Dangerous Doubt and Why You Need It

Let's talk about doubt. For some, doubt is a big bogeyman. Feel doubts about your faith? Expunge them with all haste!

Well, maybe.

I depends on the kind of doubting you're doing. But you may be surprised by what the Scriptures actually say about doubt.

You're Commanded to Doubt

You may not know this, but the Bible actually commands Christian to doubt. At least, a kind of doubt. Paul wrote, "Test everything, but hold fast to the good." (1 Thes. 5:21) This the wise, soul-protective doubt that keeps faith filled disciples from becoming foolish chumps who believe anything that looks vaguely Christian. Understood in this way, I can't help but think that a whole lot fewer end-times books would sell if Christians took Paul's command to heart.

When Doubt is Dangerous

Doubt is dangerous when it metastasizes into the cancer of cynicism. Cynicism is a false epistemology — a way of knowing that says, "You can't know that," about everything. It takes the position that truth can't be found. But saying "I don't believe that," about everything is just another way of saying "nothing is to be believed," about anything. C.S. Lewis exposes the foolishness of cynicism when in The Abolition of Man,

You cannot go on 'seeing through' things forever. The whole point of seeing through things is to see something through it. It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too. It is no use trying to 'see through' first principles. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To 'see through' all things is not to see.(1)

Look, I get cynicism. Cynics sound smart, but they're not. They're fools engaging in a sophistry that hides the fearful insecurity and lack of trust that marks hurt hearts.

Some Things You Should Never Doubt

There are some things that you should never doubt. God's character, never doubt that. God gave you his Son when you gave him the finger. That's a good God. God's love, never doubt that. His love for you and I cost him everything. There are more things not to doubt, surely. But of all people, Christians shouldn't fear doubt. We should fear the slide that doubt may place us on toward the cancer of cynicism. So, doubt well.

(1) C.S. Lewis. The Abolition of Man. Pg. 53-54.