a couple more emails … crises of faith

The phrase (or idea) “crisis of faith” came up in some emails I received this week. Here are a few of them (edited for privacy) – after the jump.

I’m sure you get a ton of emails and have many people contacting you, and you may never read or see this, but I just wanted you to know how much you’ve helped me. I grew up with a very “modern” understanding of Jesus, the bible, the church, religion, all of it, and it suddenly stopped working for me. This modern Christianity didn’t fit with the world that I saw around me, church didn’t seem to have much to say about the real world other than “read your Bible,” “pray harder,” and “God is in control.” I have had a large-scale crisis of faith over the past year or so, and I was considering stepping away from it all. After reading a few of your books and listening to a few of your sermons, I’ve begun moving towards a new understanding of who God is. Thank you. I know you receive a lot of criticism for your work, but thank you for what you are doing. God bless you. Peace.
I just wanted to say thank you. I’ve been a part of a Christian family my whole life. Recently my younger sister has been struggling with her faith. I tried reasoning with her but I didn’t know how. I read a book of yours recently: “more ready than you realize” and God could not have put it in my life in a better time. Now I’m being her spiritual friend through weekly conversations and doing more asking questions and listening rather than offering answers. I’m praying and I’m watching God answer my prayers. I bought your Finding Faith books and I”m reading them before sending them on to her. So thank you for writing. God is at work through your books.
I just wanted to give you a late thank you for your presentation at [my] Seminary a few months ago… I have read a couple of your books and they have shaped me into a more passionate follower of Jesus. I’m on staff at a fairly conservative evangelical church where the mention of your name is worse than many swear words. I have been chastised a few times for quoting you or paraphrasing your ideas. One of these instances almost cost me my job and my connection to my church. All of this said I admire your courage to question. I just wanted to say thanks for what you are doing, whether you know it or not you speak for many silent Christians, including me.
Note from Brian: Thanks to all who send these encouraging notes. I take them to heart, and appreciate them greatly.