Christian Doubt by Dr. William Lane Craig

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About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
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20 Responses to Christian Doubt by Dr. William Lane Craig

  1. Pingback: William Lane Craig Advises Christians on How to Deal With Their Doubts « Left Christianity

  2. I have a short little bit of advice for you because I have been in the struggle you are in now. I started out with the ideas this guy suggests. But then I came to a huge roadblock because more and more evidence was piling up against those Christian beliefs. And they weren’t my own interpretation of the evidence or from someone who was clueless.

    There is something many* Christian people view as bad from science. Scientific theories change. The reason they change is because they are discovered to be false. Take a look over at the scientific method wikipedia page. A theory isn’t just posed as a hypothesis and then put out for the public eye. It first goes through serious study, observation, and testing over and over and over. Science is made stronger every time it is revised and made better because they have taken out the flaws.

    When I was shown this bit about science, I sided with science. Evidence is strong and doubt is real. Take hold of that doubt and DO drive it into the ground like Craig here suggests. But here’s my advice for you: Put evidence first. Leave faith for that last step when you have done all you can and now just need an action step, because you won’t find absolute answers with science. If you look closely, you will find that even gravity is “just a theory” but it’s about 99.99% absolute.

    The reason there is always some opening is that scientists are always looking for ways to better any theory out there when new evidence is found.

    So yeah, with a non-100% number faith is needed with science, but only as an action step. Because if you only did things with absolute certainty, and no doubt whatsoever, you wouldn’t do a thing.

    Drive your doubts into the ground. Beat them up with evidence and research. And see what comes out of it. (Though I think that’s what you are doing anyway.) Good luck. It’s rough out there. If you have any questions for me, I invite you to email me (with what come up on your comment dashboard for me) or join me over on Google Plus where I do most of my atheistic and scientific arguments.

    *Many but not all. Some Christians use science very well along side of their faith.

    • imbrocata says:

      Wonderful! In the response thread at Brenda’s page (Left Christianity) there is a gentleman there arguing that trust should pre-empt evidence until it simply becomes unrealistic. With no criteria for defining what that means, I think it is safe to say that ‘trust’ for him remains imminent to ‘evidence’, or as you point out so well, ‘doubt’. Love this post and doubt on!

  3. I have a short little bit of advice for you because I have been in the struggle you are in now. I started out with the ideas this guy suggests. But then I came to a huge roadblock because more and more evidence was piling up against those Christian beliefs. And they weren’t my own interpretation of the evidence or from someone who was clueless.

    There is something many* Christian people view as bad from science. Scientific theories change. The reason they change is because they are discovered to be false. Take a look over at the scientific method wikipedia page. A theory isn’t just posed as a hypothesis and then put out for the public eye. It first goes through serious study, observation, and testing over and over and over. Science is made stronger every time it is revised and made better because they have taken out the flaws.

    When I was shown this bit about science, I sided with science. Evidence is strong and doubt is real. Take hold of that doubt and DO drive it into the ground like Craig here suggests. But here’s my advice for you: Put evidence first. Leave faith for that last step when you have done all you can and now just need an action step, because you won’t find absolute answers with science. If you look closely, you will find that even gravity is “just a theory” but it’s about 99.99% absolute.

    The reason there is always some opening is that scientists are always looking for ways to better any theory out there when new evidence is found.

    So yeah, with a non-100% number faith is needed with science, but only as an action step. Because if you only did things with absolute certainty, and no doubt whatsoever, you wouldn’t do a thing.

    Drive your doubts into the ground. Beat them up with evidence and research. And see what comes out of it. (Though I think that’s what you are doing anyway.) Good luck. It’s rough out there. If you have any questions for me, I invite you to email me (with what come up on your comment dashboard for me) or join me over on Google Plus where I do most of my atheistic and scientific arguments.

    And sorry, I guess this wasn’t a “short little bit” of advice for you after all.

    *Many but not all. Some Christians use science very well along side of their faith.

  4. unklee says:

    I think that is a pretty good answer, with evidence, reason and faith fairly well balanced. God is (for us) both a philosophical question to be answered and a person to be known and trusted, so both intellectual and faith responses are appropriate means of knowing him. Getting the balance ‘right’ is the tricky thing, and will be different for different people, as some people experience God in more real ways than others.

