Faith, Theodicy, and the Best of All Possible Universities

As I’ve been talking with my students about the problem of evil, and their papers on the topic, it struck me that there is a parallel between the educational experience that I’ve been subjecting them to, and the idea of greater good emerging out of first order evils that is discussed and rejected by J. L. [Read More…]

Jenga Block Faith

The above cartoon by David Hayward provides a really nice illustration of the issues related to foundationalism – even if there appear to be two blocks missing from the set. But the person in the cartoon doesn’t appear to be playing the game properly anyway. Anyone who plays Jenga, or fundamentalism, knows that you need [Read More…]

Doubt is a Wide Open Space

I’m due to read and blog about Crystal St. Marie Lewis’ book of “doubter’s devotions” called By The Waters of Babylon. In the meantime, let me share this sample from its contents, which Crystal shared on her blog a while back: We think of our churches as houses of faith, and we do so as if faith [Read More…]

Faith is not Certainty

A quote from Pete Enns’ blog post about Jesus’ lack of faith. Click through to read the rest of it. On this theme see further his recent book, The Sin of Certainty. [Read more…]

The Fear of Doubt (Truth and Tribalism)

A fantastic point was made recently on the blog Atheist Revolution, defining freethought as above all else a rejection of tribalism. Here’s an excerpt from the post: I find that one of the most important implications of freethought is that it rejects the sort of tribalism that would lead one to accept some ideas and reject others [Read More…]

Doubt, Theology, and Mountain-Climbing

  Peter Hess has published an essay in God and Nature magazine, in which he shares reflections on the task of theology which occurred to him as he climbed a mountain. Here’s a sample: There is no single right way to scale a mountain: on a team climbers are always in communication about route, equipment, [Read More…]

The Opposite of Faith

Kim Fabricius considers a number of possible and oft-proposed identifications for the opposite of faith, and proposes that the real opposite of faith is fear. He writes: There is a lot of fear around in the church today. Fundamentalists are afraid of scholarship and science. Traditionalists are afraid of change and newness. Many of us are anxious [Read More…]

What If You’re Wrong?

Multiple posts came to my attention recently, all of which seek to respond to the conservative assumption that it is liberals who need to worry about being wrong in accepting gays and lesbians, as well as more generally. Cindy Brandt writes, To be honest, I am not certain this is the correct stance to take. Long ago, I repented of [Read More…]

Certainty is the Enemy of Faith

The quote comes from Dianna Anderson’s book Damaged Goods: New Perspectives on Christian Purity, which I just reviewed here on the blog. [Read more…]

Sacred Doubt

Healthy doubt is often the prelude to deeper relationships and a richer faith… If our doubts can lead us into a deeper connection to our faith tradition where orthopraxy trumps orthodoxy and into a deeper relationship with the Divine where love trumps doctrine then we may indeed find religion and spirituality life transforming.Good religion and [Read More…]