God is merciful to those who have doubts. The Christian faith is not scared of uncertainties. There are tough questions we all wrestle with and Christianity provides answers. Faith though does not start with doubt, but with trust in who God is and what he has said. Faith seeks to understand while knowing that some things we will never know. There are limits on our knowledge, but we can know many things rightly as image bearers. While we may have questions, faith doesn't elevate uncertainty as a virtue. Faith doesn’t build entire systems of thought around post-modern uncertainty.
Recently, I was on a panel discussing the inspiration and authority of Scripture. Inspiration is a core belief of the Christian church because without it there is no foundation for knowing anything at all. Without it, we quickly drift into prideful uncertainty. Without a high view of Scripture, we look at uncertainty as a sign of humility. We elevate uncertainty in the face of clear revelation as a virtue.
Uncertainty makes sense for unbelievers. Without God, there is no way to make sense of his world at all. Without God, there is no foundation for truth, knowledge, or meaning. Without God, man ironically becomes certain in our uncertainty. But what I found on the panel discussing Scripture was uncertainty praised and embraced by those who have a clear word from God.
The uncertainty of the world must not be shared by Christians. Not only does God exist, but he has revealed himself in Scripture so that we can know him. In Scripture, God gives us a written record of propositional truths to build our lives upon. To look at that revelation and respond with smug uncertainty is sin. It is akin to the three-year-old who puts his fingers in his ears and pronounces, "I can't hear you!" Uncertainty in the face of revealed truth is not humility. It’s defiant arrogance. It’s sin. When Christians accept such thinking, they are leaning into the sinful attitudes of our day.
God gave us Scripture so that we may have real knowledge of him and have that knowledge with certainty. The Bible repeats this idea again and again. Luke writes "It seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught" (Luke 1.3-4). Peter echoes this certainty in his second letter as he stresses certainty is rooted in the Scriptures. He writes, "And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1.19-20). These are two of dozens of examples where the Bible directs us to itself for certainty. Christian, praise the Lord that he has not left you to yourself but has in his mercy spoken so that you may rightly know him!
Doubt isn't the problem; it's how we handle doubt. Lack of understanding isn't the problem, there are hard parts of the Bible difficult to understand. Faith knows this, but faith seeks understanding through trusting God and wrestling with our doubts. Again, this is why God gave us his written word, that we might know him in a saving way with a humble certainty. A certainty characterized by a reliance on God, not our intellectual prowess. A certainty grounded in God's own words, not our experiences. A certainty which is humble enough to submit to the authority of God's word. A faith which knows that certainty in uncertainty is not humility; rather it is sinful arrogance. All of this is based on the truth that God has spoken to his creation in the Holy Scriptures. Christian, build your life on this and be certain that you can know God rightly through his word. We must reject today’s certainty of uncertainty by submitting to the authority of God’s Word.
By: Levi J. Secord