Tag: Doubt (home)

If someone wants proof that [Jesus] is alive... all I can say in honesty is that I have none to give. No preacher can prove it, no teacher, no book, not even the Bible. It defies logic and reason, and it breaks the laws of nature as we understand them. If we are to believe he is really alive with all that that implies, then we have to believe without proof. And of course that is the only way it could be. If it could be somehow proved, then we would have no choice but to believe. We would lose our freedom not to believe. And in the very moment that we lost that freedom, we would cease to be human beings. Our love of God would have been forced upon us, and love that is forced is of course not love at all. Love must be freely given. Love must live in the freedom not to love; it must take risks. Love must be prepared to suffer even as Jesus on the Cross suffered, and part of that suffering is doubt, even as Jesus on the Cross doubted.

permalink source: Frederic Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
tags: Apologetics, Faith, Resurrection, Doubt

Never make a decision when you are discouraged or depressed. If you do, you will seldom make the right decision. You need to be content where you are before God will likely move you somewhere else. When your heart is right with God and you are confident in that relationship, doubt never means "yes". Doubt always means "no" or wait, never yes. God doesn't lead us through doubt.

permalink source: Jimmy Draper, president of Lifeway
tags: Decisions, Doubt

Yet there is also a less admirable reason why the modern world finds Pilate sympathetic. He is the patron saint of doubt and thus attractive to an age that regards doubt itself as a virtue — or at least as a mark of sophistication in the face of certainties with which we happen to disagree, whether they are the certainties of the religious right, or of fundamentalist Moslems, or of political ideologies. Many intellectuals, academics and (generally liberal) politicians have come to see doubt in these modestly heroic terms. ... Now, considered seriously (which almost never happens), the idea that doubt is either a virtue or a sign of intellectual superiority is nonsense. Chronic doubt is a symptom of depression in clinical psychology. Everyday difficulty in choosing between finely balanced alternatives is simply a sign that we have not investigated the problem sufficiently. And the proper reaction to unjustified certainty is not doubt but the firm analytical refutation of dogmatic error. But that too requires courage.

permalink source: John O'Sullivan on the Passion of the Christ in National Review Online 3/2/2004
tags: Courage, Doubt

Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.

permalink source: Madeleine L’Engle
tags: Faith, Doubt

Without somehow destroying me in the process, how could God reveal himself in a way that would leave no room for doubt? If there were no room for doubt, there would be no room for me.

permalink source: Frederick Buechner
tags: Apologetics, Doubt

Where there is no longer any opportunity for doubt, there is no longer any opportunity for faith either.

permalink source: Paul Tournier
tags: Faith, Doubt

When committed Christians want to talk about their doubts with me, I tell them this first: doubt is not always bad. In fact, sometimes doubt is absolutely essential. Doubt is like pain: it tells us that something nearby us or within us is dangerous. It calls for attention and action. Doubt is not always a virtue, however. There is a dark doubt, an exaggerated and self-destructive doubt that leads to despair, depression, and spiritual self-sabotage. Imagination, for example, is good in itself, but out of control it becomes schizophrenia. Fear is healthy, but out of control fear become paranoia. Sensitivity is a wonderful gift, and anger is a necessary emotion—but either one out of control can lead to depression. Doubt is the same way. Out of control it becomes unbelief, a hard heart, an arrogant or defeatist cynicism. But healthy doubt can serve as a Geiger counter that detects error. Without it we’d be gullible, naïve, and just plain stupid (not exactly stellar spiritual qualities). Doubt is similar to guilt, which the late Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer said was like a watchdog: useful to have around to alert you to danger. But if the watchdog turns and attacks the homeowner, it needs to be restrained and retrained.

permalink source: Brian McLaren, “Doubt”, in Adventures in Missing the Point: How The Culture-Controlled Church Neutered The Gospel by Brian McLaren & Tony Campolo, 220
tags: Doubt

Sometimes people say they are ready to believe in God if only this or that doubt is removed or satisfied. Can one go to a doctor and ask that the pain of a broken arm be removed before the bone is set? This would be ridiculous because the pain is the result of the break. Once the limb has been set, the pain will pass away by itself. Doubts are spiritual pains that arise from our sin.

permalink source: Sundar Singh, The Wisdom of the Sadhu, 69
tags: Apologetics, Doubt

Doubts Awaken The Honest

A man may be haunted with doubts, and only grow thereby in faith. Doubts are the messengers of the Living One to the honest. They are the first knock at our door of things that are not yet, but have to be, understood... Doubt must precede every deeper assurance; for uncertainties are what we first see when we look into a region hitherto unknown, unexplored, unannexed.

permalink source: George Macdonald (1824-1905), "The Voice of Job"
tags: Doubt