I became a Christian at 18 and was an elder in a house church at 23. I spent the next 25 years in ministry but began questioning some aspects of my faith as I passed 50. Perhaps it was because I no longer served in church leadership and didn’t have to have all the answers. Or maybe it was being exposed to other points of view through my eclectic reading and diverse friendships.
In my last post (Imaginary Friend) I wrote about being tripped up by “the irreconcilable differences between an all-powerful, all-loving Creator and the mess of a world we find ourselves in.” When I slipped off my faith-colored glasses things around me got blurry and I became dizzy, disillusioned, disappointed, discouraged, depressed and even a bit dyspeptic (look it up).
I’m not the only one who has been stumbled by what Liebniz called “theodicy.” Indeed, “the inability to reconcile God’s goodness, omnipotence and omniscience with human suffering is the compelling logical puzzle that has led many out of faith.” –T. M. Luhrmann
I haven’t been led “out of faith,” but my faith has been knocked out of focus. So why not put the specs back on?
I’ve worn eyeglasses since I was two years old. I accept the need for corrective lenses to rectify my astigmatism and nystagmus. So why balk at wearing biblical bifocals to clarify my spiritual vision?
One reason is how easily our own flawed presuppositions and prejudices are ground into those lenses. I wanted the divine optometrist to check and adjust my prescription himself. I longed for a personal consultation, not just a written script.
I realize such appointments are rare—but it’s what I’m still hoping for.