About 3 months ago I went through a crisis of faith, and it feels like I’ve barely been able to keep things together since.
The stupid thing is, I barely understand what caused it. Life has been going fine. I felt like I was growing in my faith. I’m involved in my Church community. I would go on-line at breaks at work and practice my apologetics against skeptics in yahoo forums on random topics. Then one day I read an article on the RNA world hypothesis, and another on the lack of historical verification of much of the Old Testament. I don’t know why - I’ve faced down all kinds of arguments from a range of skeptics before - but for some reason I found my hold on my faith slipping. Suddenly a purely naturalistic explanation for everything seemed somehow plausible, and God seemed to shrink back into the fringes, somehow alien and detached.
I have never been a YEC. I guess I could be described as a concordist, in that I thought the Bible and science would just get along. If evolution happened to be the case, no problem, God could use that. If evolution didn’t quite get it right, no problem, God could tweak that. It never seemed incongruous. It never seemed like an inerrant Bible and scientific discovery couldn’t get along. I had problems with the flood account, but figured it was non-critical to the story of salvation and that eventually new evidence would show up to explain things.
Somehow that has all changed. It suddenly seemed plausible that I could rationalize any of my experiences on the basis of biological programming. Even my capacity for belief might be genetically coded. Could I trust my mind to give me any “true” information at all - my DNA is a matter of survival, not veracity.
Even if I can temporarily pull back from the gaping abyss of meaninglessness that naturalistic materialism assumes, I find a Bible that no longer makes sense to me anymore. I struggle hugely with trying to frame an understanding of the fall and the atonement without a historical Adam and Eve. And even if I can find a way to rationalize that, how much more of the Bible do I have to rationalize away. Did the exodus happen? Did Elijah face down the prophets of Baal? Was Jonah in the whale 3 days? How do these things make sense as pointers to Christ, if we can’t trust whether or not any of these things happened? I understand the concept of genre with scripture, but with such core concepts at stake and no time machines, how am I supposed to accept any kind of theology as authentic?
I have prayed, and prayed, and prayed for the Spirit to clarify this for me, or frankly just give me the comfort of His presence. I think I can live with the lack of certainty with any of these things, even an error-filled Bible, as long as I can have confidence that God is there and that I can have a personal relationship with Him. But often there is just a big gaping void in my soul, and I come away from prayer more disheartened than when I began.
I have read the blog entries of all sorts of people that have come to Biologos out of other belief frameworks, YEC or otherwise, and seem to be able to rest in the uncertainties of their positions, but I am clearly having a hard time doing that. I could really use the support of people who have walked this road and come out the other side.