Don’t Believe All That You Believe

Occasionally I’ll binge-read atheism blogs to re-examine my faith and to remember what it was like when I was an atheist. Some of the online debates are absolutely terrible, but a rare few are civil, compelling, and thoughtful. I have to really pause and consider the implications of a godless universe.

It’s always such a balancing act to question your own faith, but I also think most Christians are too afraid to look over the edge, to dance on that precarious cliff of hard questions, so we run to easy answers and bad arguments. We’re too scared to investigate doubt. We’ve equated a lack of confidence in faith to some kind of moral value judgment, as if “doubt” means personal failure. I refuse to believe that questions must mean a lack of character. I propose the very opposite: that we must have a place of safety to ask those questions and to not be threatened by curiosity.

I hope that whatever you believe, you would investigate it thoroughly to the very bottom and think through every foundation. Please do not let anyone do this for you. Simplistic platitudes will not get us through the darker times, but we also believe more lies than we think.

— J.S.

19 thoughts on “Don’t Believe All That You Believe

  1. Not to offend, but I wouldn’t count reading discussion boards as peeking over the edge. It’s more of a gestalt way of reaffirming your own faith by looking at bad arguments. Atheists do it all the time (everyone actually).

    If you want something that’ll make you peer over the edge and if you take it slowly will challenge you considerably, try John Mackie’s Miracle of Theism or David Hume’s Natural Religion. Mackie is an update that challenges people like Plantinga. Be warned though. After reading it and debating me, my old youth paster quit the church.


    1. Totally agreed. And thanks for the recommendations! I’ve read parts of Hume’s work. I still really enjoy Bertrand Russell and of course Hitchens. Recently picked up another one by Sam Harris as well.

      It’s true that most of us have a subconscious urge towards “weaker arguments.” I remember C.S. Lewis was part of a “Socratic Society” (which he partially founded) in which people of various beliefs would gather to actually discuss what they believed, not the parody of what they thought they believed. Most of the stuff they originally knew about each other was only the soft version passed down by quote-mining or reductionism. Even if they disagreed in the end, they would find each other’s arguments compelling in their strongest forms. They stayed friends. If you’re curious, Lewis talks about this in God In The Dock.


  2. This is a good point! I think far too often we treat doubt as if it’s some unforgivable sin. Every once in a while my faith gets shaken up, and that’s okay! It’s good to investigate and question. Not all things about the faith are, or can be, certain, and we have to rest in some uncertainties (especially with things of second-order doctrinal importance).

    Great post! I wish to see more of this thinking in the Church!


    1. Thanks Drew! It’s tough to get this going in church. I can definitely see the danger of questions turning into arguments, and I’m also a big fan of eventually landing on certainty. But yes, we do need room for tons of dialogue.


  3. Hi love your blog though I can’t say I agree with everything you’ve written. Just started a blog for the first time and I wanted to ask what you thought of tithing.

    Sorry about the title in the link is different than in the post. I wrote another post earlier with that title but it seems to have disappeared. I’m not sure why its like that.

    Would like to hear your response. God bless 🙂


  4. I often engage atheism with great compassion. I agree with you we should continually test our faith for this becomes our investment. We must engage as a community, freely sharing all perspectives too broaden our views and break out of the coffee clutch bible studies. Let the conversations be edgy, provoking, and passionate leaving our hearts on the table – not bruised, respected, and loved. I love your heart J.s. -Shine on!


  5. Just passing through, will say someone more thoughtful later…If you think about it, doubting and questioning are *good* things…it means you care enough about something to think about it and not toss it aside the way we would something that doesn’t interest us. Just a thought.


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