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Posts tagged "Doubt"


Easter Saturday Is a Lot Like Today

This reflection was written by Abigail Brougher: In normal times many Christians spend the Saturday before Easter grocery shopping and preparing our tables and ironing our Easter dresses. We spend the day with the understanding that Easter is coming. Resurrection is coming. Jesus’ disciples spent that Saturday very, very differently. Their understanding was that he […]

Biblical Criticism and Rational Ignorance

This one comes to us from David Clay. Growing up in church, I was aware that there were people who questioned the Bible’s authority on scientific and sometimes moral grounds. What I didn’t know about before going to college was the existence of a large-scale scholarly enterprise that systematically put the historical reliability of Scripture […]

Nothing New About Doubt: The Strange Familiarity of Medieval Unbelief

More wearying than the person who seems to have convictions about everything might be the person who speaks as if their lack of conviction were a stroke of pure genius. They may not know everything, but at least they know they don’t know everything! I kid. A little. Because we have all known, or have […]

Anyone Who’s Played a Part

This one comes to us from Ken Wilson. On the road of despair, and only on the road of despair, does one find hope. At least that’s my experience. My life, what is the point? I still ask myself that every day – or rather, I hear the question and variants thereof echoing in my […]

When Atheists Have More Faith Than You Do

Harold Braswell grew up a nice atheist Jew. Then, he researched hospices, and he started to ponder Jesus. The hospice he studied was Our Lady of Help in Atlanta, a free Roman Catholic facility for those who are dying but can’t care for themselves at home. The Dominican nuns there offer extraordinary service, and the […]

Just Getting By, but Decadently: Christian Wiman’s Survival Is a Style

“In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing.” – Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest Camp is not the obvious center in Christian Wiman’s new book of poems. But given his title’s invocation of affectation — Survival Is a Style — and given that camp is the supreme aesthetic (obviously), it […]

Who Killed God? (Christians, with the Ethics, in the Renaissance)

Currently reading and enjoying Alec Ryrie’s Unbelievers: An Emotional History of Doubt. For anyone who likes the work of John Gray or Francis Spufford, this could be natural next steps, fitting snugly between those two, in terms of friendliness/approachability. Cleverly, Ryrie introduces his concept as a whodunnit. If, as Nietzsche argued, God is dead, then […]

Little Faith

The following was written by Laura E. Creel: Sometimes, I think, faith is more about existing than about believing. I didn’t always think that: The spiritual formation I received as a child extolled and expected the virtues of a “strong faith.” I learned that being a “real” Christian meant defending—with wholehearted certainty—a litany of beliefs […]

Who Wrote Gullible on the Ceiling? On Mesmerism, Debunking, and Belief

On a blog like this one, we think about belief a lot. Belief as a comfort, as a maker of meaning, as a fragile gift, as an absence. By which we mainly mean belief in the Gospel. Let’s shift focus for a moment to consider this orientation of the mind (and heart) from a slightly […]

Tales Too Uncomfortable to Be Apocryphal

An amazing phenomenon happens every time I climb a ladder. With each step, I gain about a thousand pounds. I probably should report it to science, or it’s simply that I’m really afraid of heights; either way, the effect is as real as gravity. I’ve climbed right up through the clouds to the very top […]

What Shall It Profit? by William Dean Howells

What Shall It Profit?
William Dean Howells

If I lay waste and wither up with doubt
The blessed fields of heaven where once my faith
Possessed itself serenely safe from death;
If I deny the things past finding out;
Or if I orphan my own soul of One
That seemed a Father, and make void the place
Within me where He dwelt in power and grace,
What do I gain by that I have undone?

Hopelessly Devoted: The Conviction of Things Not Seen (Hebrews Chapter Eleven Verse One)

This morning’s devotion was written by David Zahl for The Mockingbird Devotional. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1, NASB) When you look at your career, your marriage, your health—do you spend more time thinking about what you don’t have than what you do? Even […]