Confusing Faith and Doubt

Questioning involves courage, refusal to allow one’s beliefs to be challenged involves fear. And so which should be called “faith” and which should be called “doubt”? The quote resulted from resharing the older post “Doubt in Faith’s Clothing” on Facebook.   [Read more…]

United by Doubt

The quote comes from James A. Haught’s book 2000 Years of Disbelief. For more about Ustinov’s views on religion, see his interviews in the “This I Believe” series and with Mike Wallace. There is certainly a sense in which beliefs – held dogmatically – divide people. And recognition of our shared uncertainty has the potential [Read More…]

Guest Appearance as God

One of the projects that students in my First Year Seminar course “Faith, Doubt, and Reason” do is to create additional scenes that could be added to Goethe’s Faust (Part One). From time to time, students have needed one more actor than the number of people in their small group, and have written in a guest part for [Read More…]

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…]