When I am tired of questioning …

A reader writes …

I just wanted to say a quick “thank you” to you. I have followed your writtings since “A New Kind of Christian” and have read quite a few of your books since. I am a christain, raised in what I would call a christain, fairly conservative, and mostly loving home. Since my teenage years (25 years ago) I have questioned God and the things I have been taught as it relates to God. As you appreciate, this type of questioning was not received well from my parents or the church as a whole (at least in my late teenage years and early twenties). Very few people had addressed hard questions like the issue of other religions, creation and it’s place with respect to science and homosexuality to name a few. When I read your books, however, I feel like we are connected in spirit and thought. I feel like I am not alone in my thinking, doubting and uncertainty.
If your books do anything for me, it’s that they allow me to not feel guilty about where I am at in my relationship with God or how I express this with the world around me. They have allowed me to no have to choose between being a christian and having doubts/questions. I must admit though, it sometimes feels like the more I read, the less I know. I used to be certain about so many things, things now I am uncertain about and this is a bit scary. I sometimes stop reading because I am tired of questioning. When I feel this way I lean on the words of Jesus when he reponded to the question about what was the greatest commandment…love God and love your neighbor. When I am tired of philosophy and religion I return to this foundation and just stop. Stop reading, stop questioning, stop debating…and just try to simplify…love God…love my neighbor. Sounds a bit trite when I read this…but maybe that is where some of your words come in. You help provide some ideas around what it means to love God and your neighbor. The “how” if you will. The “how” to be a new kind of christian.
So, thank you for your words. Please continue to think about and write about what it means to be a new kind of christian. Your words make a difference, at least in my life.

Thanks so much for these honest and vulnerable words, which will resonate with many other people, I know. I know what you mean when you speak of getting tired of questioning. If certainty means suppressing all questions – that’s exhausting (and dishonest). And if certainty means answering every questions – that’s equally exhausting (and impossible)! According to the NT, there’s something even more valuable than certainty that’s available to us … faith, hope, and love, and of those three, love is the greatest. Like you, I repeatedly fall back into the wonderful simplicity and depth of “love God – love neighbor.”
Your comment about the “how” means a lot to me – my next book is very much a “how” book – especially on the loving God side. I’m planning on announcing the title and cover on November 3. Stay tuned!