Bad Views On Doubt


I continue my look at Faith at the Edge by Robert N. Wennberg by discussing chapter 6 of the book and developing a theology of doubt.

One theological response to this questions is almost a kind of orthodoxy in some circles, namely that there is something spiritually wrong with you that needs fixing. What is wrong could be any number of things, but it is always something that is wrong with you... Here the doubter or the person struggling with a sense of Absence is viewed as spiritually derelict in some way or another. If it were not for the dereliction, there would be no problem, no existential doubt, no Absence, and no dark night of the soul. (50)

I have had personal dealing with individuals who thought like this, that my doubt was because of some aspect of my theology the other individual didn’t agree. It didn’t matter that my doubt started because of being let go from my position in the church and that my theological views changed well after the fact. My doubt was my fault, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

Only, it wasn’t my fault, and being blamed definitely wasn’t helpful for me as I was dealing with this doubt.

I think that it is important to point out, that Christians struggling with doubt of this kind are not some kind of spiritual leper. In fact, as Wennberg points out, Christians struggling through this kind of doubt are usually praying more than in times when they are not experiencing doubt.

How have you been treated like a spiritual leper because of your doubt? Try not to demonize (ie don’t name names). This is a safe place to share; any comments demonizing those struggling with doubt will be deleted!

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