29th April 2022

Last evening a dozen of us spent an hour in the sanctuary sharing some of our doubts about faith. It was interesting, instructive, and I hope useful for us who were there. Personally, I’ve always had place for doubt. In my twenties I came across a quote: “Doubt is the essence of religious progress.” I found it encouraging, and it’s been a favourite of mine ever since. Encouraging too is the number of Christian books on the market dealing with doubt. Faith and doubt go hand-in-hand, two sides of the same coin. German-Swiss poet, painter and Nobel prize-winner for Literature Hermann Hesse said, “One who never doubts will never truly believe.”

The Church has never been comfortable with those who say, “We don’t know”, but philosopher and atheist Bertrand Russell wrote, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people are so full of doubts.” A poster that I have put up outside Tyndale in the past declares, “There are none so empty as those who are full of themselves.”

We cannot know all the answers because we do not even know all the questions. That much is certain as each year goes by, and we discover more about God and the amazing world in which he has placed us. God has not yet revealed all about himself. As one writer has put it, “God didn’t want us to understand him so well that we could package him, wrap him up, and put a bow on him.” Let’s hope delving into the uncertainties leads us to a deeper faith!

Dave Bell