Q & R: How do I know?

Here’s the Q:

Hi Brian,
I don’t know if you will actually read this email…but I wanted to say that when I read your biography, it resonated with me. I too grew up in a deeply conservative Christian home; I teach English literature to high school students. I work at a Christian school and know the “right” answers to faith and theology. However, I wrestle with traditional conceptions of Christianity. I am scared to fully embrace what I now think to be true, because if I am wrong…the implications are disastrous (ie. Will people I know go to hell because I don’t think its about reciting a little prayer?)
I want to know truth–but it is so elusive. How do I find it?

Here’s the R:
Thanks for your question. I keep coming back to these three things:
1. You keep coming back to test claims against Scripture. You’ve already discovered, for example, that “the sinners prayer” isn’t there, nor are many of the assumptions behind it.
2. You grapple with issues with trusted friends and mentors. If you don’t have friends or mentors who are asking or have asked similar questions, this means finding some.
3. You keep praying – for guidance, for wisdom, for the right motives.
These three habits will not guarantee you’ll “know with absolute certainty the absolute truth.” But they will help you keep moving toward God’s light. And as you move in that direction, you set an example for others to follow … which is the best way to help others.