Doubt And Faith

This coming Sunday in our sermon series on ‘People around the Cross and the tomb’, we shall look at Thomas, or ‘Doubting Thomas’ as he is often known. The subject of doubt and faith is a vital one, and today I have begun typing up various random ideas that I hope will make their way into the sermon.
Among them is the text of a speech I found online nearly six months ago. I have kept it open in a browser tab ever since – probably I should have just saved it in Delicious. However, it is coming into its own as I prepare for Sunday, so I thought I would draw your attention to it now. The Benefit of Doubt: Coming to Terms with Faith in a Postmodern Era is a wonderful lecture to read by the American Old Testament scholar Peter Enns. I shall certainly be including some material at the weekend which takes its inspiration from this wonderful piece. If you have half an hour or so to spare, I commend it to you enthusiastically.


  1. What a big subject to tackle. It’s certainly been my experience that, in the depths of despair, I haven’t doubted God’s existence but I was thinking “how could God love someone like me?” Which does show a lack of trust in God’s goodness and love.
    I also think our relationships with each other (and the quality of them) give us information about the quality of our relationship with God. Above all, I believe ‘love’, (which doesn’t just mean ‘obedience’), in all its messiness and sacrifice, is what God wants from us. For God and for our neighbours.


    1. Yes, it is a huge subject, and often wrongly confused with unbelief. I need to narrow some of my focus before Sunday.

      BTW, your second paragraph, about relationships and love, is very challenging!


  2. C 6 years ago i preached on the Thomas episode on Low Sunday. My basic outline was:
    a) Normal thomas may be truer than doubting thomas. We all have questions and dounts, and it is OK to come to Jesus to offer them to him. Look at the range of material in the Psalms. I differ from Spurgeon who in a sermon on this passage seems to regard Thomas as presumptious.
    b) Jesus met him and will meet us. He did not immediately chastise Thomas but met his questions head on and word for word. That is Grace.
    c) Thomas responded in adoration and humilty. Jesus meets us as we are and challenges us to move on from there. There comes a point when we must make decisions with what we have and move forward. Thomas did. So must we.

    Use any of that if it helps


    1. Hi Colin,

      Yes, I too would be inclined to disagree with Spurgeon if that is what he says about this passage. Such a comment takes no account of the previous disregard for the women’s testimony by the male disciples who now tell Thomas that the Resurrection is true, almost as if they had never had any doubts!


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