“This book, however, is not intended to convince anyone to believe in God, or in the work of Christ, who does not believe already. It is not Christian apologetics in the usual sense. My direct concern is for those people who have been unable to attach themselves to the world’s ‘pleasing objects.’ They have found in God, and Jesus Christ, a proposed solution to the human dilemma to which they have made, with varying degrees of confidence, a commitment. At the same time, they have been blessed and cursed with minds that never rest. They are dissatisfied with superficial answers to difficult questions, willing to defend faith, but not its misuse.” – Daniel Taylor, The Myth of Certainty
I couldn’t have described my own heart better if I’d tried.
This past weekend, I sat down at a table with two people who have my utmost love and the depths of my respect–my parents. We sat for about an hour after Sunday lunch and had one of the most difficult conversations I’ve ever initiated with them. Without going into any gory detail, the conversation began with me confronting an issue that was gospel-law in our home as I was growing up, and essentially saying, “As an adult, as someone who’s searching out my own faith…I can’t say to you in this moment that I agree with my raising on this matter. I am continuing to seek the mind of Christ and try to discern what His heart on this issue is–but I’m not content with just blindly believing everything I’ve ever been told, even by you two. Which means that I have to ask myself some difficult questions. And sometimes, in my searching, I find some even more difficult answers.”
I can’t say whether they were shocked at the turn of the conversation because, to varying degrees, my parents are both aware of the personality quirk that makes me absolutely incapable of being satisfied with answering the question, “Why?” with “Because that’s just the way it is,” or “Because that’s what I’ve been told.” I am a searcher. It is a blessing and a curse. On days I love it and it keeps me pushing forward, and on some days, I wish I could turn my mind off and just be blessed with blissful acceptance of the way things have been presented to me.
I believe there is more to the heart of God than any of us has ever experienced. And I believe that asking questions, having and confronting doubts, is a key to continuous growth. I believe that the moment we cease to consider and chase the deepest parts of the heart of God, the ones that confuse and terrify us with their infinite possibilities and their intensity of scandal, our spirits begin to die a little bit at a time. As soon as we become content with skimming the surface of Christ, just keeping the parts that keep things safe and give us something practical to hold on to and help us believe that the whole world is black and white and that is that…we start to rely on a conventional lifestyle and not an unconventional God.