I was raised in an atheistic family and was saved out of that environment after 5 or 6 pre-salvation years of struggling with whether the gospel was real. However, I find myself at odds with many of the feelings & emotions of so many of the participants in the first week’s forum–I never feel angst, get depressed, or ever consider suicide due to my doubts. I guess my doubts are purely intellectual. IF THERE IS A GOD, I believe in the God the Bible clearly communicates: One who makes much of us as humans by loving us and giving Christ to us, that our lives might in turn make much of Him.
The doubts aren’t constant, but they are always in the background. At my conversion, and many times since, I have been fully convinced of God’s reality. Ninety-five percent of the time (I first said 99%, but that wouldn’t accurately portray my doubts) I believe God exists and has revealed Himself to me. I even got three seminary degrees, am ordained, and have served overseas in some hard environments because I desire to make God known as glorious among the nations (I am not trying to boast, Michael–I just want to hit home the point that I really am a Christian.). But the doubt lingers in the background.
I appreciated you saying we cannot immerse ourselves in non-theist resources and not expect the doubts to come. Most of the time, especially when presented in a forum through which I am helpless to respond, my doubts come the strongest at me when I read or listen to the views of intelligent men (philosophers, professors, or just all around cool and savvy atheists) who really have no doubts that God does not exist and that Christians are a bunch of redneck, backwoods, superstitious, pitiable, close-minded ignoramuses. Unfortunately, much of the time I can agree with them on some of those descriptions (I hope that doesn’t sound mean, but do you get what I’m saying?).
I have come to terms with my doubts, always believing (and publicly stating in my teaching) those doubts are my thorn. Do they have to be? Or can God remove my doubts?