Tip: If you’re going to have doubts…

Dallas Willard:

If you’re going to have doubt, make sure to have doubts about your doubts as well as your beliefs. We’re taught in our culture that a person who doubts is essentially smarter than a person who believes. But you can be as dumb as a cabbage and still say why ? Our culture is set up on that.

You wanna say, „Believe your beliefs, doubt your doubts as well as doubt your beliefs and believe your doubts. You go the whole round, and that’s what we’re not taught. This is about how knowledge grows and knowledge grows by not only doubting your beliefs and believing your doubts but by (also) doubting your doubts and believing your beliefs. That involves conversation with others, inquiring, listening to a good preacher preach, going to read a good book on atheism by Dawkins… Now, not everybody has the time to do that, so in the fellowship that is one reason why we need one another so badly, so there can be other people who can do what we don’t have time to do and that division of labor really works in the church.

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12 comentarii (+add yours?)

  1. Grundy
    apr. 30, 2012 @ 16:05:20

    Hawkins…is that a cross between Dawkins and Hawking?

    • rodi
      apr. 30, 2012 @ 16:23:34

      Thanks for catching that 🙂

      • Grundy
        mai 01, 2012 @ 08:15:18

        No problem. I agree with most of this post. We should all be skeptical long enough to explore all sides of a topic and make an informed decision or belief–be it religion or anything else.

        • rodi
          mai 01, 2012 @ 11:03:31

          I glanced over some of your writing on your blog and I’d like to share this with you. Doubt usually comes when one is searching for something. However, you can come to a point of faith that doesn’t erase your doubts, but actually answers them. And I wonder if you ever read through the writings on Jesus in the New Testament and what you thought? AS Dallas WIllard says in the video lecture before this one, academia has written off Jesus not because they have found Him and his teachings to be false, but they rejected them out of hand because they are not part of their „conditioned” world view.

          • Grundy
            mai 01, 2012 @ 13:09:26

            I read two of the Gospels straight through–Matthew and Luke, and have taken in most of the rest in bits during my up bringing. The stories are fine, but the miracles are clearly fantasy. I would have more respect for them if they were at least set in the real world.

            • rodi
              mai 01, 2012 @ 13:30:21

              I totally understand where you are coming from. I think that for some of us who have witnessed a „miracle”, forget what a big threshold it is to cross in order to believe this.

              I think that some people, even when they research the historical documents and see that there is more evidence for the authenticity of the gospels, they still reject them. But, look at the 11 men who followed Jesus and preached of these miracles. Did you know that several of the apostles were killed for their faith when they could have simply renounced it and lived? They lived a harsh life of traveling (mostly on foot through harsh areas) and telling the story of Jesus to begin with, and then to be killed in the end? What would prompt them to do that?

              One thing I can point out is that there never was a man who taught like Jesus, nor who lived like Him. And personally, the effect His teachings have on my own life are profound. I hope you’ll continue your search and that God would reveal Himself to you and that he would fulfill your inner quest, because you seem to be yet searching (maybe I am misreading here) but, I truly wish you the best!

              And if you want to know about a miracle in my own life, I’d be glad to share it with you.

              • Grundy
                mai 01, 2012 @ 14:07:59

                What could have prompted them to do that? The same thing that prompts all the true believers throughout history. The same thing that prompts suicide bombers today to die for their religion–a religion that is at odds with yours.

                Indoctrination and propaganda are extremely powerful. I don’t mean to be insulting to your faith, but surely you can agree with me in regards to Islam. I just apply that same logic to all religions.

                Sure, what was the miracle in your life?

                • rodi
                  mai 01, 2012 @ 15:54:47

                  With all due respect there is a basic difference in motivation when you consider christianity vs. Islam.
                  *In Christianity, the apostles did good deeds: i.e. prayed and healed the sick, taught them Jesus’ message to love their neighbor as themselves and Jesus’s other teachings that encouraged love and good works. And this is what they died for – preaching a non violent, love your neighbor and do good to them message. That’s kind of hard to do, isn’t it?
                  *Muslims on the other hand perpetrate murder on innocent people for the promise of a sexual award in their heaven. People murder for sex? Not hard to do, happens a lot in our world.
                  So you cannot compare Christian’s dying for their good deeds with Muslims dying for evil deeds.

                  That is what makes Jesus so radically different, that even leaders of other religions took on his teachings and incorporated some of them into their own. There never was a man like Jesus.

