Quote of the Day (Robert T. Weston)

Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the attendant of truth.

Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery.

A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error, for there is incompleteness and imperfection in

every belief.

Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false.

Let no one fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it; for doubt is a testing of belief.

The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing;

For truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure.

Those that would silence doubt are filled with fear; their houses are built on shifting sands.

But those who fear not doubt, and know its use; are founded on rock.

They shall walk in the light of growing knowledge; the work of their hands shall endure.

Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help:

It is to the wise as a staff to the blind; doubt is the attendant of truth.

— Robert Weston, Unitarian Universalist minister

Quoted by Jeremy on the blog Hacking Christianity

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  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    On the subject of doubt, I think we’d do better to follow this:

    “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8

    However, the Weston quote, if you substitute terms like “childlike wonder,” “intellectual curiosity,” “spiritual hunger,” or “fear of the Lord” wherever the word “doubt” occurs, actually can give good advice.

    • rmwilliamsjr

      “he must ask in faith” for wisdom. it doesn’t say anything about the wisdom itself. because we are human and so prone to self deception, to be certain the you are right is simply foolishness. our best wisdom is full of error and doubt is the best way both to find it and to live with what we know is error.

      no where in this verse does it imply that any human’s wisdom is infallible or that doubt is not part of that wisdom. asking in faith means fully trusting God, not believing you are infallible and beyond doubt. very different things.

      • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

        “to be certain the you are right is simply foolishness.”

        Are you certain of this?

        • rmwilliamsjr

          nope, merely confident, subject to revision as i learn more, like everything i believe.

          but that doesn’t address the opinion that you are misusing the verse. it is not about the content of the knowledge but about the character of the request for knowledge.

          • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

            Weston had extolled doubt. I quoted the biblical James on doubt for purposes of comparison. The contrast between their respective views of that word is obvious without my saying a thing.

            Sometimes people don’t mean the same thing even when they’re using the same word. I allowed for that by suggesting synonyms for Weston’s ode that perhaps got closer to what James would have extolled (since he clearly wasn’t extolling doubt per se).

    • Nelson Phillips

      Interesting that the quote is speaking about WISDOM, and not KNOWLEDGE, isn’t it?

      And isn’t it doubt itself that leads us to ask for WISDOM?

      If you already ‘know’ everthing, there is no need for WISDOM.

  • yewtree

    I love Robert T Weston’s poetry – thank you for sharing.

    This poem, “Out of the Stars”, is one of my favourites: