Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (James 1:2).
Beware of anyone so filled with certitude they claim to have no doubts. Faith never calls us to squelch curiosity or disregard our questions. In our scriptures, there is a consistent call to humility. And this is a beautiful thing; humility does not diminish the necessity and beauty of faith. Being humble simply enhances one’s view of the universe. We are more able to embrace wonder and stand in awe when our faith is one not of certitude but of graceful acceptance and the desire to learn more.
The late Peter Berger’s recent book, In Praise of Doubt, is helpful on this topic. A Christian sociologist, his work and research over the decades maintains a wise hand on the pulse of our social trends. But more importantly, he pokes valuable fun at those of us who think we know more than we possibly can. I know some who, I am convinced, think they know more than there is to be known.
The sad state of many faithful people in churches across our nation is the notion that somehow either we, our spiritual leaders, or others in positions of power know enough about the Bible and faith that we can be content with simply knowing what we, or they, know. From Berger’s perspective, certitude, complete certainty, and unquestioning fidelity stifles the growth in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. We need to be the kinds of people God desires. In other words, faith needs doubt in order to keep growing. When you are struggling with doubts, you are in the process of deepening a vital aspect of your spiritual self.
A vibrant faith and deepened understanding comes as the result of ongoing inquisitiveness. Experiencing doubt and growing in faith should call us all to continued inquiry and eager investigation into those things we do not understand. We will never have all the answers, but we will at least stimulate a number of new and exciting questions.
Make your journey of faith today one of deep interest in the world and the people around you. God gives us curiosity and discerning minds so we might dig more deeply and learn more thoroughly. Enjoy exploring new ideas and learning something new.