Lately I have been considering faith and doubt through the lens of deism. I recently heard a skeptic share on the “Unbelievable” podcast that churches should downplay their teaching that God is an interventionist and we should instead teach that God is all powerful, yes, but not involved. In the skeptic’s opinion, teaching a deistic God would alleviate the angst that a believer experiences when God does not intervene the way we wish God would.
At my darker moments I have offered an ‘amen’ to that notion, a deistic God would relieve our hearts that too often cry, “God, why don’t you do more?” The problem is, underneath those moments of doubt, I stand on a bedrock belief that God is indeed an interventionist. God is greatly concerned and involved in our lives. Christmas, if nothing else, is the most wondrous of reminders that God intervenes by sending himself.
Immanuel. God is, in fact, near and close.
Skye Jethani wrote a beautiful and wrenching article on this very thing. I have pasted an excerpt below. If you’d like to read the whole article (and you should) you can find it here.
Looking back to that Christmas in 2004, Isaac’s condition did not cause me to question what my faith said about the future. Instead it caused me to question the usefulness of Christianity in the present. I still believed Christ would someday redeem all things, but with a sick and possibly dying child, a grieving wife, and an angry soul, I needed to see evidence of that redemption now. It wasn’t enough for Christianity to offer a hope for tomorrow, my weak faith—like the faith of so many others today—was searching for evidence of God’s power today . That became my prayer. I needed my eyes opened to see that God was with us and the power of his resurrection was at work in the ordinary brokenness of my world. He answered that prayer.