I was going over the passage in Luke 6:46 (the wise and foolish builder) and I realized that my foundation in God isn’t as strong as I would like. I feel like every time I have a question or doubt my faith is shaken. I know that the usual response to building a stronger foundation is to spend time with God through His word and prayer. But how am I supposed to do that when I continuously ask questions and doubt? I feel like this cycle of “trusting” and not trusting God has lead me to be a critic of His word. I was wondering have you ever had to deal with continuous doubts or questions? How did you build such a strong foundation? Thanks.     [Editor’s note:  This person has asked a ot of questions and had them answered already, which will give this question and my answer context]


No, I have never had this problem which you have. I believe that my approach to the scriptures has been significantly different from yours (but I could be wrong). I am able to keep an eye on the big picture–too see the forest without being distracted by individual trees. Let me use an example. Imagine you were married. Imagine that your spouse did hundreds of things to prove to you that she loved you deeply. Imagine also that your spouse did a couple of really boneheaded things which, if taken alone, would tell you that she hates you. Would a couple of boneheaded selfish things convince you that she did not love you? I assume not. Why not? Because the overwhelming evidence leads to the reasonable assumption that she loves you.

The analogy to the scriptures is not perfect, because the scriptures are never wrong (in my opinion) because they are inspired. However, the analogy is this. To me I have many hundreds of examples of items in the scripture which show it is inspired. For me, I have reached the point that the Bible definitely gets the benefit of the doubt. This is not blind faith. It is reasonable faith. For me, it would be definitely unreasonable to conclude that the Bible is not inspired by God. Just because I cannot prove that Esther 2:7 is inspired is really irrelevant. If I come across an example of a difficulty in the Bible, I assume (not blindly, but as a first working assumption) that when I understand the full situation, the Bible will prove itself. It is lke the relationship with a spouse above. The weight of evidence of the spouse in the example is that she loves you. In fact, if you thought she did not, we would assume that you have a serious problem.

The Bible deserves the benefit of the doubt. I would guess that I have given you 40 examples where you were doubting the scripture, and in every case (well, there may be one or two in which my explanation did not work for you) the Bible turned out to NOT be mistaken. At what point are you going to decide that the case is too strong to ignore? Where does the evidence point to in the big picture? Over time, the number of unresolved questions about the Bible has not grown. It has shrunk, while the number of criticims of the scripture which have proved to be false has grown and grown. For me, it has gotten to the point that the more critics I read, the stronger my faith becomes. Even if they have one or two “good” arguments, most them are very shallow and easily seen to be bogus. If I were not to conclude that the Bible is inspired by God, I would be behaving irrationally. I believe that you have sufficient evidence that it is not rational for you to at this point to not be giving the scpripture the benefit of the doubt. If you are not willing to conclude that the Bible is inspired by God, given all the evidence, then you should ask yourself why. The way I see it there are two possibilities. Either you are unable to think rationally on this subject for some reason or for some reason you simply do not really want to believe.

You say that every time you come across a difficult question, your faith is shaken. OK. Fine. What about every time you come across evidence that the Bible is inspired. Is your faith increased? If not, then you are not thinking rationally for some reason. You might want to think about that.

Do I have continuous doubts? No. Because I literally have nothing over which to have a continuing doubt. If you had an unresolved question which has remained unanswered, that would perhaps be a reason to have a continuing doubt. But, as far as I know, all the doubts you have expressed have been successfully answered. Therefore, what is there for you to have a continuing doubt about? Are you willing to trust God? Perhaps you simply do not want to trust God. I do not know.

John Oakes


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