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*This is a series re-blog from 2013*

Continuing to blog through this book: Walking Away from Faith (Unraveling the Mystery of Belief and Unbelief) by Ruth Tucker. InterVarsity Press, 2002.

Just a brief excerpt today. Tucker refers to an English preacher from Victorian times named F.W. Robertson. Apparently he struggled with doubts and openly confessed them. Here is something he shared in a sermon:

But there are hours, and they come to us all at some period of life or other, when the hand of Mystery seems to be heavy on the soul….Well, in such moments you doubt all – whether Christianity be true: whether Christ was a man or God or a beautiful fable. You ask bitterly, like Pontius Pilate, what is truth? In such an hour what remains? I reply, obedience. Leave those thoughts for the present. Act – be merciful and gentle – honest; force yourself to abound in little services; try to do good to others; be true to the duty you know. That must be right, whatever else is uncertain, and by all the laws of the human heart, by the word of God, you shall not be left in doubt. Do that much of the will of God which is plain to you, and ‘You shall know the doctrine, whether it be of God.’

If you haven’t been following along with these posts, know that Tucker is never dogmatic but throughout the book she shares various ways that people have attempted to reconcile faith and doubt. Everyone’s journey is different, and what helps one person may not help another.

But I think there is biblical and common sense wisdom in the above sermon excerpt. I don’t think Robertson (or Tucker) is suggesting that the doubter ignore their doubts, but there are times for action. Sometimes we need to stop brooding, and make sure we are actually living our beliefs (despite our doubts about them) and this may bring clarity or confirmation.

Note: Robertson was quoting from John 7:17, “If anyone desires to do His will, he will know whether My teaching is from God or whether I speak on My own.” Other passages in John reveal a similar point, such as John 3:21, “But whoever practices the truth comes into the Light…”  John 14 makes a connection between our love for God, obedience, and the Spirit of Truth.

Part 7 here.