Barnabas Piper released his new book Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt is Not the Enemy of Faith earlier this year. The book points out that “God is infinite, beyond our understanding—yet He chooses to reveal Himself in ways that spark questions rather than settling them all. Instead of making Himself smaller, God invites us into a larger faith. One that has room for questions, victories, failures, and mystery. Because belief in an infinite God by finite humans is an act of exploration… a process of learning—and then embracing—what we can’t fully learn, but can wholly trust. Discover the God who not only desires our belief but actually welcomes our curiosity.”
Here are some of our favorite quotes from the book:
God is infinite. While the finite human mind can understand aspects of His character, even those cannot be understood in full. His bigness is too big, His goodness too good, His wrath too terrible, His grace too profound, His knowledge too deep. Because of this, God is inherently mysterious to us. We simply cannot fathom the fullness, or even a portion of the fullness, of who He is or what He does.
I believe; help my unbelief. That simple sentence is the key to the struggles, the ups and downs, the winding road of belief. In a breath he expressed the highest of heights, the strength of virtue, the emptiness of doubt, and the yearning for something on to which he could hold.
Christians who don’t know the tension of “I believe; help my unbelief” might not be Christians at all, or at the least they might be very infantile ones. Our faith is one of brutal tensions. Not everyone can express this, but every Christian knows it. We feel it in our guts.
What the Bible reveals of God is precisely what God wanted revealed of Himself, no more and no less. But it isn’t everything about Him. Scripture raises as many questions as it answers.
God is infinite, beyond our understanding, and He chose to reveal Himself to us in a way that sparks questions rather than settles all of them. God did not want us to have easy instructions and simple answers. He didn’t want us to be able to understand Him so well that we could package Him, wrap Him up, and put a bow on Him.
I wasn’t trying to be hypocritical; I was blinded by the truth I knew. I had fooled myself into thinking I was living by faith in God, when instead I was living a life shaped by knowledge of Him. And those are very different things.
There is an inherent promise of peace in living the life you ought, in living as you were created to be, in honoring what is good.
The Bible gives everything we need, but not every answer – all the necessary truth, but plenty of room to wonder.
When we are in relationship with God, His Word becomes more than a book. It becomes alive. It becomes personal. It reads us.
Doubt isn’t sin, and asking questions can actually strengthen faith.
Trust in God stems from understanding His character, not His reasons.
Questions indicate belief only if you actually want an answer.
Often the intellectual obstacle to belief is a convenient excuse for rebellion.
It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey. -Søren Kierkegaard
If a demon can ‘believe’ in God, what does that mean for my belief?
A relationship with God is the best apologetic in the world. We will never argue anyone into salvation.
I have never known God’s steadfast love more than when I have been at my most ashamed, most broken, most certain He was done with me.
Do not fall into despair so long as you can look toward God and ask for Help.
God can be trusted. Always. Period. Even when we don’t believe.
When we reach out to God, He reaches back and makes Himself known.