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Benefit of the Doubt: Sneak Peek

benefit of the doubtWe’ll be leaking little tidbits from Greg’s soon-to-be-released book Benefit of the Doubt from today until the book release. We’re really excited about the potential of this book to impact the lives of those who have limped along with the assumption that doubts and questions disqualify them as “faithful”. Here’s today’s snippet:

The truth is, the process of learning and growing almost always involves a certain amount of pain. Perhaps you, like me, were a child who found it very hard to accept that Santa Claus wasn’t real. I fought my doubt for at least a year, and when my older brother finally convinced me, I cried. Then I got angry—very angry. Feeling I’d been duped, I vowed I’d never believe anything anyone ever told me again. While this pledge thankfully didn’t stick, I sometimes wonder if this experience is part of the reason I have always had a skeptical streak. I don’t like being fooled.

This experience illustrates how painful growing out of old, cherished beliefs can be, which is why we sometimes fight tenaciously, and often irrationally, to resist letting them go, or even letting go of our certainty about them. And yet, if we want to continue to grow, and if we are genuinely concerned with believing the truth, there is no way to avoid this pain. Indeed, having the courage to embrace the pain of doubt and to face unpleasant facts, as well as to embrace challenging questions and to live with ambiguity, is the hallmark of a mature and responsible human being. As we’ll see in the next chapter, one of the unfortunate consequences of the certainty-seeking model of faith is that it encourages pain-avoidance and thus keeps people from learning, growing, and maturing.

Boyd, Gregory, Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty, Baker, 2013

Also, today and tomorrow are the last days to get the early bird registration rate for ReKnew’s upcoming conference Faith, Doubt & the Idol of Certainty. Hope to see you all there!

Related Reading

Lighten Up: Fatalism and the Seeds of Doubt

Reason is not the Boogieman

We beg to differ.

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