I have long carried with me the notion that doubt is essential to faith, so long, in fact, that I have forgotten the rational underpinnings that bring me to it, but I think they must go something like this:
–to believe without doubt is blind adherence
–to question the proposition is to give life to the proposition
–you cannot have acceptance without there first being resistance
–as faith emerges, the rational mind acknowledges its limitations, and begins to live into the mystery and resolution of paradox
Part of my spiritual walk is, and has been, to enfold doubt into my state of faith. Each re-emergence from doubt becomes a resurrection. I have even tried to walk as an atheist for a while, taking Paul perhaps a little too literally in my attempt to become the other — soaking up huge quantities of Christopher Hitchens, and trying to take on the mindset for a while of a life without mystery, without God. It was an interesting experiment, but every piece of my rational mind cried out that there was more to being than it could possibly know, and my attempt at “No!” ended up with an even more resolutely “Everlasting Yes!”
I think we should, at every point, enfold doubt, and that we will be better ministers to the others for it.