'The Thinker' photo (c) 2007, Stephen Carlile - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/Seminary is tough. I don’t mean just the assignments, tests, papers, and other work.  I mean the work of actually digging into Scripture and the faith, taking an honest look into it, and wrestling with tough issues.  Looking over the breadth of Biblical Studies and Church History as disciplines can cause discomfort. Big words like redaction criticism, source criticism and inerrancy/infallibility can be admittedly distressing. As mentioned previously in my other posts about seminary, it can even rattle or (God forbid!) destroy your faith. But you know what? Sometimes we need to be challenged in our faith and be prompted to dig deeper than before and develop a more complete understanding of the faith.

Sometime it is easier to stop thinking and turn on the cruise control button.  Sometimes it is easier to just become a full-fledged fundamentalist and develop a bunker mentality.

Yes, it is easier to stop thinking.  But it is just not worth it.

As I have said before, Christianity is an incredibly deep religion and the annals of its history provides comfort for those who are in despair. Other people have faced similar doubts and encountered troubling questions (including this writer!). If that is you, I beg you to not just stop at the questions you might have and never look for an answer. Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, and Mother Theresa (among others) will help you through problems.  I am so thankful for contemporary people like Rachel Held Evans who is incredibly honest about Christianity. She helps remind me frequently in her blog that it is OK to wrestle with the Bible and the passages that might disturb you.

I am so grateful for the giants of the faith who have helped me to overcome issues and wrestle with tough questions.  I am also very grateful for the faithful servants who might never have their names in a Church History book or blog, but still impacted my life. While I am still haunted by many issues posed in the pages of Scripture, I know and trust that I will not fully grasp everything this side of the River Jordan.  Nevertheless, I will still walk the path of being a disciple of Jesus, even when it gets a little uncomfortable.

Sometimes it pays to be uncomfortable.