Faith in the Fog Series

nebula-2253941_1280In this series I tell the story of my experiences with doubt, skepticism, mental health, and forging a different kind of faith.

Part 1: Surviving as a Skeptical Christian

How do I trust God when I’m no longer convinced he even exists? How do I stop myself from being swallowed whole by the fear and despair that can come from seriously rethinking my beliefs? How do I pray when it seems like there’s probably no-one listening? Can my faith survive this? Read more >

Part 2: Science, Atheism and the Search for Proof

One of the biggest steps towards learning to deal with my own crippling skepticism has been to convince myself that Christianity is not irrational. Deep down I had always feared that if I thought too deeply or learned too much about science, this faith that brought hope and meaning to my life would eventually be exposed as wishful thinking, no more credible than an ancient myth or fairy tale. Read more >

Part 3: Making Peace with the Messiness of the Bible

Contrary to well-meaning advice from many a concerned Christian, reading the Bible is not a good cure for skepticism. In my experience, it usually magnifies it. The Bible is messy. It’s confusing and contradictory and just plain weird in some places. For a skeptic like me, every passage raises new questions and doubts, and shines a floodlight on any that were already lurking in the shadows. For a while I actually refused to read the Bible at all, for fear that my faith might not make it out alive. Read more >

Part 4: Love as our Compass

‘Deconstruction’ is a bit of a buzzword at the moment in some Christian circles. For various reasons, many of us have found ourselves dismantling our belief systems and questioning long-held assumptions. For some people, the deconstruction experience can be overwhelmingly positive and freeing. They are able to see things from refreshing new perspectives and discard aspects of their belief system that were oppressive or harmful. For others, faith deconstruction can be like losing a parent. Utterly devastating and disorientating. Read more >

Part 5: On Losing Beliefs and Finding God

There are certain ways Christians talk about God that turn me into an atheist. I can’t help it. As much as I try to ignore it, my inner skeptic is constantly on the lookout for holes in the God theory. It will find a loose thread and keep tugging until the whole thing unravels. Before I know it, my cherished beliefs in a loving God have disintegrated and I’ve unwittingly written off the entire Christian faith as superstitious nonsense. Read more >

Part 6: Good Religion, Bad Religion

I don’t think religion itself is a good or a bad thing. It’s just a thing. A human thing, which means it’s bound to reflect the wonderful creativity and wild diversity of human culture. On the flip side, it’s also bound to sometimes reflect the darker side of human nature: our tendency to twist and exploit things for our own gain. Abuse of power is bad. Authoritarianism is bad. Empty ritualism for the sake of it, without the heart behind it, is bad. But saying all religion is bad is a little bit like saying we should burn all books. Read more >

Part 7: Rebuilding Trust When Belief Systems Have Crumbled

It’s easy to trust in God when you feel sure that he exists. And it’s easy to feel sure that God exists when your faith is built upon a solid foundation of beliefs. I used to feel certain about my beliefs. It felt great. No matter what happened, I knew that God was on my side and I had the answers to life’s biggest questions in my back pocket. But then questions and doubts started hammering at the foundations. The idea that I held the one set of eternally correct answers grew increasingly implausible, and I began to notice how people can do horrible things when they hold their religious beliefs above all else. Before long, my belief system had collapsed and I was left standing the rubble, straining to see through the clouds of dust. Read more >

Part 8: Mindfulness and the Doubting Christian: Finding Peace in the Unknown

I still have beliefs and hopes about God and the spiritual aspects of life, but they are no longer my anchor. So when these beliefs shift, as they inevitably do, I am not as disorientated as I once was. My anchor is this moment, this breath. I cannot control the nature of God or the reliability of biblical texts, but I can control how I respond to life in each moment. I am finding this to be a much healthier way to be, and indeed a more Christian way. I can be centred, calm and fully alive without feeling the need to understand everything. Read more >

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