Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is doubt healthy for your faith?

I have commented from time to time on this blog about the role of doubt in conversation with our faith. With that in mind I am posting two recent posts on the topic.

The first is from Zack Hunt and his The American Jesus Blog. Zack wishes out loud that he didn't have faith. Here is a bit of what he says.

Tragically, doubt is an unwanted guest in much of the church today, particularly amongst those who call ourselves evangelicals. In the face of historical criticism, scientific breakthroughs, and the arrogance of fundamentalism, we are left thinking that doubt is the opposite of faith. Doubt, we are told, is the weapon of the enemy. If we allow it gain even a toehold, then the enemy wins and the Christian faith itself will come crashing down.

What we need instead it faith.But faith is not a vaccination against doubt.It is the embracing of it.

Faith embraces our deepest doubts, faces them head on, and chooses to believe anyway. We have faith because we doubt. If we didn't doubt, we wouldn't have faith. We would have knowledge.
But until Christ returns that sort of knowledge alludes us, no matter how arrogantly we may try to claim otherwise. Which means until that glorious appearing we must not only lean on faith, we must also make room for our doubts.

The second is a video interview with Tom Thatcher at Northeast Church in which Tom talks about why doubt is a natural, healthy and needed part of our faith journey. 

1 comment:

  1. I find it troubling that Christians in general and Evangelical in particular are so bent on suppressing their doubts. I contend that we would do well to understand how this suppression inflicts both personal harm and harm to the Other by suggesting that if we have doubts we are less than Christian. In light of this people think that doubt are in opposition to our faith. But what if doubt is central to our faith.

    The most central liturgical practice in the church is the eucharist. Its centrality is due, in large part, to the way the practice embodies the basic message of Christ's life and ministry. So, when we look at Luke 24:35-49 it is no surprise that we see the central role of doubt as it relates to this central liturgical practice. In this passage there is a strong eucharistic overtone. Significant doubt is also present. In a passage like this we see that faith and doubt are not in opposition. For, the risen Christ, in the midst of the disciples doubts, did not condemn them. Rather he embraced their doubt by extending grace. As we come to see, this grace-filled embrace led to robust faith in the midst of uncertainty.

    Thanks for the post.