Showing posts with label Doubt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doubt. Show all posts

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Offensive Christianity

“It has been customary to employ the category ‘doubt’ where one ought to speak of ‘offense.’ The relationship … to Christ is not either to doubt or to believe, but either to be offended or to believe.”

— Søren Kierkegaard,
Training In Christianity

I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: the opposite of faith is not doubt.

Doubt dwells with faith, just as stress dwells with growth. Growth of muscles happens by straining them. Growth of skills happens by them being tested. We become by overcoming. Faith needs stress, needs tests, needs stretching into new areas, needs maturing — and where this process is happening, doubt will be present as well. It is the thing faith needs to conquer.

The uncertainties of life are the gymnasium of the soul.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Things Not Seen

It’s a white world where I live. Earlier this week we had something like a foot and a half of snow fall in a matter of hours. I woke up to two hours of shoveling. My back is still feeling it.

But this morning I was out on the road again for my very early morning walk, which was a little slower going than usual. I guess the City has to prioritize where the plows go first. Many parked cars on my street were still under so much of the white stuff that you couldn’t tell the difference between an SUV and a sedan. You also couldn’t tell where the sidewalks were, or the fire hydrants, or many of the usual landmarks.

They were all still there of course. You just couldn’t see them.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Offensive Christianity

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Too Hot to Handle: I Have My Doubts

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

In a poem entitled “Bishop Blougram’s Apology”, Robert Browning wrote these words:

“That way
Over the mountain, which who stands upon
Is apt to doubt if it be meant for a road;
While, if he views it from the waste itself,
Up goes the line there, plain from base to brow,
Not vague, mistakeable! what’s a break or two
Seen from the unbroken desert either side?
And then (to bring in fresh philosophy)
What if the breaks themselves should prove at last
The most consummate of contrivances
To train a man’s eye, teach him what is faith?”

Tom: Wow, I can relate. Immanuel Can, are Christians supposed to admit we ever have moments when we struggle with doubt?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Too Hot to Handle: I Have My Doubts

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Two Kinds of Hard Hearts

“And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.” (Mark 6:52)
I’m thinking about all the times I’ve failed to respond to something in the word of God that should’ve been obvious to me.

See, I don’t believe every reference to a “hard heart” in Scripture means precisely the same thing.

The pharaoh of Egypt in the book of Exodus had a hard heart. He wanted to keep Israel in slavery, and was prepared to continue doing so no matter what miracles he saw. He was a man who put political expediency and ill-gotten profit ahead of justice, fear of God or even his own five senses.

That’s one kind of hardness.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Can We Stop Using This Straw Man Now? Please?

Okay, I have just come across the second book review in as many days which describes how, in the course of the story, a young person involved in an evangelical Christian church is struggling with doubts and goes to their pastor, a parent, or other trusted authority figure for advice. And what they are told, in both these books, is “Don't question, don't think, just pray and believe”.

To which I say, what?