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25 July 2016: ‘Progressive Spirituality Boldly Doubting Still’ by Val Webb video lecture led by John

The lecture was recorded under the auspices of the St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, Wellington on 1 September 2014.

Some quotations worth recording:

  • At the bottom of great doubt lies great awakening – no doubt, no awakening!
  • Doubt in any area of life is healthy, but for many people in religion doubt is not OK.
  • Silencing the doubter is a form of abuse – “it’s all her fault”.
  • Martin Luther endured years of agony before he challenged the Church.
  • Being freed to doubt “my chains fell off, my heart was free..”
  • Doubt is not the opposite of faith.
  • The opposite of faith is to be without faith, and the opposite of belief is unbelief
  • Unfortunately, many church communities are not hospitable spaces for doubters.
  • The sturdiest faith comes out of a struggle with doubt.

…and many more!

She also gave an interesting summary of the Gospel of Thomas, and her explanation as to why Thomas was given such a bad press because of his requests for evidence.

Val Webb has a pleasant conversational style of presentation, and all our group were certainly given encouragement in our faith journeys.