It didn’t seem like the place to have a crisis of faith.
I guess one place is as good as any for it, but if I was to have one, I always thought it would happen at church or at home or maybe alone on a mountaintop in the pouring rain. Instead I found myself in the dimly-lit office of my college professor. You may read that and think it’s exactly the place you might imagine someone having such a crisis. Maybe I’ll even exacerbate your emotions by saying it was the office of my college philosophy professor. But, for me, the moment was completely unexpected. It almost didn’t feel real, like I was in some kind of dream. What had brought this onslaught of existential reckoning in my life?
Questions about the Creation story in the Bible. Questions about the Bible itself. Questions about God. Questions that all those questions made me ask about myself.
You see, I came from a fairly conservative religious background. I attended a private, Baptist school from 1st grade until I graduated high school. That was *extremely* conservative — like principal-checking-your-hair-length-before-chapel-every-week level conservative. At the same time, my family life was a touch removed from that world, though we surely would still have been labeled conservative by anyone looking in from the outside. We went to church every week. We watched the news. I had read all the Left Behind books and most of Frank Perreti’s Cooper Kids series too. I did Bible quizzing and went to church camp. I knew the Bible inside and out — including one particular verse that routinely found its way to my young ears.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” — 1 Peter 3:15
I was trained to believe that every question could be answered. And all those answers could be housed within my consciousness. If I studied the Bible enough, I’d have them all — all those necessary answers. That works…