Faith, Doubt and the Idol of Certainty: An Interview with Greg Boyd

“The quest to feel certain becomes an idol when a person’s sense of significance to God and security before God is anchored not in their simple trust of God’s character, as revealed on the cross, but in how certain they feel about the rightness of their beliefs.” – Greg Boyd

SOURCE: Faith, Doubt and the Idol of Certainty: An Interview with Greg Boyd.

Greg Boyd Book on DoubtI can say with some certainty (pun intended) that Greg Boyd is one of my favorite Christian authors.  I think I have read almost all of his twenty some books on the topic.  Greg was one of the first to let me know that it was alright to have doubts about how my then church dealt with various matters.  One of the most poignant quotes from the interview above follows. I would highly encourage you to read the entire interview and even pick up a copy of his new book about doubt. I just downloaded mine into my Kindle.

On top of this, those who embrace “certainty-seeking faith” tend to become narrow-minded, for honestly trying to see things from other peoples’ point of view might lead them to question their faith and thereby jeopardize their “salvation.“ In fact, this model can easily lead people to develop learning phobias, for if you dare to read broadly and learn to see things from other people’s point of view, you might uncovering facts that could shake your certainty and thus displease God. I’m convinced this explains why Christians, especially conservative Christians, have a well-deserved reputation in the broader culture for being narrow-minded. – Greg Boyd

I have indeed been directly exposed to many in this mode. They absolutely refuse to look at anything that might jeopardize their supposed certainly that their version of Christianity is the only true one.  At first this fact surprised me when my pastor basically refused to read a book by Shane Claiborne that I gave him. But later I realized that he by choice chooses to be narrow-minded in this and many other topics of the world.  Unlike my previous friends I have no doubt that God welcomes questions about him and what he expects of us. I pray that some day my “certainty-seeking” friends will open up their hearts and minds to the questions that other have about their beliefs.

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