In this series I tell the story of my experiences with doubt, skepticism, mental health, and forging a different kind of faith.
(If there aren’t many posts it’s because I’m still writing them!)
Part 1: Surviving as a Skeptical Christian
How do I trust God when I’m no longer convinced he even exists? How do I stop myself from being swallowed whole by the fear and despair that can come from seriously rethinking my beliefs? How do I pray when it seems like there’s probably no-one listening? Can my faith survive this? Read more >
Part 2: Science, Atheism and the Search for Proof
One of the biggest steps towards learning to deal with my own crippling skepticism has been to convince myself that Christianity is not irrational. Deep down I had always feared that if I thought too deeply or learned too much about science, this faith that brought hope and meaning to my life would eventually be exposed as wishful thinking, no more credible than an ancient myth or fairy tale. Read more >
Part 3: Making Peace with the Messiness of the Bible
Contrary to well-meaning advice from many a concerned Christian, reading the Bible is not a good cure for skepticism. In my experience, it usually magnifies it. The Bible is messy. It’s confusing and contradictory and just plain weird in some places. For a skeptic like me, every passage raises new questions and doubts, and shines a floodlight on any that were already lurking in the shadows. For a while I actually refused to read the Bible at all, for fear that my faith might not make it out alive. Read more >
Part 4: Love as our Compass
‘Deconstruction’ is a bit of a buzzword at the moment in some Christian circles. For various reasons, many of us have found ourselves dismantling our belief systems and questioning long-held assumptions. For some people, the deconstruction experience can be overwhelmingly positive and freeing. They are able to see things from refreshing new perspectives and discard aspects of their belief system that were oppressive or harmful. For others, faith deconstruction can be like losing a parent. Utterly devastating and disorientating. Read more >
Part 5: On Losing Beliefs and Finding God
There are certain ways Christians talk about God that turn me into an atheist. I can’t help it. As much as I try to ignore it, my inner skeptic is constantly on the lookout for holes in the God theory. It will find a loose thread and keep tugging until the whole thing unravels. Before I know it, my cherished beliefs in a loving God have disintegrated and I’ve unwittingly written off the entire Christian faith as superstitious nonsense. Read more >
6 thoughts on “Faith in the Fog Series”
Thanks for this thoughtful, challenging, and truthful series of essays. I’m 69 years of old. I work as a State of California forensic psychologist and been licensed since 1991. In a previous “life” I served as a Catholic Priest in Ohio and California in parish work and also on the faculty of a seminary. I left the ministry in 1985. I’m gay and recently married in October of last year. The reality of God has focused my attention on a daily basis for 60 or more years. I just wanted to say hello and encourage your writing, thinking, praying and trusting your self as you listen to life and breath it in. I Will probably drop you a note from time to time to offer my observations. No need to respond. Thanks for reading this note and please keep writing. There is a quotation by someone that I recall every time I write reports for a Court: “Writing is God’s way of showing us how sloppy our thinking is.” And I have to edit a report right now Cory sloppy thoughts and email it off tonight, so I will end. Take care.
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Hi Robert, thank you so much for this – it made me smile a lot! I very much look forward to reading any thoughts/observations you have. I welcome guest writers from time to time so if that’s something you might be interested in, just email me across any ideas (firstname.lastname@example.org). You sound like someone with a lot of wisdom and experience to share! Thanks again 🙂
Thank you for your very personal, thoughtful and honest discussion of your faith in your Faith in the Fog series. You addressed many important issues that Christians face, especially the youth, as a consequence of the “rise of the new atheism.”
When I was in college I asked myself these same wonderful questions. I also shared the same fear that maybe one day science would explain everything and there would be no need of a creator God.
An important path that helped me make sense of God was to learn more about the universe, it’s origin, composition, and evolution. From cosmology, I realized that the physical realm, the universe (space, time, matter & energy) cannot just make itself. Logically, there has to be an intelligent creative source, who came up with the mathematics and science to create a universe. If the universe can be described mathematically, you need a Mathematician, a Super Intellect.
To use your example of the Boeing 747: the existence of an airplane can be explained by aeronautical engineering. However, the laws of engineering did not make the airplane. You need an active agent, the engineer, to come up with the idea of an airplane, formulate the laws of engineering and then proceed to design and build the airplane. Laws on their own do not create or make things. Agency is required. I came to realize that the laws of nature (science) does not exist independently of the mind of God.
Another interesting conundrum of nature facing scientists today is the problem of infinity. Scientists, who claim that science one day will explain the universe, are making the false assumption that knowledge/information about the universe is finite. If reality is in fact infinite, there would be an infinite amount of information, an infinite number of laws of nature, and infinite levels of mathematics, to discover. The scientific search for a final answer will continue forever with no end. This idea that information is infinite proved to me that science will be unable to displace God. The Scriptures says that God “created all things,” which I assume means God created everything (that is good). Like one writer said: “An infinite Being creates infinitely.” This is one of the reasons why God revealed Himself to us. Because without revelation we could never make sense of our existence or reality.
I also wanted to point out that the idea that “both theism and atheism have equally valid arguments” is not true. They both cannot be based on reason. The Judeo-Christian faith defines God as a rational being (God is reason (logos); God is rationality; God is logic). Only a rational being can make space and time, radiation, electrons, atoms, stars, planets…and creatures who are rational (created in His image). Faith in God is a reasoned faith. And the reason and evidence is the universe itself. Atheism has no reason or evidence to claim that there is no Creator. Atheism ultimately is not based on reason!
I apologize for my long response. It just brought back memories of what I was experiencing years ago. Thank you again for your wonderful series and I would love to hear any comments you may have.
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Love all these thoughts, thank you
I hope I didn’t come across as someone trying to impose my ideas on others. These ideas was a result of many years of reading and pondering. I did this to not only get out of this uncertainty (fog), but to also make a definite choice between theism and atheism. You are right that none of us can know the answers to the big questions. Isn’t this the reason why God revealed Himself to us? Is not our choice really about who we listen to and trust ultimately, God or human beings?
Hi Emma, thank you so much for helping me to unfog the fog. You have eloquently held up a mirror and helped me crystalize thoughts I have had for many years. Beautiful work x
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