Kay Warren’s Struggle with Doubt

Kay Warren is the co-founder of Saddleback Church, along with her more famous husband Rick. As the Warrens are now dealing with the soul-crushing fact of their son’s suicide only days ago, the Washington Post has re-posted an interview from last year that Mrs. Warren gave to Sally Quinn, and it’s extremely revealing — and rather touching, even for a heartless atheist like myself:

The video below concentrates on the subject of doubt — doubt in oneself and doubt about the very existence of God. Indeed, Warren is very open about her struggle with faith, owning up to feeling as though existence is “all a big cosmic joke.”

It’s remarkable how frank this is, a kind of confession of dalliances with atheism — to Quinn, an atheist, no less. Warren speaks of moments in which she thinks:

If you are there, [God,] you’re just moving us around like pawns on a chess board. And then other moments, of like, I’m not even sure that you’re there. Maybe I really am just talking to myself, and I’m, you know — nothing up there at all, it’s all emptiness. Absolutely, I’ll admit to that.

I don’t mean at all to tie this to what she’s now going through. As a parent, I can only begin to imagine the agony of the loss of her child, much less what might be the theological byproduct of that loss. But I do think it’s good for us to see how even those whose lives revolve around faith, and promoting that faith, do not always come by it easily or without doubt.

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