As I deal with my doubts, I’ve noticed several things. Primarily, I’ve noticed that my doubts have nothing to do with the theological answers that I would have given others. I doubt even when I have an explanation that is complete and rational. This doesn’t trouble me at all.
Here are four things that cause me to doubt:
A. Time– There is a lot of unused time. It doesn’t matter if the earth is 6,000 years old or 6 Billion years old, there is a lot of unused time in eternity. What would God be doing during all of that? Is it possible that He has created before? Is it possible that there have been other “earths” a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away? (I kid, I kid…). These silly thoughts cause me to wonder “why?”
B. Silence– Why does God seem to shout at some moments in history, then lay low for hundreds of years? Why does God seem to reveal Himself clearly to some people and remain a mystery to others? Specifically those that genuinely are seeking him.
C. Expanse– The universe is indeed enormous. In fact, I don’t think there is a scientist alive who genuinely has a concept of how big things really are- and how small we really are. It is incredible to conceive of something so powerful as to speak this into existence. The size of the universe is particularly puzzling when you try to figure out where God is in relation to it. For example, If Jesus ascended into heaven? Where would that be? How did he know the right way? After all, ascending up at noon on a Friday would send you to an entirely different part of the universe than leaving at midnight on a Tuesday. Just sayin’. In reality, this isn’t a big place of doubt for me, but it does make me wonder about the logistics…
D. Evil– It may be the cliche argument, but it truly is hard to understand why God allows some things to continue. Why would a child ever be tortured. Why do groups that mock God and kill innocent people seem to persist? Why do animals have to suffer? (I understand the concept of original sin as a theological explanation, yet I truly unjust suffering causes many of us to doubt.)
(Up next: things that reinforce my belief in God)