The Idol of Certainty

"If I am anxiously striving to make myself feel certain that all my beliefs are true, fearfully avoiding anything that might cause me to doubt them, and fearfully suppressing any doubts that I may already be experiencing, doesn’t this indicate that I am not getting my core need for love, worth, and security from the God who is revealed on the cross? " -Greg Boyd, Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty

I can so relate to having a quest for certainty and trying to eliminate every doubt. Then I read about how Mother Teresa had, and lived with, doubts in her later years. I agree with Cal Thomas when he says:

"It is by looking beyond our circumstances in a fallen world and beyond doubt that we find hope and faith. Perhaps Mother Teresa's doubt lasted longer than most, but doubt is not the same as disbelief and in her actions as well as her words, she exhibited more faith than any doubter -- or non-doubter -- I have known."


  1. When I was young I thought I knew all the answers. When I grew older I found I knew less than I thought I did. Now I am certain I do not know all the questions. All of us have doubts, but whether they paralyze us or move us on to something better depends on how we deal with them.

    1. I can so relate to what you say Mike. The black and white certainty that I once had has given way to nuances of gray.

  2. My feeling is that no one can truly say that they sincerely believe what they believe, whether it be religious or political views, unless at some time in their life, they have seriously questioned or doubted it at some point.

    Otherwise, it's just what they believe because that's the way they were raised, or that's they way they always have viewed the world. It can't truly be their beliefs, a powerful representation of who they are, unless they have explored it, questioned it, and come to their own conclusions.

    I doubt know why some many Christians are scared to question or doubt, unless they are afraid of becoming an agnostic, like I did.

    P.S, I found you because of Alice's blog, My Cup Runs Over, looking forward to some great conversations, feel free to stop by my blog, Ramblings of Sheldon.

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by Sheldon! I added you blog to my reader last week after I saw your comments on Alice's blog.

      I think experience can influence us in various ways. My first wife was healed of 3 years of blindness in a church in 1975. She died 19 years later in 1994. I often wonder if my faith would have survived if she had died a lot earlier. I think that I was a bit better off because I had somewhat of a spiritual foundation/maturity.

      That said, I have to admit that I have had to rethink my whole approach to the scriptures when my second wife was disabled in 2002 and wheelchaired in 2007. I found myself reading the scriptures with different eyes and interpreting what a read with a new perspective.

      Look forward to future conversations both here and at you place.

      PS: You might be interested in my faith blog - An Eye for Redemption.

    2. So you're the reason I keep getting views from Feedly ;)

      I'll check out your other blog.


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