"Faith after Doubt" - a new Brian McLaren book

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Carolla

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This morning I listened to an interview with Brian McLaren & so much of what he said really resonated with me, with my faith journey, with where I'm finding myself at this point in my life. I think some of you here might also find it thought provoking. Probably would make an interesting winter book study. He particularly spoke about four stages of faith formation and how our churches may impede or support such personal faith development. A quote I wrote down - "we've become constrained in our ability to love because we have become obsessed with policing other people's beliefs." There were many more. I think it's one I'll listen to again. See what you think ... CBF Podcast: Brian McLaren, Faith After Doubt
 

Mendalla

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He seems to be doing the rounds. I was listening to him on A People's Theology podcast tonight. Definitely interesting though as usual, he's kind of preaching to the converted with me. Doubt has been central to my faith since probably high school. Still, I'll hunt up the book. Agreed that it might make a good study (hint hint).
 

Pavlos Maros

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You can't have faith after doubt the two are mutually exclusive.
If you truly doubted you would no longer be in a faith. There is simply nothing to do if your beliefs stopped working. It is just clasping at straws.

If you wish or are trying to keep your faith, you aren't really being doubtful. You haven't crossed that bridge.
The only way a person goes back to faith after actually doubting, is though a major trauma in their life.

I have heard many people claim they used to be an atheist. And when pressed it's usually just anti religion or anti god for a time, but they never actually stopped believing. Once you return to being an atheist, you actually remove the indoctrination there is no turning back. No matter how many claim they did. It just doesn't happen. Sorry.
 

Mendalla

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You can't have faith after doubt the two are mutually exclusive.
If you truly doubted you would no longer be in a faith. There is simply nothing to do if your beliefs stopped working. It is just clasping at straws.

If you wish or are trying to keep your faith, you aren't really being doubtful. You haven't crossed that bridge.
The only way a person goes back to faith after actually doubting, is though a major trauma in their life.

I have heard many people claim they used to be an atheist. And when pressed it's usually just anti religion or anti god for a time, but they never actually stopped believing. Once you return to being an atheist, you actually remove the indoctrination there is no turning back. No matter how many claim they did. It just doesn't happen. Sorry.
You didn't listen, did you. He talks about doubting tenets of faith and about doubt in one faith or variety of faith leading to a stronger faith of another variety. Doubt need not be all or nothing. Doubt is about questioning, not simple rejection, and can lead away from faith or can simply transform faith as you explore the questions. An atheist could have doubt, too. Agnostics, on the other hand, live with doubt, even take delight in the openness it allows.

For reference, McLaren is an "ex-vangelical" who grew up in a fundamentalist family and community but is now a leader in the progressive emergent church movement in the US. So doubt transforming faith is an area of expertise for him.
 

Pavlos Maros

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You didn't listen, did you. He talks about doubting tenets of faith and about doubt in one faith or variety of faith leading to a stronger faith of another variety. Doubt need not be all or nothing. Doubt is about questioning, not simple rejection, and can lead away from faith or can simply transform faith as you explore the questions. An atheist could have doubt, too. Agnostics, on the other hand, live with doubt, even take delight in the openness it allows.

For reference, McLaren is an "ex-vangelical" who grew up in a fundamentalist family and community but is now a leader in the progressive emergent church movement in the US. So doubt transforming faith is an area of expertise for him.
I did need to listen I was replying to his podcast. The book title was all I needed to make my post, and a couple of lines from it.
I understand that religious people go from faith to faith. But that wasn't needed in my post, so would have been an unnecessary distraction.
 

Luce NDs

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Doubt sometimes leads ones to question the details of a story about one's BS!

The still small voices between the lines? Clear space ...
 

Pavlos Maros

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I did need to listen I was replying to his podcast. The book title was all I needed to make my post, and a couple of lines from it.
I understand that religious people go from faith to faith. But that wasn't needed in my post, so would have been an unnecessary distraction.
Should read "I was not replying"
 

Carolla

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You can't have faith after doubt the two are mutually exclusive.
If you truly doubted you would no longer be in a faith. There is simply nothing to do if your beliefs stopped working. It is just clasping at straws.

If you wish or are trying to keep your faith, you aren't really being doubtful. You haven't crossed that bridge.
The only way a person goes back to faith after actually doubting, is though a major trauma in their life.

I have heard many people claim they used to be an atheist. And when pressed it's usually just anti religion or anti god for a time, but they never actually stopped believing. Once you return to being an atheist, you actually remove the indoctrination there is no turning back. No matter how many claim they did. It just doesn't happen. Sorry.
There is so much certainty expressed in this post. Some dichotomous thinking. It's this way or that way - no room for explorations or change, or growth. Which is kinda McLaren's phase one of formation, interestingly enough. Pavlos & Unsafe may actually agree on some things here!
 

