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One Life – Explorers | Site for people exploring the idea of Christianity

Do You Question Your Faith?

Written by: Carl Boockholdt

Mike DeVoy was born into a strong Christian family. As a youth, he attended church every Sunday, was saved at age 12 and worked at Christian youth camps during the summer. He was proud to consider himself a Christian and never, ever questioned his faith – at least not until he went away to college.

As a student at Indiana University, Mike worked at the Jewish Center. The one thing that stood out about the center was seeing how seriously the Jewish people took their faith. Seeing their passion and commitment inspired Mike to delve into religious studies at the University. After attending a handful of interesting and informative classes in religious studies, Mike came across a course entitled History of the New Testament.  Upon joining the class, Mike discovered the course was taught by a professor who appeared to have an atheist perspective and seemed to be intent on deconstructing the foundations of the Christian belief system. By using the leverage of logic, this professor managed to dislodge the pillars of Mike’s Chrisitanity just enough to introduce a seed of doubt.

This doubt was not the seismic, earth shaking doubt that reduces beliefs to rubble. It was more of an insideous doubt that gnawed away at Mike’s zeal for Christianity like a rat chewing its way through the kitchen wall. He still attended church and professed his faith. But now it felt different. What if the professor was right?

Mike laughlingly describes himself as “a sinner and not a deep thinker”. But he laments that the biggest mistake he made in the aftermath of his New Testament course experience was “…to quit thinking”. Mike goes on to say “I became a lukewarm Christian for 13 or 14 years”. Although Mike continued to attend church and participate in the Christian life he still harbored doubts that had been spawned in the class and, as Mike admits, “things weren’t as clear as before”.

In a series of sermons entitled Faith for Doubters presented last summer, pastor Bret Nicholson explored the topic of doubts about the Christian faith. Mike DeVoy listened intently to each sermon because he was hearing answers to all the questions that had been plaguing him since the university class. Not only did the sermons shed light on Mike’s unanswered questions but they also returned him to the fundamentals of Christianity. Reflecting on the impression the sermons made on him, Mike says, “One Life is a church for sinners. They make it easy to ask the hard questions. (At One Life Church) its ok to be yourself”.

Mike's Baptism at One Life West - November 16, 2014

Mike’s Baptism at One Life West – November 16, 2014

Mike’s story is evidence that, for many Christians, even the most devout, doubt can be a barrier to faith. But it also shows that there are answers available for the hard questions. And finding those answers can put your spiritual life back on track. As Mike puts it “I was kind of mixed up for a while…but now I’m ok”.

If you have doubts and questions about Christianity check out Moving From Doubt To Faith  Mike also highly recommends the book The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel.

Science & Faith Resources

While we were able to touch on some things about science on Sunday during “Faith for Doubters,” obviously one day is not going to get to the deep kinds of issues brought on by science.  The goal with the sermon was to encourage the journey.

I believe one of the most important approaches you can take to dealing with faith and science issues is to familiarize yourself with good resources.  It’s important to know that others, with years of solid educations have processed the very same questions we all ask on much deeper and well researched levels.  Here are just a few for starters including a couple I referenced in the message: Continue Reading…

Moving from Doubt to Faith (part 2)

We divided our  “Faith for Doubters” into two broad topics:  “Faith Builders” and Faith Barriers”.  As we move on from “builders to barriers” here are more of the builders we talked about:

We can move from doubt to faith by: 

1) Understanding the Christian definition of faith.

Many people, whether consciously or unconsciously, have defined faith as something like, “believing the unbelievable”. We think of ideas like “a leap of faith” as being something where we leap having no reason whatsoever to leap.  This is not a very good picture of the Bible’s idea of faith. Christian teachers throughout history used a model of summing up what the bible says about faith.  They boiled it down to 3 basic concepts summed up in 3 Latin words.  Continue Reading…

Moving from Doubt to Faith (part one)

We divided our  “Faith for Doubters” into two broad topics:  “Faith Builders” and “Faith Barriers.”  As we move on from builders to barriers, here are some of the builders we talked about:

We can move from doubt to faith by: 

1)   Understanding there is a place for doubters.  Belief rarely runs in the 100% category for any of us.  We learned through the story of Thomas that Jesus gives a place for someone who struggles with doubt. Thomas had followed Jesus, knew him, saw him do miracles and personally knew all of the immediate followers who were trying to convince him they had seen the resurrected Christ and still doubted.  Jesus said, “blessed are those who do NOT see and yet believe.”  2000 years later, having none of Thomas’ advantages, how blessed are all of us who don’t see and yet believe? Continue Reading…

They Must Have Seen Something

 

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Are All Religions the Same?

Here’s an interesting discussion facilitated by John Ortberg at Menlo Park Presbyterian in California.

 

I Have a Friend Who…”Believes All Religions Are the Same.” from MPPC on Vimeo.

A Journey Back: Kimberly Key’s Story

iStock_000021950841XSmallOften when we speak about individuals “exploring,” an image of someone taking his first steps towards finding answers about life, about Jesus, and about faith come to mind.  However, what about those of us who are exploring God for the second time?  Third?  Even Fourth?

Exploration and discovery aren’t always about breaking new ground or finding new territory. For me, exploration is currently about seeking Jesus, who has been in my life for many years, but whom I attempted to cover with sin, anger, doubt, and ego (for starters).  I ran in every direction but straight into the arms of my Father.  I purposefully turned my back on God.

Continue Reading…

Is the evidence for Jesus’ life trustworthy today?

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