Another Sneak Peek from Benefit of the Doubt
As we approach our ReKnew conference next month, we’ll be posting snippets of Greg’s book, Benefit of the Doubt. We hope you’ll be joining us. We extended the deadline for early bird registration. Get on that before Friday at midnight!
What Is Your Actual God?
In light of all this, what should be said about the certainty-seeking model of faith? To put it bluntly, I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that, for all their sincerity, the certainty-seeking, doubt-shunning understanding of faith reflects the same religious idolatry that entrapped the religious leaders of Jesus’s day. The things that make certainty-seeking Christians feel loved, worthwhile, and secure before God—that is, the thing that assures them they are “saved”—is that they feel confident they believe the right things with a sufficient level of certainty. Doesn’t this mean that it is their certainty in what they believe about God, rather than God himself, that is their source of life?
Is this honestly any different from the idolatry that Jesus confronted in the religious leaders of his day?
The Evidence of How We Live
If further proof is needed, consider this. As long as a person remained confident enough in the belief that Jesus is the true revelation of God that they can get their life from him (about which I’ll say more below), would they ever be afraid of confronting ideas that might cause them to doubt any of their other beliefs? I, for one, don’t see how it is possible.
Think about it. If I was confident that God unconditionally loves me because of what he did for me on Calvary, then wouldn’t I be confident that his love for me does not increase or decrease based on how accurate or inaccurate my other beliefs are? So too, if I was confident God ascribes unsurpassable worth to me on the basis of Calvary, then wouldn’t I be confident that my worth can’t be increased because I hold correct beliefs and can’t be decreased because I hold mistaken beliefs? These questions answer themselves.
Boyd, Gregory, Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty, Baker, 2013