I'm not sure what you mean by "the answer," or if it's relevant. General Relativity has been immensely useful.
And how does that differ from an explanation? I never said "why." And you're right, that is for philosophers. Newton did not explain gravity, he only quantified it. Einstein didn't explain gravity either, he added another layer that pushes us one step further from the answer.
Sure - just the difference between the Montgolfier brothers and someone who actually knows why balloons float in the air.
Such philosophical insights (~why this happens so?) were at the heart of discovering special and general relativity in the first place. And many other revolutionary ideas.
As for crunching numbers - I see how successful this approach was. After all, string theory is the logical conclusion of this approach - a theory that could only describe the universe by having enough degrees of freedom to describe almost any universe imaginable (as you would expect, it's useless when it comes to making any predictions/any technological spin-offs/etc). And there is also the "success" this approach had in unifying relativity and quantum mechanics in decades of trying, etc.
But, of course, the 'why' is not relevant for Christopher.