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  1. January 26, 2014 7:30 am

    This is clearly the Semitic tradition, and the likes of both Abraham and Sarah and also Hannah in similar biblical contexts of prayer and prophecy questioned and asked. It’s also the Hellenic tradition, if we look at Plato’s dialogue Menexenus, in which is suggested – by the Socratic method – that one of Socrates’s teachers was a woman, the skilled rhetorician Aspasia. These traditions encourage questioning, don’t they?

  2. January 26, 2014 8:51 am

    Victoria,
    Being told not to ask questions (or told, as parents, not to entertain the questions our children ask) is a sign of possible spiritual abuse.

    Our own Kristen Rosser has a related, helpful blogpost here:

    http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/kristen-rosser-spiritual-abuse

  3. January 26, 2014 8:13 pm

    Thanks for the broader biblical and philosophical background, Kurk, as well as the link to Kristen’s essay.

    As I understand it, Christianity was positioned and presented as one of the philosophical schools, in the early patristic era; thus we have Justin Martyr, for instance, telling of how he came to Christianity as the completion of his philosophical journey, motivated by love of and desire for wisdom. In such a marketplace of ideas, I’d think it would be hard to get away with refusing to answer questions, or giving evasive answers — you’d soon lose seekers to another, more responsive teacher.

    More generally, this would seem to be a dynamic that couldn’t emerge except when the majority of believers are born into and raised in the tradition: not the situation in that era.

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