Saturday, March 18, 2006

What are you THINKING?!!?

Man. Once again.. it is way too early to be up on a Saturday morning... My one day to sleep in. And I am awake at 6:30. And what do I do? I read my paper, clean up a bit (although you'd wonder if I really did anything!) Thought about cool things to update this .. don't really remember any of them.

I was reading someone else's blog. The guy who writes it was lamenting how much he doubts and why. I would like to pose a possible answer to that question. Why do we as humans on this earth, doubt God and our faith? Some would say that those who doubt are not strong in their faith. I would agree to some degree, but what about those who "never doubt" anything? Is that really possible?

If you look at the Psalms, as per the Old Testament of the Bible, you will see that David "the man after God's own heart" expressed a range of emotion. Doubt being one of them. True, textual criticism will argue that not of all of these records psalms were written by David, but the point is that even those who are "strong" in their faith, will get angry, will question, wonder and yes, even doubt from time to time. People shouldn't feel guilty about doubting their faith or understanding of God, but rather it is what you DO with that doubt that is important. I would like to answer that the question of why we doubt so much with a less than direct answer. Who cares why we doubt? (If you do it a lot, then maybe you should talk to someone about it) but for those who don't infrequently, I would like to pose that maybe it is part of the learning process. We doubt and wonder and question the things that occur in this world, but doesn't that challenge us to grow.

I remember when I was in my last year of my seminary training, and one of my profs said that if you only read books you agree with, how does that challenge you? To read a book that you disagree with can be a challenge from time to time, but that challenge is to inspire you to figure out WHY you disagree with the author's theory or premise. Take the DaVinci code. It is a book that has inspired controversy throughout the world. Why? Because there are crazy people who can't get it through their head that it is a novel. But then there are those who disagree with the ideas presented.. that DaVinci was part of a conspiracy, that the Holy Grail was a woman and that Jesus had sex and gave in to his Human desires to produce a "royal" bloodline .... For some, this is not so weird, but for others it is ludicrous.

The key is for any reader (on any subject not just this book) to figure out what they disagree with and why. If you answer, "because it's wrong" but have no basis other than "because", that may not be a credible argument. If you answer "I was taught otherwise", then this leads to a whole other can of worms. How do you know that what you have been taught is accurate? This is the basis of doubt. To figure out what you really think and why. For some things, you will never get an answer that you like. You will never "see" the answer. That is what faith is. Believing without seeing. We are not all fortunate to be Thomas, the doubting disciple who was granted proof for his queries... but we can see proof in other ways. It is essential that we all understand why we do/think/feel as we do, rather than being led blindly.

Can you articulate your theology? Statement belief? If you can't express it in words other than " I believe what my (church,family, etc) believes. And they believe what I do.." then please try again.

1 comment:

Kris Webb said...


Thank you for your thoughtful response to my blog entry and for taking the time to actually read it. I had been wondering if anybody was reading it.
My doubts have plagued me since I was first a Christian, 17 ½ years ago. I had always had to suppress doubts about my assurance of salvation. About a year and a half ago, I started having more pronounced doubts, and my relationship with God, never strong, became much more strained.
I have always been an insecure person, and that surely fuels some of my doubts. Because I think I’m just too bad a person for God to save.
Some doubts come from sheer willfulness—“I’m going to do what I’m going to do, no matter what God thinks!”
And some doubts, fewer than each of the other two, are plain intellectual. Like this thing about Jesus rising from the dead. I’ve read the evidence and I know the strength of our side of the argument, but still, it’s someone coming back from the dead—that just doesn’t happen!
I believe you mention in your blog that you had been a seminary student. If so, I would be interested in what you think about some earlier blog entries of mine having to do with my thoughts on God, the Trinity, time, and predestination. I’ve already had one person call me a heretic, so I hope that any criticism that you have for my views is more constructive.

Thanks for the comments,


P.S. Here’s something you may want to be careful about: Mentioning your own blog in your response to someone else’s is not always appreciated as I recently found out when I did it and got my head bitten off. Just a bit of advice.