Rob Bell, What We Talk About When We Talk About God
I like the quote above and am posting it for two reasons:1. It's a shameless plug for my next Pastor's Summer Book Club, featuring the book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God (details below).
2. It gives a helpful way to look at Doubt.
For too long, people have been told that Doubt is the opposite of Faith. Faith is Good, so Doubt must be bad. But Doubt is not the opposite of Faith, any more than Fear is the opposite of Courage.
Doubt is a healthy response of the mind that keeps us honest about what we say we believe. It doesn't allow us to be lazy, smug or complacent. The opposite of Faith is Certainty, which unfortunately is what I see being pedaled by many under the guise of Faith.
Let's face it, there are a lot of things in Christianity that are a "stretch" to believe, including...
- There is a God that has created- and still creating, this vast and amazing Universe.
- Beyond the power and majesty that is required to pull this off, the most compelling characteristic of this God is Love.
- God not only is involved with the Big Picture (the cosmos, time & space, Good & Evil, the arc of history, the Broncos chances for the Super Bowl, etc.) but also in the "Micro" Picture, like knowing when a single bird falls and the number of hairs on my head (which also seem to be falling).
- This God, who is beyond time and space, stepped into a specific time and space in Jesus Christ.
- Through the life, death and resurrection of Christ, I am reconciled to this God of love and have a new destiny and restored purpose.
- And just to be clear, this involved someone raising from the dead in order to accomplish all this. More than that, because of Christ's resurrection, I will be resurrected, too.
I could go on, but you get the point. If the veracity of these beliefs don't cause you to scratch your head and wonder, then you are paying attention. Doubt doesn't undermine Faith as much as it gives it integrity.It is the combination of Faith and Doubt together that keeps us moving, growing and dancing.
Details on Pastor's Book Club: You can pick up a copy of Bell's book at church, bookstore or online. Read at your own pace. Bring your insights and questions on September 15 from Noon-2:00pm.