Doubt and shame

I was surfing around looking for some information and found this (the internet is so fascinating) on the blog After Existentialism, Light.

“[Doubt] is altogether a pernicious companion which has its origin not in the good creation of God but in the Nihil — the power of destruction — where not only the foxes and rabbits but also the most varied kinds of demons bid one another “Good night.” There is certainly a justification for the doubter. But there is no justification for doubt itself (and I wish someone would whisper that in Paul Tillich’s ear). No one, therefore, should account himself particularly truthful, deep, fine, and elegant because of his doubt. No one should flirt with his unbelief or with his doubt. The theologian should only be sincerely ashamed of it.”

Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (Eerdmans 1992), p. 131.

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  1. Catholics will of course not be able to follow Barth in every direction, but what a gift he was to 20th-century Protestant theology, in putting transcendence, revelation, Trinity and Incarnation back on the theological table. Tillich has all but disappeared, Bultmann is fast becoming a museum piece, but Barth is still being studied and appropriated. Barth still matters.

    Barth was also appreciated very much in Catholic circles, especially by Hans Urs von Balthasar.

  2. Allan S. says:

    I have absolutely no idea what this means. Or why foxes, bunnies and demons are speaking to each other.

    Oh well. We can’t all be theologically inclined….

  3. StevenDunn says:

    If you don’t understand the connection between bunnies and demons you should see this:

  4. Jack Hughes says:

    cometh sunday morning I shall need to go confession then

  5. Geremia says:

    The Trent Catechism already mentions this:

    Faith Excludes Doubt
    The knowledge derived through faith must not be considered less certain because its objects are not seen; for the divine light by which we know them, although it does not render them evident, yet suffers us not to doubt them. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath himself shone in our hearts, that the gospel be not hidden to us, as to those that perish.

    This definitely contrasts what the atheist movement and its propaganda like Bill Maher’s Religulous preach, which basically say doubt is good because it allegedly makes us humbler.

  6. Sedgwick says:

    Father, you should send that passage to Obama, as a response to his Notre Dame speech.

  7. Allan S. says:

    That was amazing; I’m a big MP fan.

    BTW, does “StevenDunn” = Fr. Steve Dunn, CP?

  8. schulzte says:

    Veneralbe John Henry Newman said:
    “A thousand difficulties do not make a doubt.”
    Many of us have questions about our faith, but having doubts about our faith is quite a serious matter.

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