– By John Jones
If you’ve ever spent any extended amount of time with a 3 year old, you’re quite familiar with the
question “Why?” In anticipation of becoming a father, I committed to avoid responding to that question
with “Because I said so.” That commitment is long gone.
The insatiable curiosity and intellect of my two daughters teaches me things daily. And though I
occasionally do grow weary and pull out that conversation stopper, I try my best not to, because their
questions – and their minds – are worth the respect of at least the effort at an answer.
In a way, that’s how I think about education – asking that impossible three letter question – and doing
our darnedest to work hard at an honest and truthful answer.
When it comes to theological education, asking “Why” is even more important and more dangerous.
Oftentimes those questions cannot be satisfactorily answered, but the effort and honest that goes into
responding is a form of faithfulness.
In an information saturated society, intentional reflection is becoming more rare and more precious. So
the effort to ask the question “Why” is needed all the more. It takes great effort (and is worth the
effort) to ask specific and helpful questions about what guides and motivates our ministry and work. For
me, theological education is the constant process of reflection upon and a reminder of the
transformative thinking that sustains and is sustained by faith.
Although, in the end, we may discover that our answers to the question “Why” somehow circle back to
the “go-to” VBS answer “Jesus,” it is the effort, the work, the journey of asking that question that
polishes and reveals the faith at our core.