It's fairly common to read about someone's journey from doubt to faith. It's less common to read a book about the journey going the opposite direction. And even rarer that it is penned by a pastor. But that is what Not Sure: A Pastor's Journey from Faith to Doubt is about.
John Suk has served in ministry in various capacities, including the editor of the official publication of the Christian Reformed Church. And in his book he invites his readers into the deeper regions of his soul, exposing what some of us would prefer to remain covered up. It is a journey from an undoubting and unwavering faith of a child, through wracking doubt, and on to a faith of a mature adult that still wrestles with uncertainty.
Suk uses personal, even relational language to describe doubt. He likens it to "a stranger to whom he must be a gracious host", a host who does not spoil the visit with anger or impatience. But in the end, as he puts it, "doubt usually overstays its welcome anyway, no matter how I treat it." Meanwhile, Suk continues to court a lover he cannot have—certainty.
It is not a feel good read, especially during Easter week, but I am reading it because the text I am preaching declares that even in the presence of a resurrected Savior, some doubted (Matt 28:17). At times, some of Suk's transparency is downright demoralizing, not that this appears to be his intent. Unless I am naive here, the book is not written as an apologia for doubt so much as a fellow traveler asking hard questions and pointing out that there are no easy answers. Here are a few examples of doubt drawn from Suk's rather long list—
– I doubt because I wonder how God can allow this to go on when he claims to have already triumphed over evil in Jesus' resurrection
– I wonder why, if God doesn't answer prayers to end genocides or famines he would answer a prayer for traveling mercies
– many Christians claim to have heard a still, small voice and seen the face of God, but I wonder—for I've never had the epiphany so many others claim to have had.
Suk cannot pinpoint the moment he started doubting. A good part of this book came out of a year he and his wife took to travel and seek renewal. Instead, it turned out to be a crisis of faith. Certain events and facts began to build an infrastructure for doubt to inhabit when it was ready. Unfortunately, most of the preaching he heard that year driving around the country did not help—
– spending a year on the road, I heard more sermons that went nowhere and focused on abstract ideas
– we encountered a lot more Power Point presentations that were a jumble of barely related points around a broad theme than we ran into compelling, tightly knit sermons about a single, memorable theme
Over time, the balance between faith and doubt shifted. As he puts it, "I began to mainly doubt, with some faith left over."
It will be interesting to see the response to his book, not that it is novel or new. Saints have doubted, as far back as Abraham and beyond. And our contemporary Christian culture seems to want to embrace doubt and wrap it in words like mystery. And to a certain extent, this can be healthy. Doubt and uncertainty are threads woven into every literate Christian's faith.
But doubt can, as Suk puts it, work like slow erosion, ripping away faith. In my life, I deal with occasional doubts nearly every day, but they draw me back to certainties my faith is supported and rests upon—that God is sovereign, having authority over everything; that He is none other than wise in everything He does; that He could not be more good than He is, and more powerful than He claims. The alternatives, as Suk points out, are illusion and despair.
Torts > Intentional Torts > Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress > General OverviewHowever, the question arises: “What about clients who sought the services of Miller after he entered into the contract with appellees and during the term of that contract?” The answer to that question involves factual determination. The subject contract does not define “employer’s clients” nor “employee’s clients.” It merely provides that during Miller’s employment by appellees the clients appearing on the list “shall be considered clients of the employee and shall be so considered for as long as the employee remains in the employ of the employer.” Although it is clear that the parties intended that upon termination of the employer-employee relationship those clients would be considered as clients of Millers, it is not quite so clear that Miller was prohibited, during the term of employment, from “obtaining” other clients. It is apparent, therefore, that any client whose account was turned over by appellees to Miller for servicing during the period of his employment remained one of appellees’ clients. On the other hand, any client who specifically sought the professional services of Miller because of acquaintance with him, personal confidence in him, or other such relationship, although initially serviced during Miller’s period of employment by appellees, remained Miller’s client upon termination of the employment. Obviously, any client who sought the services of appellees’ firm during the period of Miller’s employment, not specifically acquainted with Miller nor seeking the professional services of Miller, would remain appellees’ clients, notwithstanding that Miller might have serviced the account during his employment.Petitioner’s Petition for Writ of Prohibition is hereby denied.5″Sexual battery” is defined as oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another. Fla. Stat. ch. 794.011(1)(h) (1997). “Consent” is defined as intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. “Consent” shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender. Fla. Stat. ch. 794.011(1)(a) (1997).http://www.findfinanceanswer.com/business/a-guide-to-painless-solutions-for-bankruptcy.html http://www.freebiztopics.com/index.php?page=article&article_id=468222 No. 75-1911OUTCOME: The court reversed the grant of appellee customer’s motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment, holding genuine issues of fact existed regarding whether or not appellant secured party had established that he had a security interest in the stock by nature of an agreement, the giving of value, appellee customer’s rights to the stock, and appellant’s attorney’s possession of the stock.JAMES L. BIERFELD, ET AL., Petitioners, v. PATRICIA C. DE YOUNG, RespondentJudges: Kogan, J. Shaw, C.J., and Overton, McDonald, Barkett Grimes, JJ., and Ehrlich, Senior Justice, concur.418 So. 2d 1265::Howe v. Am. Indem. Co.::September 8, 1982http://www.html5webvideos.com/2012/08/uncomplicated-bankruptcy-systems-an-analysis/ http://www.aboutlapbandsurgeryonline.com/no-fuss-personal-bankruptcy-advice-for-2012/
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