Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Benefit of Doubt @penns1176

A couple of weeks ago, Peter Enns gave a lecture at Azusa Pacific University (my doctoral alma mater), entitled, The Benefit of Doubt: Coming to Terms with Faith in a Postmodern Era. I heard about the lecture and really wanted to go, but was unable to attend because of work. Thankfully, he posted the text of his lecture on his blog.

I highly recommend that you read it (it's long, but great). It really explains a lot of the core of the purpose of this blog and a lot of my personal passion and calling to ministry. As such, there's so much I could say in response to various parts of his work, but I would like to quote on part in particular:

We’ve heard this many times: “Let go and let God.” It’s true—but “letting go” might be more than we bargained for. We must be taught, for we will not willingly go there ourselves. When we are not letting go, when we try to stay in control of something, cling to something as Mother Teresa says, that’s when God turns off the light and makes it dark—not because he is against us, but because he is for us.
Being out of control is another way of saying “dying to yourself.” When we are out of control, that is when God can speak to us—without all of the layers of stuff we have piled up inside of us. God puts us out of our control so that we can learn to trust—like Mother Teresa said—not “believe” or “have faith” but something deeper and harder: trust.
You can only trust when you have let go completely, when you don’t try to control. When we learn to trust God out of our emptiness, when God is out of our control—when God…becomes God more deeply in us—when we surrender and trust…well… we become liberated from our attachments, from our fears, and we learn to live with freedom and joy. That is the Christian journey.
This is just beautiful. It's a nice way of reframing the benefit of doubt as helping us really trust God rather than just believing in God. This has been my experience and that of so many other people. Yet I know I need to trust God even more. Oftentimes, I rely on my believe and faith more than I rely on God. I'd rather have God than my doctrine.

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