Elemental Season 1 - Day 19

“What can we really know?”

This is a fair question. If the biblical narrative is not as simple as we have perhaps been led to believe, how can we really know what is happening in the Bible at all? 

This is one of the reasons we have put together Crosswalk Classroom for deeper study and understanding. The truth is that there is a great deal of information that we can incorporate into our understanding of scripture, but it means that we have to become curious about history, religion, ancient languages, ancient culture, and even geography. 

But isn’t this exactly what a “disciple” is? 

Yes, a disciple is a lifelong learner. Someone who is desperately interested in learning more about God and all the history, interpretation, and cultural understanding that it takes to understand scripture and, ultimately, God. 

How is this part of the deconstruction of one’s faith? That is actually quite simple. When we take a look at scripture, which is arguably one of the most foundational ways that we know about God and understand our faith, we are forced to take a look at what we believe, where it came from, and how it came to be different than we have before. This is not only exciting, but it is deeply faithful. 

Belief and doubt. 

How can questioning everything we know be faithful? Mark 9:24 talks about a man who tells Jesus that he believes, but he needs help in his unbelief. That means he needs help with his doubt. And that means that both of these things exist in our hearts at the same time. And that is not only okay, but it might be the normal and natural state of things. 

Belief and doubt live in us at the same time. 

And that is okay.

But it is confusing at times. We believe, but even as we sing those songs of worship we wonder if we really understand that belief, or we wonder if God is really the God of those songs. We see the people singing next to us with such reckless abandon and wonder if we are the only ones that feel this way. 

I can tell you with certainty, you are not the only one to feel that way. I feel that way sometimes. I live in the tension between doubt and faith. I sometimes touch both of those poles in my life and I sometimes wonder if they are actually opposites or perhaps they are traveling companions on this road of faith we are on. Could that even be possible? Could I believe and not believe all at the same time, with varying degrees of each all the time, shifting, changing, and pushing me to comfortable and uncomfortable places all at the same time? 

  1. Are you struggling with belief and unbelief at the same time? 
  2. How can a community make a difference in the paradox that is the life of a Christian? 
  3. What is the best way to understand how we live with both of these competing ideas? 

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