Dealing With Doubt About God

Why do people doubt God? Some doubt God exists, others doubt he cares all that much about us, and some question his very goodness. If you have doubts about God, you’re in good company. Everyone from the disciples of Jesus to 20th century saints have had their doubts about God in one way or another.

In fact, if you’ve never had doubts, you probably haven’t thought all that much about your faith. Even more importantly, if you’ve never doubted God, you probably haven’t grown all that much as a Christian.

Fuller Theological Seminary conducted a study of young adults who left church after high school. The researchers came to this conclusion: “The more college students felt they had the opportunity to express their doubt while they were in high school, the higher [their] level of faith maturity and spiritual maturity” (

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What Is Spiritual Maturity?

Groups of People: followers of Jesus

·         A follower is by definition someone who has given his/her life to follow Jesus and has put Him first. This assumes a measure of passion for Christ.


Group 5: The Mature: Demonstrate the courage by following His leadership in His timing with His attitude and His character.  Gracious with the immature, ignores the spiritually arrogant, has healthy friendships with other followers for whom he/she prays and has many friendships with non-followers.

Thank you for your patience during my summer break. This post wraps up our series on “Groups of People: followers and non-followers”.

What is spiritual maturity?

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The Intellectualist


Groups of People: followers of Jesus

·         A follower is by definition someone who has given hist/her life to follow Jesus and has put Him first. This assumes a measure of passion for Christ.

Group 1: The Experientialist: Lives looking for goose-bumps in every moment – in song, in prayer, in camps, and in relationships.

Group 2: The Spiritualist: Lives trying to conjure up a supernatural experience in the name of a supernatural God on terms that make them feel special.

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Where's God Today?

“Where’s God today?” is one of the most common questions I’m asked after I tell someone that I’m a Christian. The question implies that in a suffering world it’s hard to believe a good God exists. We struggle with this question, but I’m beginning to think that we do so for all the wrong reasons.

The rhetorical question of “Where’s God today?” makes me ask the question “Why isn’t the Church making this clear?” If it’s our duty as Christians to show others who God is by living like Jesus—in love, kindness, and generosity—then the fact that this question is being asked reflects poorly on us, not God. We struggle with answering it because we, as Christian communities, are struggling with our faith.

An example: There is enough wealth in the world to solve world hunger and the water crisis, even in the midst of famines in places like the Horn of Africa.

Charles Barkley, Theologian

I know, I know, it was Sir Charles Barkley (not really a knight) who once famously said that he was not a role model, that he had no desire to be a role model, that no one should expect him to be a role model, that he had no intention of behaving like a role model. Actually, Barkley didn't stretch it out with so many words--but if you know Charles, you know that he could have. And you know that Barkley has lived up to his non-role model title more than a few times.

But listen to Barkley now.

As the Monday night halftime show between the Mavericks and Lakers neared its end, Barkley and his studio company took a look at the nasty turn of ankle suffered by Chicago's Derrick Rose (he of the almost MVP) in the closing seconds of the Bulls' loss to Atlanta. Host Matt Winer noted that the Bulls had declared Rose "day to day."

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Fires, Cold Temps and Bears, Oh My!

Last week our family went camping up in the mountains - our last hoorah of summer. The drive was gorgeous. A few hours into our trip, we passed a sign informing us we were 16 miles from our destination. Twenty minutes and we’d be there.

As I looked around at the mountains I noticed an odd plane flying low in the foothills. We’ve had a dry summer in Idaho with many grass and forest fires. I wondered if there was a small fire in the area they were trying to put out.

The road wrapped around a curve and we saw it. A huge cloud of smoke was pouring out the side of the mountain (actual photo from iPhone above). It looked like the beginnings of a forest fire. The crews were arriving, assessing the situation and awaiting their orders. It was an eery feeling as we drove closer and closer. My first instinct was to turn around and head back towards Boise.

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A Little Elfin Wisdom

Our family will be stirring in the kitchen—the twins will be making their school lunches, and I'll be in the middle of my bleary-eyed coffee-making ritual—and in the dreariness of that morning moment, my son Justin will suddenly belt out in a loud and chipper voice, "I'm singing!  I'm singing!  I'm in a store and I'm singing....!"

Around my house this time of year, the one movie that gets quoted more than any other is "Elf."  Starring James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel, and a surprisingly PG-rated Will Ferrell in the title role, the movie exudes elfin charm, wide-eyed innocence, and more than a knowing wink-and-nod to the traditional Christmas classics.  Besides "Napoleon Dynamite," it may be the most quotable movie ever.  My kids and I will randomly throw out quotes at each other over dinner, during chores, or even while playing Madden.  

One of the things I like about the movie is that there is this clumsy and naive, yet unrestrained moral anchor that underpins the central character.  In contrast to the soiled and unsafe world of New York City, Buddy the Elf's morality seems quaint and old-fashioned, but ultimately—and in Hollywood fashion—wins everyone over in the end. 

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The Power Of Community

Have you ever noticed that you can measure life stages in the way that you move?  Usually, it looks something like this:

Stage 1:  Borrow a pick-up truck, bribe your friends with beer and pizza, and toss your belongings half-hazardly in a an eclectic mix of boxes (or directly in the truck)


Stage 2:  Pay for a moving truck, bribe your friends with beer and pizza, and toss your belongings into pre-purchased moving boxes a few days before the move


Stage 3:  Pay for movers to pack up your house and move your stuff for you.  Tip them with pizza and beer.  Notice you suddenly have more friends in your life.


Like most 20-somethings, I have yet to progress to moving stage 3.  But I have had my fair share of moves - at last count, I’ve moved seven times in just as many years.  At least two of the moves were related to being newly married or newly divorced, but there is also some serious wanderlust mixed in, too.  

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