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Theological Anxiety: Underneath All the Theological Debating

I believe that underneath all of the current theological debate is a theological anxiety that is intolerable to many people. The need for certainty in everything is a way to assuage one’s anxiety…an anxiety that is normal as we wrestle with the things of God.

We must be able to live with a certain amount of anxiety…it is a part of faith.

“A partisan of the most rigid orthodoxy may be demoniacal. He knows it all, he bows before the holy, truth is for him an ensemble of ceremonies, he talks about presenting himself before the throne of God, of how many times one must bow, he knows everything the same way as does the pupil who is able to demonstrate a mathematical proposition with the letters ABC, but not when they are changed to DEF. He is therefore in anxiety whenever he hears something not arranged in the same order. And yet how closely he resembles a modern speculative philosopher who found a new proof for the immortality of the soul, then came into mortal danger and could not produce his proof because he had not his notebooks with him.”
Soren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Dread (Anxiety)

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rhettsmith@churchleaders.com'
I'm a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (MDiv, MSMFT, LMFT-A) and pastor to youth and families. I write about the relationships between psychology, theology and technology.