What About a Christian Who Doubts?
I think much of our “in your face” apologetics, as well as personal evangelism, is unhelpful for they do not deal with some of the real issues that can cause doubt. To make things worse, when doubts arrive, friends are quick to condemn us for lack of faith or tell us we are sinning. Doubts can be very real because they generally center on the basic relationship one has with God. I have a few general comments.
First, doubt is not the opposite of faith. Unbelief is the opposite of faith. Faith encompasses some doubt or it would not be faith. Faith is not an intellectual exercise but a personal trust in the goodness and reliability of God to do what he promises to do.
Second, faith is a working hypothesis. This is a position scientists take all the time. The existence of black holes is a working hypothesis. Evidence exists for black holes but they are not a provable fact at this point so that there is a law of black holes. God, the Bible, salvation, etc. are all part of a large working religious hypothesis. Evidence for God exists, but the evidence is not provable fact. We act upon our hypothesis as if it were true though not provable.
Three, we must admit that we could be wrong – our hypothesis may be wrong. However, my Christian hypothesis answers more questions than any alternative I have considered. Granted, I don’t know all the questions and all the alternatives that are available, but what I do points me to God.
Fourth, our atheist friends also have a working hypothesis and a faith. They cannot disprove God any more than we can prove God. Which hypothesis makes the most sense? That is the basis upon which faith is built. The atheist has a faith commitment to the scientific enterprise as the ultimate answer to life’s meaning. I prefer making a faith commitment to God as the ultimate answer to life’s meaning. I have no quarrel with science per se or the scientific method, but making science or anything else less than God as an ultimate concern is building an idol that is the product of limited humanity.