As our faith matures, as we walk down the path, we'll eventually hit what I've termed "The Angry Atheist Phase."
From my point of view, this has been an absolutely essentially aspect of walking the path and entering into a mature faith.
Okay, so perhaps one needn't necessarily be angry, but I think anyone raised in faith that doesn't go through a period of doubt, uncertainty, disbelief, and perhaps even anger at the faith is missing out on one the catalysts that leads to a mature faith.
Much of the struggle we encounter in modern life (and perhaps throughout human history) is in the face of uncertainty and the desire for stability. Uncertainty produces anxiety, and, well, anxiety vexes us, does it not?
So for many, they cling to their faith from a point of seeing the faith as something that is absolutely certain.
But the smallest investment of time in exploring the origins of things like the Bible and Christianity and so on shows you that, whether God has directed the paths or not, there's a great deal of human intervention.
One cannot prove or disprove a statement such as, "Every word in the Bible is divinely inspired; every word in the Bible is written by humans directly guided by God to write those words." That sounds lovely, and you may take comfort in believing that, but once you read the Scriptures, once you begin looking at extra-Biblical scriptures (not to mention the scriptures of other world religions), that view becomes less and less meaningful and appears less and less accurate.
For some people, this becomes an entirely either-or proposition. Their faith hinges on a literal truth of the Scriptures, which how my faith once was.
But true faith arises in the midst of the uncertainty. One becomes reliant on the Mystery of God, one becomes reliant on God and God alone. There increasingly becomes no external source, be it Man or the Bible or the Church or Science, that can easily and rapidly reduce the uncertainty.
For a long time, we may be angry at a godless reality full of hate and suffering. We may find ourselves furious at the lack of God intervening in horrific situations.
But that isn't all there is. That isn't the sum total of things.
I think another interesting point here is that our ability to judge those things as being horrific and full of suffering is perhaps a sign of the moral order of God. We don't merely accept terrible tragedies as "just the way it is." Rather, our horror, our keen pain, is a sign that God surely lives in us.
I'll have more to say tomorrow.