Are you (or someone you know) going through a season of spiritual doubt? I highly recommend you pick up Andrea Palplant Dilley’s new memoir, Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt.
In our interview Andrea shares how we can navigate seasons of intense doubt; how we can support others who struggle with doubt; and how doubts can ultimately lead to a stronger and more vital faith. -Adam Forrest, Zondervan
ZBLOG: Your book title is Faith and Other Flat Tires, so I have to ask: How is faith like a flat tire?
ANDREA: Faith—at least my experience of faith—is fragile. It’s flawed and breakable. I don’t think I’m alone in my experience, either. Many of us go through phases in our spiritual life where that “faith tire” that was moving us along the road at a strong, fast clip seems to go flat suddenly and leave us stranded. We need help. We need fresh air, so to speak. For me, that faith tire went flat for about two years while I took a hiatus from the church. This book tells the story of how I got back on the road and learned to live with my doubts as part of my ongoing faith journey.
ZBLOG: People sometimes ask you what you would have changed about your upbringing. You write,
They want to know what would have kept me inside the church when I wanted to step outside. (Subtext: What might they do to keep their kids inside the faith?) I tell them, “Nothing.”
So what do you recommend to someone who’s watching a loved one struggle with their faith?
|Andrea Palplant Dilley|
ANDREA: When I was going through my skeptic phase as a teenager, my parents couldn’t do anything to stop me. But they did the only thing anybody can do—they were present to my pilgrimage. So for those who have kids or other loved ones going through a period of doubt, I would recommend the same: Be present. Walk with that person. Listen to them. Hear their doubts and affirm their search. Keep the dialogue going. Share your heart, but in a loving way that doesn’t push that person further out on the margins.
ZBLOG: You once told a class of philosophy students, “It’s better to struggle as an active thinker than to become a passive Christian.” What did you mean by “passive Christian”? And do you stand behind that statement today?