I am doubting my faith more than ever, from the legitimacy of ancient texts, to the authenticity of the roots of stories found in the Old Testament (as well of those even found in the Gospels) … So, I guess, my big question is, how would you address some of the biggest “logical fallacies” or “errors” found in Scriptures, from texts not aligning, to things being taken from other cultures, to a good deal of scholarly work done by some to prove that Jesus was never a real man?
Please allow me to be really upfront — but I’m about the most skeptical Christian you’ll meet out here. I struggle with doubt daily, and it’s about as annoying as the popcorn flake in your teeth or that little bit of chunky phlegm down your throat.
I feel you 100% on this one, so it’s you and me both. If you came to me for reassurance, I wish I had more to give.
Hear me loud and clear: I doubt God exists at least twice a day, and that’s on a good day. Let’s breathe out, because I bet any other Christian will tell you the same thing.
Some days, as bad as it sounds, I just want to throw the Bible in the trash and be done with it. I get on some atheist blog and those familiar doubts come creeping back in. They just have a way of twisting my guts around.
The thing is: I’ve pretty much heard every single argument there is to hear on both sides, and there is nothing new under the sun. I’ve watched theological debates between all the best. I don’t think I’ve learned any new apologetics in the last three years, and having been an atheist, those guys are not really saying anything new either.
There was a day when I fought valiantly for one side against the other. I’ve probably hated on Christians just as much as atheists.
Now I’m just a little bored and jaded on the whole thing.
Both sides fanwank and retcon their arguments like crazy. Both sides are full of biases, agendas, misinformed views, and wrong ideas about each other. Both sides are eloquent, sharp, articulate, witty. Both sides can present compelling cases. Both sides even get along often. Watch the debate between Wilson and Hitchens, and you can see they’re nearly best friends.
It turns out, I like Christians and atheists just about evenly, and if you want to, you can intellectually keep them at checkmate forever. But at the end of the day, Jesus is real enough for me. He wins my heart. He fills me up. He saved my wretched soul. I became tired of explaining myself to people that needed some kind of justified, propped-up, pre-defended faith. I was exhausted of prepackaged arguments that make sense until some other argument arrives. I had tough questions, and still do, but everyday it feels more and more like the answer is becoming Jesus, and each day that’s becoming enough. I don’t care that it makes me an academic cop-out — I care that it makes me whole.
See: I know nearly all the evidence both for and against Christianity, but it’s not about the evidence anymore. Was it ever really? If you must know, atheists also have their doubts when they’re honest with themselves — but the Christian is the one who simply doubts their doubts.
Somewhere in that stupid raging mess of debates, I had to grow up and discover faith for myself. So will you.
Oh, I know some atheist like my former self will come along and say, “That’s dangerous to turn off your brain, you’re not being rational, you’re tossing reason out the window …!” But I don’t know. I feel pretty reasonable right now. I feel damn fine, actually. My lungs are filled with Christ and no one can really talk me out of it.
I suppose you wanted a much more straightforward answer with biblical proofs and historical accuracy (and I’ve written posts on that, too many I think) — but my friend, there are tons of resources out there you can look into for yourself. Those resources are also written by frail human hands wired by 3 lb. brains with their own darling schemes that will turn into dust like the rest of us.
Wrestle with this for as long as you must, but at some point, please know that doubts will never stop: and you’ll come to trust something amidst the doubts you have. I make the choice every morning to push aside the voices, forget both screaming sides, and follow Jesus. I pray you’d choose him, too.
I love God and I love people, and nothing will knock that out of me.
That’s your purpose, dear friend. In your struggle to believe, keep serving.
“My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don’t really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don’t believe in God and they can prove He doesn’t exist, and there are some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove He does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it’s about who is smarter, and honestly I don’t care.”
— Donald Miller