Some people want to have all the things – religion and science, belief and doubt, props for being thoughtful and admiration for being Deeply Spiritual.
Do you struggle with doubt & questions despite your best intentions? What does it mean about someone if he or she admits to both embracing “belief” and “doubt?” How does science impact your thoughts on this issue? For this Lent we are asking people to go into potentially dangerous (but also liberating) territory, to ask the hard questions about their faith. After all, doesn’t this season of Lent ask us to identify with the struggles of Jesus, including his expressions of doubt in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross?
So during this Lent we are hosting a conversation on this topic with NPR’s Barbara Bradley Hagerty and psychiatrist/author Curt Thompson, M.D. They approach this topic from their common position of being accomplished science writers and Christians. We did not tell them what to say about faith, we only asked them to be honest. One of the biggest sources of challenge, doubt, and excitement in our faith comes from the world of science, so this particular perspective on doubt requires thinkers like Hagerty and Thompson. They will be signing copies of their respective books on faith and science too.
Challenge, doubt, and excitement – only, not real challenge, doubt, and excitement. Not real challenge and doubt that could actually lead somewhere, just the fashionable kind that lets you be both faithy and thoughty, at least in the eyes of people who like that kind of thing.
In other words they don’t mean it. They say it but they don’t mean it. They’re fans of faith, they’re apologists, so they’re not really doing challenge and doubt, they’re just deploying the words. I find that annoying.