Got doubts? About evil, suffering, science, prayer, other religions, moral relativity?
I suspect you do. I know I do. So what do we do with our doubts? Do we push them down and ignore them, hoping we can suffocate them with inattention? I’ve done that, and it either doesn’t work at all or it doesn’t work for long. Do we desperately grab for the easiest, quickest answer? I’ve done that too, and the easy, quick answers are usually cheap answers—they work, so long as you don’t think about them too much. Or do we walk away from our faith? I’ve done that as well, and I learned that the only thing harder than having faith is not having faith.
So if we can’t ignore our doubts, or silence them with cheap answers, or walk away from our faith all together, what can we do? Well, we can learn how to doubt, faithfully. It might surprise you to learn that Christian faith has a long tradition of faithful doubting, but it does. Saints have always doubted. Sadly, many of us have been led to believe that our doubts disqualify us from vibrant faith. We think we can have Jesus or doubts, but we cannot have both.
Thankfully, that’s nonsense. We can believe and doubt, often at the same time, and when we’re honest about it, our faith deepens. And if you won’t take it from thousands of years of faithful Christian doubting, then maybe you can take it from me. I’m a pastor, but I still doubt—a lot, in fact. But I’ve found that, handled the right way, my doubts push me toward God, not away from God.
I wrote a book about it. It’s called Faith in the Shadows: Finding Christ in the Midst of Doubt. I wrote it for everyone, but mostly, I wrote it for you all—my church family. I’m very excited to share it with you.
We’ll have a book launch party for it on Thursday, September 20th at 7pm, and I hope you can come. Here’s what you can expect: I’ll talk about faith and doubt and how to doubt faithfully. We’ll listen to some live music from Adam Fischer that helps us feel faith and doubt. So come and bring your doubts, and maybe bring someone else who has doubts. It will be a casual, safe, sacred time.