Answering Tough Questions

Answering Tough Questions

How to handle seven difficult questions that are likely to pop up in your small group

Note: Click Is God to Blame for Natural Disasters? to see a free article from this resource.

Small groups are a great place for new and experienced Christians to discuss the meaning and application of biblical doctrines. We can learn a lot from the stories of fellow group members and their insights into God's Word. But many small-group leaders are secretly afraid that such discussions will produce theological questions they aren't able to answer.

Fortunately, there are two easy and practical ways to conquer such fears. The first is to learn that "I don't know" is an acceptable answer. The second is to prepare yourself for these tough questions ahead of time. Fortunately, this resource can help. It features seven doctrinal questions that are commonly discussed in small-group settings and includes easy-to-understand answers from theologians like Mark Buchanan, Miroslav Volf, and Will Reaves.

The Art of Answering

Listen Before You Answer

Good counsel comes from those who combine empathy and insight.
James 1:19
by Rod J.K. Julius

A New Kind of Answer

Actions answer tough questions when the body of Christ does God's work.
Job 2:11–13
by Chuck Smith Jr. and Matt Whitlock

Specific Tough Questions

Why Is Life So Unfair?

Innocent and good people suffer. What kind of God would allow that?
Isaiah 55:8–9; Joel 2:25–27
by Mark Buchanan

Why Does God Allow Abuse?

How one leader navigated this difficult terrain.
Psalm 27:10
by David Hansen

Is God to Blame for Natural Disasters?

Tsunamis, earthquakes, flooding, and other tragedies raise tough questions.
Philemon 1:4–7
by Rob Moll and Ted Olsen

Why Doesn't God Always Cure Those Who Pray?

Because he is in control, a cure for illness isn't beyond his power.
2 Samuel 12:15–20
by Mark M. Yarbrough

Where is God in Suffering?

The better question is: where are you?
Job 2:9–13
by Will Reaves

Will That Person Be in Heaven?

God isn't only going to forgive those we like. He might forgive some we hate.
Luke 15:28–31
by Miroslav Volf

Suffering Can Be Good

When we let the cross shape our theology.
Philippians 2:5–8
by Gerhard O. Forde

Further Exploration

Books and resources to equip your ministry in the face of tough questions.

  • Word Document
  • SMG-BSG035-D