How Lee Strobel, NY Times Best-Selling Christian Author, Wrestles With Doubt
by Craig M Springer
Down-to-the-bone honest Christians will always admit that doubt is something which never disappears. Doubts emerge with every new page turned in life and faith. However, doubt doesn’t have to get the best of us. In a recent interview with me, Lee Strobel, New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty books, unpacks the importance of the doubt – hope dynamic for our faith and how he wrestles with his own doubts in life.
CMS: You say that doubt is not a sinful offense, this might be a surprise to what most Christians have been taught, can you explain your reasoning?
LS: It’s really important how we regard doubt. If we believe it’s sinful or embarrassing, we tend to keep our questions to ourselves rather than bring them out into the light of day and seek answers. When we hold them in, our doubts can fester and begin to eat away at our soul. But when we express them and sincerely search for answers, we generally find that our doubts lose their grip on us.
Think about how Jesus reacted when John the Baptist expressed doubts about Jesus’ identity. If anyone should have been totally confident of Jesus being the unique Son of God, it was John. He once pointed to Jesus and said, “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” But then he gets arrested — and it’s when tough times hit that doubt often creeps in. He’s in his cell and he begins to wonder whether Jesus is really who he claimed to be.
So John dispatches a couple of friends to track down Jesus and ask him point-blank if he’s the one they’ve been waiting for. And how does Jesus react? With anger? With disgust? By condemning John as an irredeemable sinner? No, he replies, “Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” In other words, go back to John and tell him about the evidence you’ve seen with your own eyes that I am the one I claim to be.
Does this incident poison John in the mind of Jesus? No. It’s later that Jesus gets up before a group and says, “Among those born of women, there’s no one greater than John.” John, the doubter!
I believe it’s okay to express questions, hesitations, and even doubts, as long as we do what John did: sincerely pursue answers…
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