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Weekly SNAC, 13 May 2018 - Tough Questions

It’s been wonderful to see so many questions coming in for our “Tough Questions” sermon series. We’re going to deal with two topics this week and next, but then come back for a couple more later in the year. However, that still won’t deal with all the questions so we’ll have some other way of ensuring that every question asked is answered at the end of the series later in the year.It’s been wonderful to see so many questions coming in for our “Tough Questions” sermon series. We’re going to deal with two topics this week and next, but then come back for a couple more later in the year. However, that still won’t deal with all the questions so we’ll have some other way of ensuring that every question asked is answered at the end of the series later in the year.

But in the light of this series I thought it might be helpful to re-print the following book review I wrote a couple of years ago on the question of doubt. I hope you find it helpful.

The Doubting Christian

At some point every Christian has doubts. “Is this all true? Can I really trust the Bible? Is Jesus really the only way?” At some point we all have these questions. And sometimes we can think that we are alone in those doubts. We go to church where everyone else seems so certain and so we start to feel like a hypocrite. “Maybe I am out of place here? Church seems to be a place for people with no doubts?” 

When we start thinking this way we have to remind ourselves (and each other) that nothing could be further from the truth. All Christians at some time are like the man in Mark 9 who says to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Sadly, often those with doubts withdraw from fellowship, when in fact the best thing to do is to work through their issues with other Christians.

I have recently read a very helpful little book on just this issue called Keep the faith: Shift your thinking on doubt by Martin Ayers. This is a not a book about what we call apologetics. That is, it doesn’t seek to answer all those questions people often ask, like: Can we trust the Bible? What about the pygmies? Why does God allow suffering?

There are many other books that answer those questions. Instead, this book is about how we deal with doubt. It shows us that doubting is normal but that there are helpful and unhelpful ways to deal with it. In that sense, I have found this book incredibly helpful. Why not have a read?  

Phil Colgan