Monday, May 17, 2010

Analytical Belief vs. Skeptical Doubt

I don't mind the term Skeptical Believer, but I make sure I define it carefully and clearly.

I think the heart of being a Skeptical Believer is rooted in belief. I think the skepticism comes from belief - that we believe there is a God (and a way for us to conceive of Him), but we are skeptical of our ability to understand Him perfectly. Therefore, we believe what we believe, but we are always open to more - or to alteration - or to insight from others - or however else someone might want to say it. Perhaps a better term would be an Analytical Believer.

I personally have no doubts about the Restoration and the Church that are serious enough to cause me great angst or make me leave - and I am skeptical that I ever will have doubts that drive that deeply. The very definition of belief I use is such that the things I question or don't understand simply aren't as important as the things I believe. My belief is primary, and my skepticism in my own ability to know it all simply drives my attempts to understand better and more fully.

It's kind of like godly sorrow vs. the sorrow of the damned. One drives someone forward; the other drags someone down. My "skepticism" of my own understanding drives me forward, focused on the future and the positive; the skepticism I see in some others keeps them constantly focused on the past and the negative. I am extremely happy, and I just don't care about tearing down others; some others are not happy, and they seem to find their purpose in negativism and mockery.

I am an Analytical Believer; they are skeptics.