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  1. #1
    Know thyself kallipolis's Avatar
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    Who doubts, believes

    It can be argued that doubt is the seed of faith in God, for our doubts enable us to question the reasonableness of our free choice to follow the guidance of The Saviour, also understanding that our doubts feed our determination to weather the storms of life, that attempt to blow us off course leading us to where we do not wish to go.

    It is only by seeking the path of radical doubt that we can arrive at a genuine appreciation of our faith in God. We need to be enthusiastic sceptics challenged to explore, and reason the imponderables of our faith in God.

    By appealing to the notion of radical doubt I am not suggesting that we should trust nothing that cannot be verified by sense experience. Nor am I advocating an overly rationalist or minimalist approach to faith; which would be only another form of blind faith that is, rejecting any notion of a priori revelation per se and blindly assuming that truth can only be realised, and understood by rational means or, that the phenomenal world is the only reality. Rather I am suggesting that genuine faith has to be lived through a rational engagement with revealed truth to be understood.

    In the story of the Apostle Thomas in John 20:24-29 Thomas demands evidence of Jesus' resurrection only to be confronted, and reprimanded by the risen Jesus for his failure to "believe without seeing"(John 20:29).

    Jesus' closest disciples were a motley bunch of misfits, including impetuous Peter, the bad-tempered brothers, James and John, arrogant and bigoted Nathanael and the over-zealous Simon who may have even been a terrorist. However, with the possible exception of Peter none of these disciples has captured the popular imagination like that of Thomas, the disciple whose infamous gaff in voicing questions about Jesus' resurrection has won him the title of "Doubting Thomas" (John 20:19-21). But, this hardly does this legendary figure justice.

    It has been argued that the Thomas story made a significant contribution to the development of the Christian religion. For Gnostic Christians of the second century Thomas represented both a model of faith and a bastion for their mystical traditions. Many believed him to be the twin brother of Jesus, thus, privy to secret knowledge - gnosis - that could lead to enlightenment and salvation. A recently discovered Gospel of Thomas (1) has even reached near canonical status in the eyes of the Jesus Seminar (1993) that number it as "the fifth Gospel" after Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

    Some people are comfortable in a blind faith or, simple faith that does not seek to question and de-construct the apparently improbable, or to probe such implausible ideas for deeper meanings. They prefer to imagine that ignorance of such theological explorations is bliss; that one should not doubt; only believe! I have no argument with simple faith when understanding that many people are comforted, and deeply encouraged to live their life of faith through their acceptance of that which leads them through the storms of their life, safely into calmer waters.

    The Johannine Thomas was of a different mind; he doubted the proclamation of the improbable resurrection of Jesus. However, his doubt was turned to virtue. He alone of all the disciples is the first to see (to know) that Jesus is true God and true Man.

    Thomas is reprimanded for demanding a sign before he will believe (John 20:25), as others had before him (4:48). It is suggested that he should believe on the basis of the word spoken to him by others (e.g., 17:20). But if he had simply accepted the (albeit) incredible proclamation of Jesus' resurrection, would he have sought to inquire (seek) further?

    Like the other disciples Thomas would have simply been caught up in the miraculous without understanding the import of that encounter. Only by demanding further proof, by seeking to analyse, de-construct, and demythologise the proclamation could Thomas arrive at his extraordinary insight Jesus is Lord and God.

    The lesson of the Johannine Thomas, is that doubt is a virtue and that there is nothing blissful about continuing to be blindly ignorant of the deeper meanings of our received traditions.

    I am not advocating a trust nothing stance; rather a test everything approach. I am suggesting that to really live ones faith we must daily test our faith through our living experiences.

    Don't just be content to be a member of the blissfully ignorant; the Fourth Evangelist would say that there is no virtue in that position. Like his Doubting Thomas we must seek to know more; to see more; to be more. To understand.

    end

    (1) http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/thomas.htm



  2. #2
    Are u haleloo ya ? Telstra's Avatar
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    Re: Who doubts, believes

    Hello, who doubts believes ?
    nah not until there are proofs


    NEVER LISTEN TO A ONE SIDED STORY AND JUDGE.

