Playing the Role

I read Jonathan Merritt’s interview with Daniel Taylor last week and the last paragraph has been rolling around in my mind ever since. The author of The Skeptical Believer: Telling Stories to Your Inner Atheist, Taylor refers to himself as a “Christian Humanist.”  I’m still not entirely clear on what that means but here are the last few lines of his interview with Merritt…

God is offering us a role in the greatest story ever told. Neither reason or anything else will give us enough information to either accept or reject it with certainty. Even as a skeptical believer, I haven’t found a better story, and so I play my part, as best I can, in what I believe to be the story God is telling.

 I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m a perpetual doubter and this way of looking at faith really resonates with me.  It frees me, actually.  I don’t have to have it all figured out in order to have faith.  I don’t have to hammer out all the details and I don’t have to be certain.  I need only to play my part the best I can.


Taylor also says that,

…intellectual assent to a set of statements about God is not what faith is primarily about. Faith is not a puzzle to be solved, but a life to be lived, and, literally, a story in which one is called to be a character.

I used to consider my faith exactly that; an intellectual assent to a set of statements about God.  But to see my faith rather as a life to be lived and a chance to be part of a glorious story feels like a spiritual deliverance to me; a manumission of the soul.   I can release from my clutches the set-in-stone statements about God, I can stop trying to figure out who’s in and who’s out, who agrees and who doesn’t, and step instead inside the greatest story ever told and play my part.    Because like Taylor, I have yet to find a more compelling story than the one of God’s ardent and abiding love.



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