I’m Taking a Break

For the last few months, my life and faith have been a rollercoaster. This crisis of faith is the worst thing I’ve ever faced, and it’s not getting any better. I’ve been swinging from faith to faithlessness, hope to despair, and joy to tears and back again, all with the rapidity of the changing weather.

What’s more, my blog may be making things worse.

When I started Ex-Narnian, it ended up being one of the best things to ever happen to me. I found a place where I could express my thoughts and feelings without regret. After wearing out my family and friends for years, and after watching my handwritten journal turn into an echo chamber, I could finally sort things out without worrying about wasting people’s time, getting into a bitter argument, or watching my thoughts and feelings turn into a feedback loop.

That’s not how it is anymore. In fact, Ex-Narnian is suffering from the problems I’ve tried to avoid. Instead of helping me work through things, it’s throwing them back in my face. Instead of bringing me calm, my own words are adding to the confusion.

Plus, I’m worried it’s taking you on the emotional rollercoaster that is my crisis of faith. Writing posts is not only emotional and time-consuming, but a weighty responsibility; my words affect the people who read them, and they certainly affect me. I don’t want to worry about that, not when I have bigger worries to confront.

Finally, this blog has turned into a comfort zone, and not the kind I need. The Likes, comments and views are becoming more important than sorting things out. Obviously, I want to sort things out, but I need to do it without being motivated by views and feedback. (That’s why I’m deactivating the Likes, sharing buttons and comment box for this post—so I’m not tempted to log in and see how this post is doing.)

I’m not sure when I’ll come back on the grid, but I’m not in any rush. I want to reach the point where Ex-Narnian is a joy, not a burden. Besides, running this blog makes me feel the urgency to sort out my faith as soon as possible, and all that’s done is impede my progress. Matters of the heart need time, not a timetable.

Before I sign off, I want you to know one thing and run with it: I’m well, I’m hanging in there—and most of all, because of this hiatus on which I’m about to embark, I’m optimistic.

I’ll see you when I see you.

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A Faith in Recovery | Crossroads

Too many questions, not enough answers: That’s been the story of my life for the past 48 months. Ever since my faith was blown up, I’ve been questioning just about everything I believe. But I’ve been avoiding some big questions because I’m afraid of the answers. I’ve caught myself thinking that if I follow the trails all the way to the end, I could wind up an atheist. (That still sounds awful to me—no surprise, considering how badly I was indoctrinated.)

I didn’t want to ask these questions. I’ve been avoiding them. But this week, I’ve asked them, anyway. Since I’ve been confronting things head-on in the last few posts, I want to confront some of the many questions inside my head.

Continue reading “A Faith in Recovery | Crossroads”

A Faith in Recovery | The Best of Me

Whenever ideas land inside my head, the results may vary. Sometimes, the ideas stick. Other times, they make no sense. Other times, they make sense to me at the time, but life and experience help me understand them.

We see this happen all the time. We don’t know what it’s like to lose a loved one until we go through it. We don’t know how to raise children until we have children of our own. And we don’t know what it means to live without comfort zones—that is, until just about every last one has been stripped away.

Continue reading “A Faith in Recovery | The Best of Me”

A Faith in Recovery | In Hot Pursuit

Last time, I wrote that my heart is in a civil war: I want to believe in God, but I’m also looking for an exit. The closest door leads to atheism, which makes atheism look pretty appealing. Frankly, though, I think that’s a royal cop-out. Something else is making my faith and life messier than ever, and atheism won’t get rid of the problem.

Fortunately, I’m starting to realize what’s going on. Instead of fighting this battle of faith vs. unbelief—a battle that has kept me from dealing head-on with my biggest weaknesses—I’m now tackling the weaknesses head-on. I’m now understanding why my faith looks like a nightmare and why my closest relationships continue to suffer:

I’m afraid.

Continue reading “A Faith in Recovery | In Hot Pursuit”

The Trouble with Apologetics

When I was growing up, I went to a Christian school. I read Christian apologetics, Christian literature, and textbooks with a Christian perspective. That school didn’t challenge me to think critically about ideas, but to treat opposing ideas as heresy or pseudoscience or “worldly wisdom.”

Fortunately, my Christian academy education didn’t fail me. I still learned a lot in that school, which prepared me pretty well for college. I have three undergrad degrees and a master’s in a hard science, and now I’m about to start my third year of Ph.D. studies. But I sometimes wish I were better informed, that I knew more about the world instead of the Christian perspective of it.

But I think that’s what happens when you prioritize apologetics over learning. When your foremost purpose for learning is to defend your faith, you may short-change yourself on both fronts. I did. Apologetics didn’t give me a more accurate understanding of science and theology—all I got was an agenda and a sheltering of my brain, and I later faced an extreme crisis of faith.

Now you know where I’m coming from. With that, let me say this:

If you’re counting on apologetics to boost your faith, you might be doing so at your own risk.

Continue reading “The Trouble with Apologetics”