  3. #3

    Re: Who doubts, believes

    Obviously, honest doubt is a facet of the gift of faith.

    But, equally obviously, both honest doubt and faith don't bring objective substance to the belief.

    One can have and test all the honest doubt and faith one wants and there may still be no reality to what one believes in.

  4. #4
    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: Who doubts, believes

    Most of all, one should not presume that doubt is the path to strengthened or new faith; that would indeed be a hollow misappropriation of the word "doubt." As is so often the case when "reason" is vainly dressed up as a faith in opposition to one's own.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  5. #5
    Know thyself kallipolis's Avatar
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    Re: Who doubts, believes

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Most of all, one should not presume that doubt is the path to strengthened or new faith; that would indeed be a hollow misappropriation of the word "doubt." As is so often the case when "reason" is vainly dressed up as a faith in opposition to one's own.
    That doubts are present clearly evidences that there is willingness on my part to investigate, to test my faith's influence on my life sufficiently to maintain balance between the call of faith, and the natural me attempting to persuade me that I should surrender to my fear of the unknown rather than commit myself to a life of hope, leading me into a more rewarding life.

    So far, so good. I'll drop you another line in a couple of years time to update you.

  6. #6
    Know thyself kallipolis's Avatar
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    Re: Who doubts, believes

    Quote Originally Posted by Spensed View Post
    Obviously, honest doubt is a facet of the gift of faith.

    But, equally obviously, both honest doubt and faith don't bring objective substance to the belief.

    One can have and test all the honest doubt and faith one wants and there may still be no reality to what one believes in.
    That would be for me to determine according to my intellectual appreciation of any set of circumstances.

  7. #7
    Virgin StSinner's Avatar
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    Re: Who doubts, believes

    In his speech "The Sacrament of Doubt", Paul James Toscano declares that "doubt and faith are twin offspring of genuine spirituality." I agree. I also understand the lesson to be learned by the narrative concerning the Apostle Thomas. I disagree with conservatives that Thomas' story demonstrates a lack of devoted faith. Within the construct of the time, it is not unreasonable for a Jew to ask for evidence. Thomas was not in the wrong nor did he do anything wrong. Also, keep the narrative in the context of the mystical themes in John's Gospel.

  8. #8
    MikeyLove
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    Re: Who doubts, believes

    Honest doubts can also be looked at as a form of REASONING, and this is done through various means. Study, Meditation, and Prayer, along with personal experiences, etc.

  9. #9

    Re: Who doubts, believes

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    That would be for me to determine according to my intellectual appreciation of any set of circumstances.
    I don't think that's right. If a bus is going to hit you and you do not get out of the way, it will do so whatever your faith, beliefs or "intellectual appreciation" determine.

    If God exists, he doesn't (as they say) need our vote. If he doesn't exist, we can have all the faith we want, it won't make him exist.

    Too many folk confuse subjective opinions with objective realities, many of which, even in religious terms remain unknown. If one believes in God, who created God, etc., etc.?

  10. #10

    Re: Who doubts, believes

    I was raised on this sess-pool of lies.

    I wanted to die.

    I knew no Savior, no redemption, no hope, nothing of worth in my being.

    I wanted to die for the first two decades of my existence.


    Your inane drivel sounds like those LIES.


    I GREW AS A DECENT HUMAN BEING, and somehow came to move from being an atheist to ackowledging I AM MORE.

    ONLY AFTER DECADES, LOOKING BACK. BEFORE, I knew vitality, strength, WHOLENESS.

    Your words are poison and lies.

    Life is to be lived.

    The young should be told, 'some' only some grow in such a way as they come to perceive the MORE that we are.

    BETTER, we grow so well as decent human beings, that the MORE is not seen, not know, soo impossibly MORE than I am.


    Live, Love, Be, for a few decades, then be brighter than me and SHUT THE FUCK UP.
    Last edited by IAMTHATIAM; January 15th, 2013 at 10:14 PM.

  11. #11
    Slippery When Wet
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    Re: Who doubts, believes

    I LOVE the paradox proposed...

    And will need to THINK about this...

    A LOT!!!

    "Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it..." Goethe

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