BetteTheRed

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I also think we're using "faith" and "belief" as if they were synonymous, when in fact, they are not.

Any "beliefs" I might have about "divinity" are probably very close to Mendalla's, Pavlos', chansen's. I'm agnostic, of course, but mainly, I can't believe in any kind of theistic "being"; these "beliefs" have been unchanged since mid-adolescence. (And weren't terribly entrenched anyway, in that I took myself voluntarily to church from ages 4-15, but my father was a staunch atheist, my mother a happily lapsed Catholic, so there was certainly no reinforcement going on at home.)

However, I have "faith" in the ultimate benevolence of the Universe (importantly, not at a micro level; things could very well go very badly for me as an individual), and it's more like an emotion than an intellectual assent to a hypothesis. And it is, admittedly, as a result of a "vision", and that's totally unprovable to anyone but myself.

So for me, I have endless doubts (because that's how humans learn and develop), a complete absence of certainty about pretty much everything, yet a very deep faith that, ultimately, "All will be well, and all manner of things will be well", to quote Dame Julian of Norwich, my favorite ever saint.
 

Pavlos Maros

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Carolla said:
There is so much certainty expressed in this post.
As there should be. it would be pretty pointless making such statements if you weren't sure wouldn't it.
You could try and counter?

And just for clarification.

Synonyms for Belief are faith, trust, reliance, confidence, credence.
And.
Synonyms for Faith are belief, trust, confidence, conviction, credence, reliance, dependence.

(Home : Oxford English Dictionary)
 

Luce NDs

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Synonyms for Belief are faith, trust, reliance, confidence, credence.

Until the cleared water revival ... and flow changes the view! --- Mark Twain! A sense of the carrying donkey ... Satyr?
 

unsafe

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I did listen to the podcast and I also listened to a review of this book on YouTube

This is my view -----

So this faith and doubt he is addressing here is traditional --or as I would call it worldly doubt and Faith ----not Spiritual------there is a big difference in the 2

As you see here doubt is a feeling of uncertainty ----you don't trust something ---

dictionary meaning ------doubt
a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.

So if I say this --------some doubt has been cast upon the authenticity of this account ---

I am saying I don't trust that this account is totally accurate ------so them I would do some research on it and I find that all seems to be accurate so my faith in the accuracy of the account has been brought about by doubting which sparked me to dig into it -------

So I do agree that because doubt was there that lead me to look into it that it was doubt that brought me to have the faith that it was accurate after all ------

So this is basically what this man is talking about ---he is saying that most Churches are failing to answer peoples doubt about their beliefs -- and many Churches don't want you to question their beliefs if you do your not welcome so many people are leaving the churches as they are feeling discouraged -----

He gives 4 stages that people go through with beliefs

simplicity -----like a child who believes what their parents tells them ---what is right and wrong -----so faith is believing what authority figures tell you -----he says Many Churches are here ----and may stay in this stage ----

complexity ---- thinking and figuring out things for yourself ----many Churches give you the steps --and you begin to see and question what are the steps to do something -----this denomination does it this way ---that one does it that way ---etc --he said that many churches are here and many stay in this stage ----

perplexity ----he says is the critical stage ----deep doubt stage --life is hard----- how do you know who to trust ---

harmony ----you integrate all the stages ---you see the problems with things without hating them ---you see things appropriately and do things in a charitable and loving way ------

Then he warns that one can go back to stage 0 and if this happens your just in survival mode -----

He says that doubt can safe lives and a failure to doubt cost lives -------he says you are not to question the Church but just accept the ways of their traditions -----he give the example of the Catholic Church cover up of abuse ---no questing allowed just sweep it under the rug ------

So I say this -----well I agree that worldly doubt can help ones worldly Faith to be certain of a thing ----we have to understand that we are speaking of what we see --here ---feel --taste and touch -----just like in the Example above ---you see the account and you have a feeling of doubt -----you stand at the edge of the road a car is coming and you doubt that you can cross the road safely -----and you safe your life -------so in this world doubt is considered positive ----

This man never once mentions relying on God to help in growth ---what he says pertains to self centered advancement ---God is not in the picture ----
====================================================================================

In God's Spiritual Domain ---Spiritual Doubt is considered Negative and will never strengthen or lead you to Spiritual Faith --if anyone tells you that doubt in God and God's word will lead you to have Faith in God that Folks is a lie and is born out of false Doctrine -----

Spiritual Faith comes by way of hearing God's word ----God inbirths His Faith in us ------we believe in an unseen God because He has opened our heart to believe in Him through His word -----

Spiritual Doubt was born in the heart of Satan ----and he duped Eve into sinning by instilling doubt and making her question God's command about eating the fruit ----Satan said ---surely you won't die ?---so it made Eve waver in her faith in God and she rejected God's command and sinned ----and she in turn used doubt to waver Adams Faith who also rejected God's command and sinned -------so doubt is clearly an aspect of sin in the Spiritual Realm ----

Spiritual Doubt is directed directly at God -----as when we doubt God ----we doubt His Word and there is no way to have that doubt strengthen our faith in an unseen God by our selves ------

Faith comes from God and Doubt comes from Satan -----there is not one Scripture in God's word that says doubt will strengthen your faith -------as a matter of fact Jesus keeps saying believe and do not doubt ---

James 1:6 ESV​

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
 

Luce NDs

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If there is doubt there will be questions ... and some faiths demand that they are not questioned!

