Category Archives: Faith and Doubt

Is Saturn the Greater Light?

Putting this quote from Dennis Venema here just so I don’t lose track of it.

One issue of potential concern during Calvin’s time was the growing understanding of the relative sizes of the various heavenly bodies. For example, astronomers had determined that Saturn was in fact much larger than our own moon. While this comes as no surprise to us now, nor of any theological importance, at that time this discovery was seen by some in the church to contradict the Genesis proclamation that the sun and moon were the “greater” and “lesser” lights created by God. If indeed Saturn was larger than the moon, would not it be named as the “lesser” light instead? While it might be tempting in the present to dismiss this discussion as trivial, we must remember that for its day, this was a significant concern for some. Which was correct? Science, or Scripture?

via Driscoll, Darwin and Doctrine, Part 1: Science or sola Scriptura? | The BioLogos Forum.

It Will Be Different Tomorrow

This article from Experimental Theology talks about whether people are still Christians when they are having struggles with doubt but continue to “practice” the Christian life in how they follow Jesus’ teachings and treat their neighbors. I’m not sure what to say about it, but I recognize myself in it.

Now I’m not suggesting that belief or orthodoxy are unimportant. I’m simply suggesting that most Christians have an anemic vision of Christian practice or Christian observance. Given my struggles with doubts, for much of the time I’m basically an observant Christian. Specifically, I believe all kinds of weird things. And I doubt a lot. And this chaotic mix of “belief” in my head is constantly shifting and changing. Thus, my Christian identity is anchored in my practice rather than my beliefs. In sum, a good portion of the time I’m an observant Christian, a practicing Christian. What do I believe? Well, who knows? What day is it? Because it will be different tomorrow…

I’ve encountered lots of people who are in a similar situation. And, because Christianity has de-emphasized practice, these people tend to feel marginalized, like they really aren’t “Christian.” Well, if they follow Jesus (i.e., orthopraxy), I think they get to own the title Christian even if they are agnostic or heterodox. For me, beliefs are like the tides, they ebb and flow. But how I treat my neighbor, how I practice my faith, should be constant and unchanging.