I have a problem.
I’m a guy.
This means when someone comes to me with a problem my first instinct is to fly into problem-solving mode. I want to give people five easy steps to fix their problem so they can stop worrying about the problem rather than being particularly sympathetic.
Case in point: The reason I’m very open about my struggles with doubt is so that I can be more approachable for those dealing with doubt. I want to help them through what I went through. So when a fellow student mentioned some doubts he was having I sprang into action. You see he had asked a theology lecturer what he thought of Adam and Eve in context of the creation/evolution debate. The lecturer, being a former biologist, gave him a very different answer to the one he was used to. This, understandably, lead the student to become very confused as to what to believe. This is where I sprang into action with my vast library of books on the subject. I immediately went through a list of books he could read on the subject. I told him to read chapters nine and ten of Denis Alexander’s Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose?, Francis Collins’ The Language of God, and John Walton’s The Lost World of Genesis One.
But I’ve recently come to wonder if that was really the right way to handle the situation. The student’s problem wasn’t that he hadn’t been given answers, it was that he had experienced a whole paradigm shift where what he thought was true wasn’t lining up with new information. He had to rethink his metanarrative.
Perhaps my latest episode with doubt illustrates this better.