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History always has its thought police–the people who want to force others to submit to their version of the faith.
However well meaning, these folks miss a central truth: The trick is not to force people to believe the same things. The trick is to stick together in friendship even while in deep disagreement; to keep an open mind, ask good questions, and wonder together about what is true, and what our way forward should be.
Name - Kind - Community - Church - Faith
There’s a name for this kind of community. It’s called church, and it is constituted in faith, not certainty, not uniformity of belief.
The attempt to enforce uniformity of belief has a name as well. It’s called war. And Christians are supposed to want no part of that.
Paul - Tillich - Doubt - Opposite - Faith
Paul Tillich once wrote: “Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.” Faith might just be impossible without a little doubt. When all doubt disappears then the possibility of faith disappears as well, and all that’s left is certitude–knowing. And that’s not the same as faith. Faith involves doubt, and requires the inability to be completely sure.
We exercise faith all the time. Each time you get on an airplane you are exercising a kind of faith. You don’t know for certain the pilots are sober or the plane is sound. You don’t know for certain no terrorist is aboard. But it’s a pretty safe bet, so you act in faith and hop on the plane.
Anyone - Exercises - Spouse - Crazy - Point
Anyone who is married exercises faith. You don’t know for certain your spouse won’t go crazy at some point. You don’t know for certain you won’t get a better offer two months later. Marriage is moving and acting in a certain trajectory despite uncertainties.
All beliefs are like this: they involve uncertainty and risk. Believing in God is an act of faith. Not...
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