On this week’s episode, Brian and Chris sit down with Barnabas Piper to discuss his book, Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt Is Not the Enemy of Faith. Barnabas is an author, podcaster, and speaker who lives near Nashville, Tennessee. He writes regularly for He Reads Truth and blogs at BarnabasPiper.com. He has authored three books, The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity (David C. Cook, 2014), Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt Is Not the Enemy of Faith (David C. Cook, 2015), and The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every Part of Life (B&H Publishing Group, 2017). He also co-hosts The Happy Rant podcast, a popular show discussing issues of faith and culture in a light-hearted, humorous manner.
1. Talk to us about your personal struggles with doubt. In what ways have you found doubt to be redemptive?
2. What are some things that the church can do to help with Christians struggling through doubt and unbelief?
3. How important were relationships and community in your process of working through your unbelief?
4. Is it ok for a small group leader to still have unbelief and doubt? How much should he/she share those doubts with the group members?
5. How can a group leader best navigate those group discussions where doubts are shared and answers are not evident?
I knew everything I was supposed to know, but there was a disparity between that and those core beliefs that my hope rests in. That’s where the doubt lived for me.
That doubt ended up leading me all the way through college…and eventually hit a wall.
In the church, we get nervous about questions because it sounds like somebody is rejecting God, but often that’s an invitation for the Holy Spirit to speak into that person.
There is distinctly a redemptive opportunity in questions and doubts if we see them as an opportunity and not a challenge.
You have to be willing to answer the same questions over-and-over again, because some people will struggle with the same doubts for a long time.
The group context is vital to this, because that’s where the doubts come out.
There are doubts that you can put on the table that can rattle other people. You’re going to introduce a doubt to them that they have never considered.
You have to have a barometer of what’s the right thing to say here, and what’s the right thing to say just to that other member.
The Group Answers Podcast is a weekly show designed to resource, train, and encourage small group leaders. Each episode considers current trends and resources as well as timeless truths and methods of discipleship. It is hosted by Brian Daniel, a Bible study and discipleship expert in Lifeway’s Groups Ministry, and Chris Surratt, the small group and discipleship specialist at Lifeway and author of Small Groups for the Rest of Us.