It was heartening, this morning, to read an op-ed piece by Julia Baird, of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She quite rightly makes mincemeat of the truly idiotic glee that is sweeping England’s atheist movement after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said in a somewhat offhand way that he sometimes wondered if God was there (he’s entitled to that, since his firstborn was killed in a car accident at 7 months of age). Shrieks of “‘victory!” arose from the atheist camp, and there were various other unbelievers who seemed to be thrilled to think that the archbishop was wearing no episcopal vestments.
But, as the good Julia Baird knows, “doubt can deepen, clarify, and explain …doubt is not a detractor of belief, but a crucial part of it.” She quotes (or refers to) Calvin, C. S. Lewis, Mother Teresa, Flannery O’Connor (of course), and surprisingly, Benjamin Franklin and Bertrand Russell. My own favorite is Ernst Käsemann’s comment about Sarah’s disbelieving laughter in Genesis 18:12-15: “Sarah’s laughter is faith’s constant companion.”
Here’s the link to Julia Baird’s article: