Let’s hope so.


Doubt As a Sign of Faith by Julia Baird in NY Times:

When the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said recently that at times he questioned if God was really there, much of the reaction was predictably juvenile: Even God’s earthly emissary isn’t sure if the whole thing is made up! The International Business Times called it “the doubt of the century.”

…He told an audience at Bristol Cathedral that there were moments where he wondered, “Is there a God? Where is God?” Then, asked specifically if he harbored doubts, he responded, “It is a really good question. … The other day I was praying over something as I was running, and I ended up saying to God, ‘Look, this is all very well, but isn’t it about time you did something, if you’re there?’ Which is probably not what the archbishop of Canterbury should say.”

…But Archbishop Welby’s candor only makes him human. He may lead 80 million Anglicans worldwide, but he is also a man who knows anguish, rage, incomprehension and the cold bareness of grief. He lost his firstborn child, Johanna, a 7-month-old baby girl, in a car accident in 1983, a period he has described as “utter agony.” As a teenager he cared for an alcoholic father…

Faith cannot block out darkness, or doubt…Just as courage is persisting in the face of fear, so faith is persisting in the presence of doubt. Faith becomes then a commitment, a practice and a pact that is usually sustained by belief. But doubt is not just a roiling, or a vulnerability; it can also be a strength. Doubt acknowledges our own limitations and confirms — or challenges — fundamental beliefs, and is not a detractor of belief but a crucial part of it.

…The Southern writer Flannery O’Connor said there was “no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe,” but for her, these torments were “the process by which faith is deepened.”

My local pastor, Tim Giovanelli, a Baptist whose ocean-swimming prowess has lassoed scores of surfers and swimmers into his church, puts it simply: “For Welby, myself and many others, it is not that we have certainty but have seen the plausibility of faith and positive impact it can make. In a broken world, that can be enough.”

Don’t miss the full op-ed article here: Doubt As a Sign of Faith

Image: StepsOnMySunLitFloor. Related Post: The Believer of Convenience.


  1. One of the fundamentals of Talmudic dialogue is the anger and doubt one can feel towards God. The premise that passionate feelings – be they of love and profound grace or anger and derision – are all indicative of a relationship with God, a dialogue that continues throughout one’s life. Great op-ed…
    And didn’t Mother Teresa also say that there were times when she suffered deep depressions and doubt? (Yeah, she did – which some people found just stunning. Perhaps stunningly human).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good article. The reality of it all is summed up well in the next to last paragraph of the un-abridged version….


  3. It’s human nature. Anything can be turned toward one’s beliefs. When we seek something, we will always find it. So, of course doubt and disbelief will be seen as pointing a finger at Truth and Proof.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes. Thank you.


  5. I think there are a great number of occasions in the Bible when men (mostly men, anyway!) express feelings of shouting into a void and of their lost faith or desertion by the Creator.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. God put doubt on men so that we may rely on God’s mercy. Men are doubtful creatures. Therefore Faith, Hope and Charity sustains us for all walks of life. Thank you, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really appreciate this post (Sunday school in its finest form) and the irony is that years of doubt helped me finally arrive at a place of peace and understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Those of us who admit our doubts, our inside in contrast to our outside, our willingness to be bravely real…are the ones who are open to being approached about the “Why of our belief.” Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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