    • imbrocata says:

      Oh haha, Hi Unklee. I just referred to you above and hadn’t gotten down in the replies far enough to see that you had posted here as well. Personally, I find verifiable truth superior to faith in all aspects. Failing that, honesty of ignorance to claims of faith. Your claims regarding ‘experience’ are interesting as experience (from one person to another) is entirely subjective. Indeed, what we’re we taught in Bible School but that a personal testimony is the most effective tool we have in witnessing? – very hard to argue with someone’s experience. But is there an objective truth? Is there some standard by which we can measure the ‘heft’ of our experiences: whether they be true or not? Should we even try?

      • unklee says:

        G’day imbrocata,

        You seem like a friendly guy, but this is twice you have misrepresented what I said and think – I’m guessing because you found what you expected to find rather than read what I actually said.

        If you check back you’ll find I never said “trust should pre-empt evidence “ (though I thank you for calling me a gentleman!!!). What I actually said was that there are different types of evidence, and different reasons why people believe, and therefore different responses to doubt.

        I hope you are able understand what I say, even if you don’t agree. Thanks.

    • Yeah Unklee, When I was doing research and reading on how a christian should handle doubt, this was the best answer on how a christian should handle doubt.

      Pretty much this video was in line to the tag-line of “A Christian struggle to reasonable faith.” Cause I do believe our faith should be reasonable. HE is correct that we may never find all our answers, but through faith and the holy spirit. -We can still have a faith filled lifestyle dedicated to God.

      I really like that idea he encourages christian to study the topic of their doubt. And research the issue of their doubt into the ground and ‘we are intellectually satisfied.’ This to me was generally the most encouraging video on how a christian should handle doubt.

  5. imbrocata says:

    Reblogged this on imbrocata and commented:
    To be redundant, I just want to mention something I posted in a response on Left Christianity’s blog: Twice I’ve encountered Christians (one a Jehovah’s Witness and one a Protestant) who said that even if I could demonstrate a contradiction (or inaccuracy) in the Bible, they would still believe because who is to say that God didn’t put that in there in order to test their faith. I feel that is Self-Authentication at it’s ugly core. Also, I want to add a video I saw today from a pastor responding to somegreybloke on youtube: http://youtu.be/DujSwb2QEl4 Here, the pastor suggests that God might have chosen to ‘not know’ the future in regards to whether Adam and Eve would eat of the fruit, therefore preserving omniscience and free-will. This too seems to be the kind of Ad Hoc gymnastics that one will encounter when a theist is committed to maintaining their belief, up to and including, Self-Authentication.

    • And think this would make it the topic of inerrant bible vs. infallible bible. Like I said on your blog earlier. I’m not quite ready to do a blog post on that topic yet

    • Just pasting and copying my response from your blog for others to read.

      I don’t know if I could truly believe the bible, if I have affirmed it to be errant. I mean IF the bible is errant, can it even be trusted as a reliable source of truth.I have heard some Christians say the bible is errant, but the original writings which we no longer were the perfect copies, free of imperfection, contradictions and errors. This would make sense.
      I have also read alot of Christians call the bible errant but still infallible, I haven’t done none enough research yet to make a conclusion on that, but I do intend on in the future to talk about these topics in a blog post one day.
      Thanks for checking out my post

  6. unklee says:

    “I mean IF the bible is errant, can it even be trusted as a reliable source of truth.”

    But every other source of information and evidence we have – history, science, law, aesthetics, politics, personal experience, etc – can all be mistaken. Yet we still learn from them, because we have ways to deal with uncertainty – via statistics, or double-checking and cross checking, changing our minds as new information comes in, or remaining uncertain, or whatever. I see no reason not to do the same with the Bible, with the added benefit that the Holy Spirit guides our understanding (that is why some christians say the Bible is infallible, though they have a special meaning for that).

