The faith to doubt

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By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

In churches which follow the ecumenical lectionary, this coming Sunday is Doubting Thomas Sunday.  It's the day when my patrol saint takes center stage.

Doubt has often been described as the enemy of faith.  That's not my experience.  Usually it is the companion of faith.  Check out the following quotes.


When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough. When you have realized understanding; even one word is too much. --Fen. Yang.

Faith is different from proof; the latter is human, the former is a Gift from God. --Blaise Pascal

Seeking to know is only too often learning to doubt. –Antionette du Liger de la Garde Deshoulieres

Faith which does not doubt is dead faith.—Miguel de Unamuno

It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt.-- Fyodor Dostoyevski

I believe though I do not comprehend, and I hold by faith what I cannot grasp with the mind. --Saint Bernard

The problem with the wise is they are so filled with doubts while the dull are so certain.-- Bertrand Russell

It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull. --H. L. Mencken

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. --Paul Tillich

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. – Voltaire

Doubt is an incentive to truth, and patient inquiry leadeth the way. --Hosea Ballou

Fanaticism is...overcompensation for doubt. -- Robertson Davies

Faith does not ignore the facts, it ignores the power of the facts. --Benny Hinn

Sometimes God doesn't tell us His plan because we wouldn't believe it anyway. -- Carlton Pearson

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves.-- Rainer Maria Rilke

We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking only to learn that it is God shaking them. --Charles West

If knowing answers to life's questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget the journey. You will never make it, for this is a journey of unknowables -- of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensibles, and, most of all, things unfair.-- Jeanne Guyon

I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly. --Madeleine L'Engle

God always answers in the deeps, never in the shallows of our soul. –Anonymous

Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time. --Oswald Chambers

It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand. --Madeleine L'Engle


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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy from Oak Park  

Posted: May 20th, 2014 3:34 PM

I just came across your article/blog & I want to thank you for the interesting quotes. I appreciate knowing I'm not the only one doubting

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