Episode #1: Doubt and the Christian

The “gang” introduces itself and its theme: Doubt and the Christian

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The following quotation from George MacDonald was alluded to in the show but didn’t actually quite make it in.

“I cannot say I never doubt, nor until I hold the very heart of good as my very own in Him, can I wish not to doubt. For doubt is the hammer that breaks the windows clouded with human fancies, and lets in the pure light. But I do say that all my hope, all my joy, all my strength are in the Lord Christ and his Father; that all my theories of life and growth are rooted in him; that his truth is gradually clearing up the mysteries of this world.”

  • Pingback: Introducing the [ad hoc] Christianity Podcast « Undeception()

  • Thanks, guys.

  • tylor

    I enjoyed the episode. I’d be curious in hearing you guys discuss the Christianity found in underground churches or similar hostile environments. Is your adhoc Christianity the type of Christianity that causes people to risk life and limb to see others come experience the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Could us living in the West and pondering these thoughts be taking the power that Christians elsewhere experience everyday? Are we largely asking the wrong questions and giving wrong answers to the wrong questions about pretty much everything?

    I’m not saying those Christians don’t doubt, but it seems their doubts lead to a much stronger faith that actually radically affects their lives and their families. How do we deal with that as ivory tower Christians here in the West?

    I’m not sure I’m being clear, and I’m not trying to be offensive. But it is something I wrestle with.

    • Hi Tylor. Great question!

      I can say that my faith is very much one I’d risk life and limb for. The effect of admitting intellectual doubts has been that I feel my faith resides in something more integral to my life than mere cognitive assent to beliefs. My faith is not in doctrines, but in the living God as I have encountered Him in Christ. Rejecting a primarily belief-based faith has been the result of focusing on my trust in a Person, and it’s that kind of faith that I find more likely to influence my attitudes and behaviors.

      I can’t tell you how I’d react under persecution, but I imagine that those who are persecuted are the least likely to be cocksure that God exists, and the least likely to be wrapped up in maintaining finely tuned theologies intended to describe Him and His ways: their hope is in God as a loving and just Lord of the universe, as is mine.

      Not sure if this fully addresses your question, but it’s a start. What does everyone else think?

      • Tylorssoyokaze

        “My faith is not in doctrines, but in the living God as I have encountered Him in Christ. Rejecting a primarily belief-based faith has been the result of focusing on my trust in a Person, and it’s that kind of faith that I find more likely to influence my attitudes and behaviors.”

        I really enjoyed that quote. Thanks!

  • I’d say persecution is a source of much change in Christian thinking since the beginning.

    The early internal persecution shaped the Christian understanding of the nature and mission of Christ.

    The 2nd through 3rd century persecutions appear to have enshrined matyrdom as a desireable act of holiness. (To which is appears not every Christian had complete confidence that martyrdom was indeed so holy an act!)

    My studies are a little shallow after this period but my gloss of the intervening periods of Christian development are that persecution produced rapid changes in thinking from late Roman to the Reformation Movement.

    When we reach the 20th century we have figures such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer whose experiences under Nazi persecution forged different ways of seeing God and understanding Christian faith.

    So, being ad hoc is (in my perception) straight inline with the way Christians have always dealt with doubt.

  • thanks for the broadcast chaps. Been reading steve’s blog for a while now, so it’s good to put voices to a writer’s hand.

    • Glad you came over. I’ve enjoyed your interaction, too. And by the way, thanks for linking to my Stark review on Jesus Creed — you simply would not believe how much my blog stats have spiked since doing that! 😀