W/o question ... can we learn anything alien ... beyond what was previously known? Some claim to know everything ... big odds ...
 

Mendalla

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If there is doubt there will be questions ... and some faiths demand that they are not questioned!
All the more reason to question.

Even in my family church, which was kind of conservative mainstream UCCan and far from evangelical or fundamentalist (save a member or two), my questioning approach got some eyebrows raised. Didn't stop me.

Of course if you really want a tradition that supports doubt and questioning, there's UU.
 

Luce NDs

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All the more reason to question.

Even in my family church, which was kind of conservative mainstream UCCan and far from evangelical or fundamentalist (save a member or two), my questioning approach got some eyebrows raised. Didn't stop me.

Of course if you really want a tradition that supports doubt and questioning, there's UU.

Questioning in peaceful pools is more obvious ... like that Lady In The Loch!

They respond; " what was that riffle about?" The sign to say something more indiscernible ... like a blow to get the donkey going ... maybe an underground thing is better ... a carrot?
 

unsafe

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I say
Many Ministers and people in general will use Doubting Thomas as a perfect example of how doubt can bring you to believe -----Thomas would not believe without seeing --------Many Ministers will run with this to dupe people into believing that the Bible does say the doubt will lead to certainty -----these Ministers in my view are looking at this from their human lens not their Spiritual lens ------

Thomas if you do some Spiritual research on him will find that he wasn't allowing anyone to take away how he viewed things --he was showing his pride and this pride was feeding his ego ----he actually kept his heart closed to believing in the unseen ----and this limited Jesus influence on him -----Thomas is a perfect example of one who wants to view things the way they want to and not have someone influence them in their views not even God -----

Now Jesus could have very well left Thomas in his prideful unbelieving state but Jesus decided to show the physical evidence to Thomas -----and then and only then did he believe ------So Thomas was stuck in his human doubt state and only by seeing the physical evidence did he believe -----

The Thomas incident I believe was no accident ---I believe God allowed Thomas to keep his heart closed to Faith in the unseen so as to show that even as we walk with God we can still hold on to our old traditional doubtful ways that can bring certainty when we actually see ---feel --taste --touch and hear---personally the physical evidence ----

Thomas in spite of all the miracles he witnessed Jesus do refused to believe in who He really was ------and that is for us today as well -----we have God's word which gives us all we need to know about Him and how His Kingdom works for us today and many So called Christians mimic Doubting Thomas -----in my view anyway ----

Peter doubted Jesus ability to keep him from sinking in the water ------ask yourself -----did this increase his certainty that he would not sink or did it make him sink -----in this scripture Matthew 14:31 we see Jesus saying -----
. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

So we see that Spiritual doubt----defeats our faith --it does not lead us to it

This is my view --------It is people like this man Brian McLaren who are just confusing people ----if they want to write their books they should really specify who the books are aimed at --this world or God's Spiritual Kingdom ----they make it sound like what they are saying is spiritual but it really isn't-- it is for this physical world -----and many will read this book and think ----I can go from stage 1 Simplicity to stage 4 Harmony all on my own power -----No need for any God to direct our steps ----- false hope being presented -----in my opinion

True Ministers who are called by God to Minister to a Church will always direct their Flock to God and to rely on Him to direct their steps with the help of the Holy Spirit who indwells them ------the job of the Holy Spirit is to help us grow from stage 1 which is a Babe in Christ to Maturity in Christ ------we can never reach Brian McLaren's Harmony stage by our own power ------that I am sure of -----as Agape comes only from God ----
 

Luce NDs

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What's the difference between real research and "spiritual research/"

In essence the defining differential between genius and insanity ... that thin red line?

Something to walk along if balanced ...
 

BetteTheRed

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Synonyms for Belief are faith, trust, reliance, confidence, credence.
And.
Synonyms for Faith are belief, trust, confidence, conviction, credence, reliance, dependence.

Agreed, but in conversation, I think we can agree that words can have subtly different meaning that, while they can often be subbed for each other in a sentence means that acknowledging these differences can add nuance to a discussion.

Does anyone else feel that there's an element of "intellectual assent" to belief that needn't exist to have faith?
 
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