When you think about it rationally, it does seem incredibly improbable that there is a God.The tragedy is not that someone should lose their faith, but that the first time they come across any reason for doubting, the faith that sustained them for so long it is immediately jettisoned as make-believe. he says:
I was so preoccupied with training and competing that I did not have the time or emotional inclination to question my beliefs. Sport is simple, with simple goals and a simple lifestyle. I was quite happy in a world populated by my family and close friends, people who shared my belief system.It seems to me that Edwards faith must have been so rigid and so complete in its construction that the moment one part looks like its could be pulled loose he abandons the whole thing completely. Interestingly the new found scepticism towards his lifelong faith is not applied to his doubts. There is no sense in the Times interview that there is any other rational way to approach the subject, or that the assumptions of materialism should ever be doubted. Edwards states that
Once you start asking yourself questions like, ‘How do I really know there is a God?’ you are already on the path to unbelief.But this is not true. A faith that acknowledges doubt, that is honest about difficult questions is not a faith that is heading for unbelief. On the contrary, a faith that never questions that cannot change, or admit it was wrong about something, that accepts everything without discussion, is only one step away from atheism because it has no way to grow or adjust. Its completeness and rigidity give the illusion of stability but are in fact just one good shake away from total collapse. This is why churches should be places for discussion and conversation not dogma and lines drawn in the sand. Making disciples is not about conforming people to a set of beliefs or theological system but about teaching them to ask questions and to develop their own real, growing, and meaningful relationship with the reality that transcends the universe, God. This is why when you choose your heroes, pick people not for the certainty they display, but for the way they have been able and willing to change. Not for their faith to a belief that has never been tested but for their willingness to be tested and listen to the questions that they can't answer straight away. Socrates famously said that 'the unexamined life is not worth living,' I quite agree, but would go further and say the unexamined faith is no faith at all, just a superstition awaiting destruction by the next unexpected turn life takes.
When I came to NZ my faith was at a crossroads. Working in pastoral ministry had given me lots of questions that i hadn't had the time or resources to explore. By taking the time out to study and probe these doubts and issues, I knew I was taking a risk, but I also knew that if God was worth believing in at all, God could handle both my doubting and answer my questions. This is why theological education is so important for those in Christian leadership, an enthusiastic but shallow faith wont last the long haul, I know because I was finished after five years. But a faith that is always learning and growing has no reason to ever crumble, because doubts are not there to destroy but are catalysts for greater honesty, depth and humility in your walk with God.