I finished the book all of fifteen minutes ago, so I haven't reflected on it enough to muster a thoughtful response to it yet. In short, I laughed some, nodded in assent numerous times, and even cried a bit. Boyett's story as a doubter is very much my own. These are but a few of the passages that really resonated with me:
After acknowledging the sensibility of arguments for and against the existence of God, he concludes, “God is hard to prove. God is hard to disprove. The existence or nonexistence of God is unprovable.”
Later, comparing “spiritual heavyweights” explanations of mundane occurrences with his own, he writes:
“These super-believers are so full of God that there’s no room for doubt. They rarely ask questions, and when they do, the answers are not the findings of science. The answers are supernatural. The answers are usually the same: God.
God is rarely my go-to explanation. On the contrary, my life is so full of doubt that I can’t find room for God. Does that make me a bad Christian? Am I a bad Christian because I do ask hard questions? Am I a bad Christian because explaining every detail as “God at work in my life” seems like religious narcissism instead of profound faith?
I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.”
“When it comes to matters of faith, I find more in common ground among atheists and agnostics than I do with doubt-free Christians.”
“I am not an emotional person. I’m an introvert. So in a Christian subculture that equates emotion with the presence of God, I shouldn’t be surprised that I ‘experience’ God less than everyone else . . . I don’t experience God very much at all, and I think it’s because I’m hesitant to automatically equate an emotional high with the presence of the Almighty.”
“Apologetics can only take a person so far, and it hasn’t taken me far enough. For some people, intellect may be an exit off the doubter’s road. For me, it’s the center line that keeps me on it.”
“What does authenticity look like when it comes to doubt? In almost all cases, it looks like humility.”
“There are few things that turn me off more than people who speak with absolute certitude about complex issues (like eschatology or the Bible) or deep mysteries (like God or the saving work of Christ).”
“I’ve seen brief glimpses of God, bits of glory and slivers of grace, but never the big picture. This frustrates me because the our world needs the big picture. For all the happy talk about God’s blessing and favor on Christian TV, you don’t have to look very far to find a God who seems less available than we’d like . . .”
Like Boyett, I try to "own up to doubt and keep moving."