If I asked a Christian, “Do you believe it’s possible Jesus never rose again from the dead?” I could provoke a strong reaction, “No! It’s not possible!” Why? The resurrection is critical to Christianity. Lose this and you lose the foundation for your faith. Doubt is a door you dare not open. If you do, your whole belief will come crashing down.
Or maybe not!
My daughter Sophia was ten years old when she first held a copy of my book, “A Jigsaw Guide to Making Sense of the World.” Flipping through the pages she told me, “Dad that’s the first chapter I’m going to read.” It was chapter five: deal with doubt. I didn’t throw my hands up in the air. I didn’t cry about how I’ve failed as a father. I didn’t swear Sophia to secrecy, “Don’t tell anyone, my reputation could be ruined!” I gave her a hug and smiled. She was already thinking about her faith, digging deeper and being brave enough to ask the kind of questions that will make her faith her own.
American philosopher, Charles Pierce said “the action of thought is excited by the irritation of doubt,” and when doubt is the expression of a question that encourages reflection, it’s a good thing. The willingness to say “I could be wrong” doesn’t have to dismantle your faith and drag you down. It can be the first step toward thinking about all the reasons why you believe you are right.
In a way, the Apostle Paul was willing to say, “I could be wrong!” You probably wonder what I’m talking about. Well, the powerful passage in 1 Corinthians 15 contains the foundation for the Christian faith: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul gives a tremendous defence for the resurrection, citing many eye-witnesses of this supernatural event – including himself, but that’s not all…
If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead…If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.
1 Corinthians 15:14-17
What? Paul acknowledges it’s a logical possibility that Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead – with painful consequences, but this doesn’t undermine his message. It creates a platform to share the many (many) reasons to believe Jesus was resurrected. Paul was willing to say, “I could be wrong…” but only so he could follow this up with “…but let me tell you the reasons why I believe I am right!”
If you’re a Christian don’t choke on the words “I could be wrong...” Dig deeper into your faith to know what you believe and the reason why you believe it. Then you can follow this up by saying, “… but let me tell you the reasons why I believe I am right!”
Author and speaker.