I became a Christian when I was eighteen years. Not long after becoming a Christian I went to college. I like to think of the university as the place of reason and the church as the place of faith. I fell in love with learning while pursuing my studies at the university. I began to experience doubts about many of the things I believed. I sought through books and others assistance in wrestling with these doubts. It was a joyful journey and continues to be. I have been a Christian for over thirty years and I have struggled with doubts most of that time.
A couple of years ago two of our professors at the school I work spoke about doubt and the Christian faith in an honest and open way in chapel. I do not know if I had heard similar sermons before. It motivated me to do some research and present a paper on Faith and Doubt at a conference held at Faulkner University. I learned many things in preparing for this presentation. One of the things I learned is that we cannot will doubt away. A second thing is that doubt is part of faith. Third, doubt can be a healthy thing.
I am generally a person of reflective nature. I get great joy ruminating over things. Recently, I have been reflected how I have not been afflicted with doubts lately. It really has surprised me since I have been afflicted with doubts most of my Christian life. I am not saying that doubt does not pop up, but it is different that it once was. I am wondering why this is so. One of the conclusions I have come up with is that I have accepted that we cannot will our doubts away. A second thing is I have come to believe that we cannot have absolute certainty in regards to faith. Faith is something different.
I have been reading Kierkegaard and C. Stephen Evans lately. Both of these authors emphasize the importance of faith. They also point out that faith does not give absolute certainty. I agree with them. I do not think faith and knowledge are the same thing. I think Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin will agree with them. I accept both faith and reason. However, I believe that we walk by faith in this life and absolute certainty is not necessary.