As I’m moving into my second year of blogging, I wanted to say thank you to all my readers and subscribers! I’m not blogging as much of late…not quite sure why. I’ve thought of following a schedule of writing a post on the same day each week, but I’m not sure that would work for me. I can’t force myself to write, but rather something has to happen to stimulate my thoughts. Well, I do know one reason I sometimes don’t blog…laziness and lack of discipline! Sometimes I want to write, but just don’t do it! There is an issue I’d like to tackle: Christian exclusivism. (Ie: What about people who die without hearing the Gospel or having the opportunity to trust in Jesus Christ?) A focus of my blog is on faith and doubt, and this is indeed a tough issue that can make people doubt.
Meanwhile, I wanted to direct you to an article by Michael Patton on faith and doubt. Michael Patton runs a ministry called Credo House, has a blog called Parchment and Pen, and also specializes on the issue of faith and doubt. This article is one he wrote for The Gospel Coalition. I appreciate this article because in it he brings together a number of his thoughts about dealing with doubt. The article is here: Dealing with Doubt.
Here is a brief excerpt from the article:
Our faith must be tested if it is to grow. Periodic faith struggles are the norm of the Christian life. When I am at my best, I worry most for those who have never been through any faith crisis. To me, this normally means that they don’t take their faith too seriously. But for those who do take their faith seriously, the crisis is sure to come.
The last thing the doubting need are cliché answers. In fact, these will almost always make the crisis worse. People normally go through these trials because they are thinking deeply about their faith. They are critically examining it, possibly for the first time. Sound-bite answers only reinforce a naive picture of the faith. People in the crisis have a new ability to tell if you are being fake, even when you don’t know it yourself.
And on another note, the magazine of my seminary has a list of new books published by alumni. One caught my attention: Un-defending Christianity, Embracing Truth Without Having All the Answers – By Dillon Burroughs. I haven’t read it yet, so can’t give my personal opinion but it looks worthwhile. Here is how the author summarizes the book:
“What is Undefending Christianity? Ultimately, it’s a book for anyone who wants to live out their faith rather than leave it. The Apostle Paul noted we are to speak the truth in love (Ephesian 4:15). My conviction is that our beliefs need more action and less reaction; more help and less hate; more compassion and less cruelty. Truth is as important as ever, but people need to see it in our lives, not just read about it. This is the journey of Undefending Christianity.”
Here are a few chapter titles in the book:
Friend of Sinners, King of Beers. Jesus was a friend of sinners and consumed alcohol. How’d that work?
Hollywood and Flaming Liberals. Christians love movies and winning elections.They also love to rant against immoral Hollywood stars and call Democrats the devil.
I love homosexuals even though I’m straight. Jesus said to love your neighbor, love sinners, and love your enemies. Homosexuals should fit into at least one of these three categories.
Hope the article link and book info might be helpful to someone out there.