How many movies has Tom Cruise been in?
How many free throws did Lebron James make in 2014?
What's the capital of Tunisia?
What's Pi to the 10th digit?
The beauty of these questions and the internet is that there are clear and easily accessible answers. You can disagree with the answers, but they aren't really up for debate. There is an objective truth that exists for these questions. The answers don't change based on who you are, where you're from or what your faith tradition is. And I am confident if I made a mistake with any one of those answers, someone will correct me!
What's so comforting about objective truth is that the answers don't change unless they change for everyone. Later this year Tom Cruise will release another movie and the number of films he's been in will climb to 51. While the information changes, it changes across the board. There is clarity and simplicity in this information.
Why do innocent people suffer?
How does God answer prayer?
What happens after we die?
How should Christians vote?
These questions are cut from a different cloth. Google doesn't link you to 20,000,000 results that all say the same thing when you type these questions in.
Now, I believe that there are objectively true answers to all these questions, but what is my relationship to that truth? Do I speak about this truth the same way I speak about statistical or geographical facts?
You certainly can speak about these questions with the same certainty that you talk about the capital of Tunisia. Many people do. There can be something comforting when people bring the same clarity to the ambiguous questions of life and faith. It takes it from the category of complexity to the category of simplicity and we could all use a bit more simplicity in our lives.
The problems comes when the complexity of life challenges the simplicity of answers we've been given or we discovered on our own.
Can there be absolute truth in the universe and can we not have a complete grasp of it? What comfort and what conflict do we create when we treat complex questions like simple questions? What's the role of honesty in the midst of differing versions of "truth"?