Plagued by Certainty

Although I don’t often write confessional posts, there is an issue that has been weighing on my heart. Certain discussions throughout the evangelical wing of the blogosphere have led me to finally speak up about an issue that I’ve tended to keep to myself. The problem concerns my faith: I am plagued by certainty.
It’s no secret that I have a high opinion of my own opinion; a confidence in their correctness that borders on the obnoxious. Like Ivan Turgenev, “I share no man’s opinions; I have my own.” But while I may embrace and defend my opinions with firmness, it is a humble form of certitude in which I have to acknowledge that there is a statistical likelihood — whether trivial or significant — that I could be wrong.
Not so, however, when it comes to matters of faith.
I don’t doubt that God exists or that the Bible is his Word. I don’t doubt that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he died and was buried, or that he rose again after three days in the tomb. I don’t doubt that he died for me, a truly wretched sinner, or that I will spend eternity in His presence. I would find it easier to doubt my own existence than to doubt the Nicene Creed. Maybe I’m delusional (though I doubt that) but I have few doubts about my faith.
My certitude is admittedly personal. I believe I have justification and warrant for my beliefs and that if pressed, I could attempt to provide proof and evidence for these claims. The level of “proof” I could give, though, would not provide the same level of certitude for you that I find sufficient for me. Proof is rather limited in that regard. I couldn’t prove that Joe Carter exists much less prove that he likes the color blue, that he kissed Christie Cozart in the 7th grade, or that he hates referring to himself in the third person.
While I can’t prove those things beyond a shadow of a doubt, I don’t doubt them at all. Similarly, my certainty in my faith isn’t based on what I can prove to other people or even, for that matter, what I can prove to myself.

Continue reading Plagued by Certainty