Doubt, Faith, and Counterfeits

Doubt, Faith, and Counterfeits April 19, 2020

Vance Morgan writes of the story of Thomas in the Gospel of John:

There is another way to read this account, a way in which Thomas turns out not to be a spiritual weakling, but rather to be a model of how to approach the spiritual life…Embedded in the middle of this misunderstood story is a fundamental truth: A true encounter with the divine is never second-hand. Hearing about someone else’s experiences, trying to find God through the haze of various religious and doctrinal filters, is not a replacement for the real thing.

Doubt and uncertainty are central threads in the human fabric and play a fundamental role in belief. Unfounded claims of certainty undermine this. Don’t believe on the cheap. Better to remain uncertain and in doubt one’s whole life, doggedly tracking what glimmers of light one sees, than to settle for a cheap knock-off or a counterfeit…

The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.

Relatedly, Mike the Geologist blogged about Christians who embrace conspiracy theories:

Christians, of all people, shouldn’t be part of the spread of misinformation.  They just shouldn’t be.  We are supposed to be people of truth – aren’t we supposed to be following He who is TRUTH?  I get the tendency to just put one’s head down and avoid confrontation.  But don’t.  Do your best to correct misinformation and encourage people to follow the science and not the emotions or the politics.

I believe it’s our sacred responsibility.

Ian Paul also blogged about “Doubting Thomas” (including a video). Leslie Scoopmire wrote about living beyond doubt. Chaplain Mike wrote about being a Christian while discarding some of one’s theology as trash.

The current political situation in the United States provides a clear example both of the danger of blind faith that is unwilling to allow itself to be challenged by counterevidence, as well as idolatrous faith placed in a political leader, party, or creed. If anyone still needs evidence of that, given all you’ve presumably witnessed in your lifetime.

"As a foreigner looking at American politics, I'm bemused at how similar both sides are ..."

Prove It
"Thank you for pointing out that I hadn't finished that thought, or that something got ..."

Warning Labels for Christianity?
"It's kind of a weird phenomena to try to pin down. Most people think it ..."

Prove It
"Dr. McGrath, thank you for this useful and interesting post. I must ask, was part ..."

Warning Labels for Christianity?

Browse Our Archives