Theology vs Faith

Jesus came walking on the water. When Peter saw him, Jesus invited him to walk on the water to him. Initially he walked, then he started to doubt and began to fall. Jesus caught him, of course, and he didn’t fall.

What do you think were behind the doubts that almost caused Peter to lose his focus? I have some suggestions.

  • Peter was wondering about the canon of scripture
    • Should Job be included, after all it is really an allegory, right?
    • What about Maccabees?
  • Peter was wondering how there could be days before there was a sun in Genesis 1,
  • Peter was wondering how, if the bible is literal, did a snake talk as a representative of the devil in Genesis 3.
  • Peter started thinking about how deep the lake was where he was walking
  • All of the above

No one knows what the doubts were in Peter’s mind that eventful moment. The point, though, is that despite all the doubts, Peter believed and did walk on the water. Jesus helped him through his doubts.

I’ve been reading TRUTH AND POWER by J I Packer. Packer has a worthy goal: to help his readers overcome their doubts. In the process Packer discusses a host of topics including the Westminster Confession, views of biblical inerrancy, and recognition of canonical authority. He refers to points made by Iraneus, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Kierkegaard, Barth, Bultmann, and Vatican II, among others. He compares views between fundemental, evangelical, and liberal Christians.

Packer’s exhortation is to see the Bible as a library of books, a landscape of human life, a letter written to you by the Lord, a place to hear the Lord, the law of God, a light to our paths, and a lifeline from God.

But it is the reason for Packer’s book that impresses me. Christianity can be very complicated. Just the fact that Packer writes about so many topics and so many men in making his point illustrates that there is a vigorous debate about so much of Christianity.

I admire Peter. Taking Jesus’ hand, he left all the the points, all the debates, all the doubt, behind. And he walked on water with the Lord.

© copyright 2007 Mark W Smith, All rights reserved.

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