Over the last two weeks we have been diving into the issue of doubt and faith. All who are on the journey of faith have encountered seasons of doubt. As one person said, it’s not the opposite of faith but a cousin of faith. Pride is the opposite of faith. This week’s TB is designed to help you discuss this issue with others at the level you desire. I strongly encourage you to deal with the underlying issues of doubt, and understand how doubt can be a gift.
A. There are a number of responses we have at times to God’s truth. Below is listed some we talked about on Sunday. What would you add?
• There are things I don’t understand about God that leave me angry or grieved.
• There are things I don’t understand about God that leave me morally disturbed.
• There are things I don’t understand about God because they are so puzzling.
• There are things I don’t understand about God, but they flood me with gratitude because I couldn’t live without the reality of their truth accepted by faith.
B. Over the last two weeks, we have identified some of the underlying issues of doubt. Again, what might you add? Which ones deeply resonate with you?
• Disappointment with God
• Disappointment with other Christians (i.e. not all doubt results from the facts not lining up. Sometimes people hesitate to believe because Christians don’t “add up”.)
• A hostile environment (“It is estimated that up to 51% of Christian college freshmen will renounce their faith before they graduate from college.” )
C. We took some time to look at how doubt can be a great gift. Do you agree that doubt can be a great gift? How can doubt be toxic? It has been said that “doubt is a good servant but a poor master.” Discuss and add to the following ways doubt can serve us in strengthening our faith.
• Doubt can makes us dig and think more deeply about issues of faith.
• Doubt can help us ask the Who question.
• Doubt can move us deeper into community.
• Doubt helps us realize our hunger for God
• Doubt can prompt us to look inside ourselves.
D. Finally, next Sunday (Oct 4th) Dr. Craig Evans and Rachel Tulloch will be joining us. Dr. Evans will be speaking in the morning on Biblical origins and at night (5:30pm) both Craig and Rachel will be speaking and fielding questions from the audience. What are the questions you would like to ask? Come to next Sunday night’s session prepared to ask questions