Imagine reading that the late Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were “best buddies.” Noted for their position on opposite ends of the judiciary perspective, one wonders, at least I wonder, could their relationship provide an illustration for the Pastor-Theologian? I believe so. Read More
Where do you express your questions? doubts? I recently read a Tweet from a friend who followed the pattern of contending it is the Devil’s trick to fill us with doubt. I always thought he was the “Father of Lies.” I do understand that a lie may make a person doubt. But, reading the Scriptures it always seems to be the Truth that prompts us to doubt. We doubt the way we see the world when confronted with the Way of Jesus. We doubt the way we express love when we consider the depth of Jesus’ love. We doubt the way we view people when we consider Jesus and Zacchaeus or his story of the Samaritan.
No, I am not sure I buy into the idea that the “Devil” wants us to doubt. I would believe him perfectly content to let me go on seeing the world the way I want to. Believing a lie seems much easier than doubting. Any doubts I have about the Way of Jesus present themselves not as doubting Jesus, but the manner of our following. Where do you express those notions? From the pulpit? Well, that is not too fashionable. “Hey folks, we have gotten Jesus wrong for so long. Let me tell you how . . ..” This is precisely how I felt when I read Philip Yancey’s, The Jesus I Never Knew
years ago. Read More
Distinguishing doubt is important. Sometimes we doubt ourselves. Other times we doubt others. Even on occasion we doubt God. We may not doubt God’s existence. We may doubt his presence, his nearness. As a young boy I wrestled with doubt. I really never doubted if there were a god. I tended to doubt myself in relationship to the God in whom I believed.
When I read Scot McKnight recommend Robert N. Wennberg’s little book, Faith at the Edge: A Book for Doubters, I went over and ordered it. It is a book I do wish had been written almost 30 years ago. The particular branch of the Christian tradition of my experience did not give space to doubt. Doubt represented sin or a lack of belief. We did not mention doubt. In fact, I recall hearing an evangelist at youth camp declare doubt an indication a person had really not been converted. He did not bother to help us distinguish our doubts. Instead, it was an occasion for more conversions if we classified all doubt as a demonstration of a lack of faith. Read More