While Pastor of a small parish church in Simprin, Scotland, Thomas Boston answered six questions for himself. When we have a question about religion, typically we would ask a pastor or teacher for an answer. Today we can even search the internet and get a plethora of opinion. However, generally we will not spend much time on the matter because we tend to trust our own understanding to already held beliefs. We sometimes wish to keep our faith simple, protected from the possibility that one question could bring about more questions. Other times, we stick our heads in the sand and say, “This is what I have always believed and that is all I need to know.” However, what Boston does by posing these questions should be an example to us all. We must always ask ourselves, “What makes our belief correct?” We are told to have a childlike faith, but that does not mean to follow blindly. Children do not follow blindly. My kids asked the question “Why” constantly. Childlike faith is trusting that the asking of questions will lead to a stronger faith. As we grow in our Christian faith, our questions should become more complex. If they are not, we are stagnant.
When Boston posed these six questions to himself, I am certain that he already had the answers. He had been asked these questions many times by his congregation, been taught the answers in seminary training, and had asked the very same questions himself as a young Christian. In 220 pages of volume six of his “Complete Works,” is found the answers to his questions. This extraordinary work was done for his own benefit. He never attempted to publish the work but only to codify the argument for his personal foundation of faith. The work was discovered in his home by his son and published for our benefit many years later.
Within the next several posts, I will try to condense these 220 pages into an appetizer portion, and give a definitive answer to the question. These questions may seem simple on the surface, but doctrinally they are complex. You all probably have your own answers already and may not wish to revisit the question. I understand perfectly how long held beliefs can be locked away and walled off so that nothing can attack our safe place. But what if your belief is wrong? The concept of a spherical earth was heresy to 15th century flat earth believers. Why you believe anything is based on your perception. Your perception is a result of the angle in which you perceive from. If the way in which Boston answers the question differs from what you believe, it is because where you are looking from is different. You have different axioms. The way in which you arrive at a conclusion of any matter is by logical progression. If “this” is true then “that” must be true also. Right? Not always. The place where you start your logical argument from is the axiom. If your axiom is wrong then your conclusion will also be wrong. This applies particularly to these six questions we will look at.
I challenge you to explore these next few posts beyond what I write. I have benefitted personally from the expansion of these topics. When I first read the questions, I thought that I already knew the answers. Take the question and first answer it for yourself. Even if you can only answer with a yes or no or maybe. Then look at the arguments that I provide and I will guarantee you will have more questions when you are done. Don’t stop there. Get your questions answered.