Sunday, April 15, 2012

Amanda (Hontz) Drury on Doubt

Heard a great sermon this morning by Amanda Drury at College Wesleyan Church, best sermon I can remember ever hearing on the subject (I love it when God gives object lessons showing that women can preach every bit as well as men).  One of the lectionary texts for today was John 20, where Thomas doubts Jesus' resurrection.  The sermon should come up on the CWC site sometime this week.

I personally had several take-aways:
  • Don't doubt alone--doubt among friends (although Amanda indicated that the Josh McDowell approach to doubt is less than helpful for the sincere doubter, let me take her one step further and say that the "Oh, you just need to learn a few things" approach to doubt usually comes from those who know far less than they think they know and is just as likely to push the doubter into an even greater crisis).
  • From Karl Barth (pronounced BART): Don't weigh your quantity of doubt against your quantity of faith.  The measure of your doubt doesn't count.  Faith "the size of a mustard seed" outweighs vast measures of doubt (she pitted a bowling ball against a clump of balloons).
  • Wait for Jesus to appear next week.  In John, there is a week between when Thomas doubts the appearance to the disciples and when Jesus shows up to quell his doubts.  It may be more than a week before Jesus makes his presence known to your heart... just keep putting one step in front of the next until it happens.
  • Trust in the faith of others when you are struggling yourself.  For Amanda, she trusted in the faith of John during a hard spot.  You can also read Scriptures and read the creeds and affirmations of faith during a dark spell--focus on what you believe in them, not on what you are doubting.
  • For one of my friends, the main take-away was that you cannot control the "what" of your doubt and you cannot control the "when" of your doubt, but you can control the "how."  Doubt like Thomas did, not like Pilate did.
Great sermon!  Listen to it when it comes up on the CWC site.

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