                  A few years back I had severe gall bladder attacks that left me immobile for hours and lasted several weeks. My father had the same gall bladder disease and had to have surgery for it. My husband and I prayed and prayed and sometimes the attacks would lessen but it got to the point that the doctor told me that if they did not stop I had to have surgery. The problem was that even though my dad had surgery, the problem came back again even with his gall bladder removed. The night before I was to go to the doctor and schedule the surgery I had the worst attack ever and if you have had gall bladder attacks you know they are so debilitating, they have the force of a heart attack except a heart attack only lasts a very short time. A severe gall bladder attack can make you lose 3-4 pounds a week and strain all of your major organs. Your belly swells to the size of a 9 month pregnant woman, only your organs are not meant to swell like the uterus is during pregnancy.

                  We knelt down in the middle of the night (I was lying on the floor for hours in writhing pain) and my husband and I prayed and cried out to God to heal this disease. It seemed that the pain had become more bearable, yet my belly was still extremely swollen. My husband said, Rodi how do you feel? and I said, „I don’t know, I still feel a lot of pain and I am so swollen”. Then he said, „I think God answered our prayer just now. I feel such a peace that you are going to be well, please get up and let’s go to bed. I had been laying on the floor for more than 4 hours, writhing in pain at that point”. Like a little kid, I took his hand and followed him slowly up the stairs. At about the 4th or 5th step I looked down at my belly and visibly say my belly deflating like it was a balloon going flat. By the time I got upstairs (10 stairs later) I felt no pain whatsoever. I slept for about 12 hours, for the first time in over a year I actually had absolutely no pain. It felt as if I was on drugs, it felt that good to have the pain disappear. And guess what, it’s been many years and I have not had problem or pain from my gall bladder ever again.

                  Gall bladder disease normally get progressively worst. It does not quit cold turkey. We prayed to Jesus for healing in the same way we read that He healed people. It worked. Attribute it to whomever you wish, but I attribute it to the power of Christ. That’s my simple story. But I serve this Christ not for what he can do for me, but for what He has already done. In having this faith in Him I benefit tremendously anyways. No matter what I have such peace in my heart and feel such love that no human being could ever offer me. Just last November I took care of my dad in his last few weeks of life. My dad was such a servant of people and you know, watching him approach his own death with such comfort and joy in Christ, knowing full well of where he was headed, and that we are not just material beings but also spiritual beings. It just made me feel thankful that I had encountered Christ when I did and that I have the same assurance that this life is not all that there is. And unlike for the Muslims, this inspires me to love and care for people, not to hurt them.

                  • Grundy
                    mai 02, 2012 @ 09:47:27

                    I wasn’t comparing motivations, only faith. You made it sound like the only way someone would be willing to die for their faith is if the faith was true. Muslim extremists show through their actions that they have just as much faith in their beliefs as Jesus’ disciples did.

                    I have had a lot of experience with people who claim divine healings and their cases never hold up. I personally tried praying to be healed and for God to heal others when I was a believer to no effect. I can’t even be sure if the healing was convincing to you since you were already a believer before you started with the gall bladder troubles. I can’t say for certain that yours isn’t authentic, but it is unconvincing until such a miracle happens to me. Either way, I’m glad you are better now.

                    • rodi
                      mai 02, 2012 @ 11:08:32

                      But the opposing motivation for these 2 faiths is the reason why the comparison between them cannot be made.

                      We don’t know why God heals some and not others. One reason that I was struggling with was that my dad (who was a pastor) was prayed for and he wasn’t healed so I thought, if God allowed my dad to go through it and he was such a Godly, worthy man (He actually held a full time job as maintenance specialist at a hospital, a very physical job, up until he retired and he pastored a church of immigrants whom he had to help in finding jobs, and starting a new life- all with no pay as pastor) So I did not have faith that God would heal me. But, when you are desperate enough, like I was (I lost about 40 lbs and if I would continue I don’t know what would have happened. And I can’t tell you I know why Gd healed me. However He did and my husband and my kids know what a powerful healing it was, considering my condition beforehand.

                      The thing is that God does heal sometime, but even putting that aside, belief in God for many people also involves the healing of the heart or emotional or personal issues. I know that from the outside that sounds simplistic or like you said that you think of a placebo effect but, giving your heart, your ind and soul over to „belief” in God is very freeing and positive.

                      At the same time, I know many people struggle with wanting to believe in God, but just absolutely can’t because they cannot past the rational proving of God’s existence. Even with all the research one can do, and research does bear out many of the facts of the Bible, there has to come appoint where one „chooses” to believe. That is what we call faith in God. When you have weighed the evidence and you take a leap of faith to accept it and live it. Like I said, contrary to what people think (who think it all about a bunch of rules that curtail our fun) it is a very freeing and intellectually satisfying experience.

  2. Trackback: Belief vs Doubt vs Disbelief « MMM — Munson Mission Musings
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