must develop out of the questions.


The first step in solving a problem, as we all learned in mathematics class, is to define the problem. That definition must be couched in concrete terms, so in mathematics we use definitive symbols to convey and document the problem definition.


This proven mathematical approach has application to a great many issues in other fields of inquiry. Many thorny problems face us as a society, but often our attempts to solve them neglect the need to define the issue adequately and to establish the facts which must naturally be addressed in formulating a proposed solution. Too often, as a collective body, we start off by assuming certain things as true and unassailable without first testing and validating those assumptions. The tendency is to jump right to a proposed solution without really understanding the problem and its many ramifications. When a collective effort is required, meaning the development of an agreed public policy, this type of “hip-shooting” guarantees inaction because of a lack of consensus or a simplistic and therefore ineffective solution.


What is true of public policy issues is equally true of religion. Before one can deal with the nagging religious questions which trouble the minds of many, those questions must be carefully articulated. Frequently, I find that questions exist for a time in my subconscious and then eventually I am able to define my question in a way that is essential to ever seeking an answer. Any reluctance to admit questions and to carefully state them makes any meaningful progress in understanding impossible. Progress always starts with carefully defined and then studious and honestly considered questions.  Questions always precede a step forward in knowledge. An unquestioning religion is a stagnant pool and can only become toxic.