What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Becoming Skeptical of My Skepticism

Every so often, I find myself allowing skepticism to take the lead in my life. Particularly when it comes to the religious stuff. I allow the inner-voices of skepticism and the voices of skepticism that I've imbibed from students and from my culture drive the bus in terms of my engagement with God.

The culture, of course, celebrates this: "way to think critically about this religious stuff!" To be dubious is to somehow be empowered.

But the actual result is boringly predictable: skepticism unbridled does not bring any satisfaction or resolution. To allow the voice of skepticism to hijack any part of my life is a fruitless exercise. I can simply and ridiculously talk myself out of trusting or believing anything. When skepticism takes the lead, it's not a huge mystery where I'll end up.

In fact, skepticism has proved to be the least helpful tool in the toolbox for discovering anything remotely resembling truth, purpose, or reality. To be fixed in a posture of permanent skepticism is anything but empowering. It's boringly predictable. Nothing productive actually ever comes out of it.

Augustine argued that faith was the proper instrument for seeing and apprehending God. You need a microscope to see inside a cell. You need a telescope to see the moon. And you need faith to see God.

Trying to reason or "skeptic" your way into seeing God is like trying to use a microscope to see the moon. The results are predictably fruitless.

It's not that reason doesn't have a place in the life of faith. Augustine argued that Christianity is "faith seeking understanding." We lead with faith. We bring our questions with us. Some get answered. Others don't.

But as long as we allow anything other than faith to lead the way, we will end up in very predictable dead-ends when it comes to our spiritual life.

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