Research + News | Topic: Doubt

How To Respond When Young People Doubt God

Fuller Youth Institute’s Brad Griffin says that “often what’s underneath those outbursts [of doubt] are really important questions.” Read his blog post here.

How To Nurture Positive Doubting

Many of us believe (or perhaps we fear) that if we question some of the fundamentals of the faith, we’re somehow “flawed” as Christians. Read the article here.

Why Doubt Needs to Have a Place In Your Youth Ministry This Year

In studies from the Fuller Youth Institute, students who knew they had a safe place to share their struggles and questions tended to have stronger faith—both in high school and up to three years later—than those who lacked that safe community.

Read the blog here.

How I Almost Lost the Bible

Had it not been for the first editor of Christianity Today, I likely would have gone the way of liberal scholar Bart Ehrman, says article author Gregory Alan Thornbury for Christianity Today. Read the full article here.

Can You Doubt Too Much?

OrtbergFuller Youth Institute (FYI) features an interview with Pastor John Ortberg concerning the place of doubt within the life of faith. The article is part of a series celebrating the release of FYI’s newest Sticky Faith curriculum resource, Can I Ask That?

From the interview by coauthor Jim Candy with Ortberg:

JIM: Ok, first question. Why are doubt and questioning important to faith development?  

JOHN: Doubt and questioning are critical to faith development because young people need to make the faith their own. They can’t simply inherit or adopt it from their parents or other family members. It’s very important for churches to understand that faith cannot be conjured up by an act of the will. A young person’s sense of certainty about faith is a result of studying, learning and pondering. It’s not something that happens just by direct effort.

Read the entire interview here.

Related CTI resource (.pdf): Affirming Doubt: Helping Students Ask and Answer Tough Questions

Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity

In an article for The Atlantic, Larry Alex Taunton, founder and executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation, reflects on his many conversations with young atheists. He writes, “That these students were, above all else, idealists who longed for authenticity, and having failed to find it in their churches, they settled for a non-belief that, while less grand in its promises, felt more genuine and attainable.” Taunton also lists seven key takeaways from his interviews with college student atheists:

They had attended church

The mission and message of their churches was vague

They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life’s difficult questions

They expressed their respect for those ministers who took the Bible seriously

Ages 14-17 were decisive

The decision to embrace unbelief was often an emotional one

The internet factored heavily into their conversion to atheism

Read the full article here.