    • I think changing my mindset from inerrant to infallible would be a difficult thought reform for me. After all that is how I have all ways interrupted the bible.

      but the idea of an infallible bible or inerrant vs. infallible is probably going to be a different post topic

  7. unklee says:

    Yes, I can see it is an important issue for you. My earliest christian teaching as a teenager was from a Reformed perspective, and I was never taught inerrancy (that was deemed a little radical), just infallibility meaning “accomplishes God’s purposes”. I wish you well with your thinking about this.

  8. papapound says:

    “So Begins my road to the bitter sweet end. ”

    So you know where you are going before you get there? In some ways I can admire that. In my own experience there have been many twists and turns — some that I would have never expected, some that sent me in to orbit-positive, and some that took me to the depths of despair.

    “When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. And the more I think about the bible, the more it seems to that the bible is not perfect. And by PERFECT- Without flaw, error, or fallacy.”

    I still don’t know what your definition of perfect is from what you say here. Also, it seems that you apply this concept of “perfect” to the term(s) “errant/inerrant.” Do you know the christian community definition of inerrant (not the wikipedia definition BTW) ? It has nothing to do with “perfect”. In fact, I would have to ask when you use “perfect” what are you referring to? King James Version (some few do–think it is the only “correct” version), the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts we have today? Or, the original autographs, that is, those original writings by the Hebrew writers, Jesus disciples, and the Apostle Paul along with maybe 1 other ‘mystery’ writer or 2.

    You see, when most scholars that I hear talk about inerrant–they refer to the original autographs not any of these manuscripts we have today or these translations into English or any other language. But I am not minimizing the contribution of those manuscripts because they collectively are how we know what we have today.

    Now, going back to the King James–I grew up on it. I believe what it said. I believed what is said and was converted into a follower of Jesus Christ. Now I know that it contains errors–blatant errors. Where the translators evil because they “allowed” errors into that translation–No! They translated with the best set of manuscripts they had available at the time. We only know there are blatant errors today because we have collected many more manuscripts, especially of the new testament but also of the old and now we have the ability to get better precision on what was in the original manuscripts (autugraphs).

    So, one can became a true follower of Jesus Christ on a translation that has inaccuracies in it and be that, a true follower of Jesus Christ, even though some of the “source material” was not translated as well as we know it could be today. That is, of course, based on newly gathered sources of manuscripts.

    Today I read mostly from the ESV–a much better translation. But, do I know that it does not have any inaccuracies in it when it could be compared to the original autographs–no!, I don’t know that.

    I go back to say what Dr. DA Carson said about inerrancy in his response to Dr. Ehrman in the Ehrman Project: Inerrancy speaks to, when God speaks, does He speak truth. The answer is absolutely ‘yes, when God speaks, He speaks truth!’ I believe that is all that inerrancy covers. It does not get into the “correctness” of a particular translation into English.

    “Without hypocrisy or fault. It is complete with quality accuracy. For those who don’t understand, this is huge to me. My entire life is grounded in my faith of God and in my faith of the bible.”

    I hope you see from what I said above that my faith is not in the bible. My faith is in a Person. The person is, Jesus Christ, That person lived in the 1st century. He lived royally and gave me a wonderful example of what The God is trying to do on this earth. We are in a strong battle with evil here–but He will ultimately be the Deliverer of those who struggle in this battle with his power. The problem is that we are shut down, trust in our own strength and adequacy and we just don’t have the goods in ourselves. I don’t. I am a weak and fallible man. I am powerless in spiritual realms.

    “I am who I am, because of my biblical faith. This is not a question of if the Christianity-God is moral, but is the Bible accurate, true, and more importantly perfect. Because as a christian we should believe the bible is inspired by, therefore true and perfect. But if the Bible has fault, error, or contradictions how do we deal with that? Do we accept them? and ignore them? or even worst justify the contradictions……(like I think most christians do) or Accept the truth, that the Bible is not perfect/inerrant? And that my GOD, Christianity may be one big lie?”

    Again, I have to ask you what you mean by “the Bible.” If you are referring to an English translation of the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, then you are **not referring to** what the vast majority of the Christian community and it’s theologians apply the “infallibility” and “inerrancy” terms to.

  9. Pingback: Christian Doubt | The BitterSweet End

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