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God in the Dark: The Assurance of Faith Beyond a Shadow of Doubt

Os Guinness

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Interestingly, God's remedy for Elijah's depression was not a refresher course in theology but food and sleep... Before God spoke to him at all, Elijah was fed twice and given a good chance to sleep. Only then, and very gently, did God confront him with his error. This is always God's way. Having made us as human beings, He respects our humanness and treats us with integrity. That is, He treats us true to the truth of who we are. It is human beings and not God who have made spirituality impractical.”

“The question the doubter does not ask is whether faith was really useless or simply not used. What would you think of a boy who gave up learning to ride a bicycle, complaining that he hurt himself because his bicycle stopped moving so he had no choice but to fall off? If he wanted to sit comfortably while remaining stationary, he should not have chosen a bicycle but a chair. Similarly faith must be put to use, or it will become useless.”

“Sometimes when I listen to people who say they have lost their faith, I am far less surprised than they expect. If their view of God is what they say, then it is only surprising that they did not reject it much earlier. Other people have a concept of God so fundamentally false that it would be better for them to doubt than to remain devout. The more devout they are, the uglier their faith will become since it is based on a lie. Doubt in such a case is not only highly understandable, it is even a mark of spiritual and intellectual sensitivity to error, for their picture is not of God but an idol. ”

“Mastering our emotions has nothing to do with asceticism or repression, for the purpose is not to break the emotions or deny them but to "break in" the emotions, making them teachable because they are tamed.”

“May it be the real I who speaks. May it be the real Thou that I speak to. —C. S. Lewis”

“The Christian faith is not true because it works. It works because it is true.”

“Part of the glory of the Christian faith is that at its heart is a God who is a person. “He who is,” the father of Jesus Christ and our father, is infinite, but he is also personal. The Christian faith therefore places a premium on the absolute truthfulness and trustworthiness of God, so understanding doubt is extremely important to a Christian.”

“the truth is this: We always have sure and sufficient reasons for knowing why we can trust God, but do not always know what God is doing and why.”

“What is the difference between God disguising himself and deceiving us? That is where the principle of suspended judgment operates. Face to face with mystery, and especially the mystery of evil, the faith that understands why it has come to trust must trust where it has not come to understand. Faith does not know why in terms of the immediate, but it knows why it trusts God who knows why in terms of the ultimate.”

“What God is doing may be mystery, but who God is is not. So faith can remain itself and retain its integrity by suspending judgment. Jesus underwrites such faith when he promises, “I am the light of the world. No follower of mine shall wander in the dark.”9 He does not say we will never walk in the dark, but that we do not wander in the dark or have a way of life at home in darkness. To anyone not knowing the anguish of such a situation, the distinction may sound trivial—the darkness appears as dark and the dilemma as agonizing. But neither is ultimate, for the outcome lies with God.”

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