I’ve started to work my way through a book on doubt and a few things jump out:
- There are different kinds of doubt. Robert N. Wennberg list two kinds in his book Faith at the Edge. One kind is theoretical doubt. Wennberg defines theoretical doubt as “a kind of intellectual puzzlement or questioning.” (4) The other kind is existential doubt, defined by Wennberge as “times-many or few, long or short-when god seems remote, when one doesn’t feel God’s presence in one’s life, when God is experientially absent, when his very existence seems uncertain, when everything one believes as a Christian is called into serious question.” (xvi)
- My existential doubt also led to theoretical doubt and I was struggling with both at the same time. After a period of intense inner struggle, this resulted in a change of theological views. I will discuss this later.
- There is a right way to struggle with doubt in the Christian tradition.
- Doubt, like shit, happens. Wennberg writes, “doubt may be something that should, on the whole, be expected rather than viewed as a kind of spiritual leprosy, both terrible and rare. Few things are more dangerous for the Christian life than the belief that good Christians, dong all the things that good Christians are supposed to do, will never experience prolonged, disturbing doubt. For if we believer that we are one of the few Christians who doubt, then we will tend to see our doubt as being far worse than it really is.” (21)