Doubt

A Cold Take on Deconversion (from Josh Harris’s Brother)

"I think this excerpt is perhaps the most helpful. It's from an interview between Sarah Zylstra and Alex Harris, younger brother of Joshua (well known for kissing dating, and then Christianity, goodbye), and if you've been wrestling with the subject yourself, these few paragraphs in particular are worth your time." - Think Theology

864 reads

Authoritative vs. Nurturant Styles of Religion

"I would prefer to describe these two postures as 'authoritarian' and 'nurturning.' Its only a slight change of words, but 'authoritative' and 'nurturant' just don’t sound quite right to me. For one thing, I think religious leaders should be authoritative but without being authoritarian." - Roger Olson

249 reads

Have You Ever Doubted the Christian Faith?

"The concepts of common grace (to explain the goodness of unbelievers) and total depravity (to explain the abiding sin in believers) have really helped me. So has C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. He showed that I need to consider where a sour Christian has come from and what natural endowments of personality a pleasant non-Christian might have been given." - Mark Ward

467 reads

“Can people who are plagued with doubt feel welcomed by a church that is filled with those who are certain about what they believe?”

"Among those who never come to church, the share of Republicans has stayed exactly the same (27.3%) over the last 40 years, while the share of Democrats has dropped 7 percentage points, and independents have risen 7 points. If there was a relationship between politics and church attendance, it was that some people disaffiliated from both party and church." - RNS

483 reads

Sinful Fear, Corrective Comfort

The congregation kept singing, but I couldn’t. I just stood there alone in my row and shook with sobs I could only barely keep from being audible. I was alone because my family had stayed home that Sunday fighting head colds. I was sobbing because truth was hitting me in a very sensitive, yet very hungry, place. Fear can be a sin, and if we’ve been committing that sin in a big way, the moments that bring us to awareness tend also to be moments of overwhelming comfort. The conviction-comfort combo can just about knock you down.

At the time, I was a good five months into the most painful and terrifying period of my life (so far). Painful because, among other reasons, I was walking away not only from the pastorate I’d held for thirteen years but also from pastoral ministry in general (for the foreseeable future). Terrifying because time was running out on the (very generous!) severance pay and housing, and months of job-hunting and literally hundreds of job applications had produced no good leads. The job openings I was finding were mostly inadequate to provide what I knew we’d need for rent. But even these low-wage opportunities were failing to reach the interview stage.

4491 reads