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Faith Vulnerable to Doubt

There is a widely held, simplistic definition of faith as firm belief. To many, especially nonreligious people, faith is seen as absolute certainty despite or without regard to observed facts or evidence. Yet, as anyone trying to live faithfully in this world knows full well, there is no faith without doubt. Doubt is faith's other side, its dark night. Indeed, in an atheist­ing match, I'd put big odds on the faithful any day. People of faith know the reasons to doubt their faith more deeply and more personally than any outside critic ever can. Faith is inherently vulnerable. To live by faith is to live with that vulnerability, that soft belly, exposed.

- Timothy Beal, "The Bible Is Dead; Long Live the Bible," The Chronicle Review, April 17, 2011
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