today catching up on some reading & dug into Jesus Creed written by scot mcKnight & stumbled onto a post about doubting.  such good stuff & a reminder that life in Christ isn’t filled with certainty.  certainty in who God is & what Jesus does.  but a certainty in how this life will play out with it’s job loss, death & the change of life that infects us all.  so below is just a small portion of that posting, if you want to read the whole post here’s that link.  [the differing text font are scot’s words, my words are in this font].  then scot poses some good questions @ the end.

Alister McGrath’s book, Doubting: Growing Through the Uncertainties of Faith.  Chapters ten and eleven: Chapter 10 — DOUBT how to handle it, and Chapter 11 — DOUBT putting it in perspective are worth the price of the book. These two chapters should be required reading for every pastor or other Christian leader whose work includes ministering to those who experience doubt and conflict in our educated secular environment, especially those ministering to undergraduate and graduate students. McGrath’s advice in Chapter 10 is right on target -€- he’s been there – he gets it. The following points are culled from various places in the book, with a little of editorializing thrown in for good measure. The points are addressed at students who may be struggling with doubt – but have equally powerful messages for church leaders.

The first point is a key.

(1) Know your faith: Most of the people who ridicule the faith know little or nothing about it. Unfortunately, neither do most Christians. Many Christians have a superficial faith in the gospel; shallow roots, with external rather than internal strength. To one with an unsophisticated faith the ridicule of the world appears reasonable and deadly. The most powerful defense then is education. Read the scripture daily; read solid scholarly Christian literature (this blog is a good source of suggestions); read books that stimulate you to think about the content of the faith. A more reasoned faith with deep roots can be defended and shared. A ‘€œSunday School’ sophistication is not enough–neither is a catechistic memorized list of propositions and answers. Do not simply affirm belief in the Trinity or the divinity of Jesus €- discover what these doctrines mean, how they developed, and why they are affirmed.

If you have struggled with doubts what helped and what didn’t help?

What can the church do to help to prevent these crises?

What can the church do to help people grow through doubts and questions?

i think there is a supposed danger in engaging, dare i say embracing our doubt.  that supposed danger being this; “what if we fall head-long into full scale sin & depravity?  or end up in new age/satanism?  here’s the realistic side of that argument.

if we are truly seeking the truth we’re going to end up right next to God.  if we’re looking for the answers to difficult questions, trying to understand a complex God & look for Him in His world we’re going to find Him.  that’s not to say that we should go out, trying to experience every depravity & satisfy every urge in the name of “truth seeking.”  God’s Word is clear on that.

i think that too many times we’re paralyzed by the fear of “what if…?”

if we would seek out the truth of God, even in the midst of our wondering & struggle, i think [with certainty] that we’ll find Him & it will deepen our faith.

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