Reading N.D. Wilson’s account of his father’s public debates with Christopher Hitchens put me in mind of a certain kind of Christian I’ve met a few times, and always with a shock: intellectual Christians who don’t doubt. 
As I explained to a commenter in the Mark Driscoll thread, I’ve rarely been without doubt in my experience of Christianity. I had, oh, about 18 months of doubt-free Christian living right after my conversion, but the questions came hard and fast after that. I was basically a faith-less Christian for a while, if not quite an apostate. My faith is stronger now, and less shakeable, because I’ve learned to live with, and draw strength from, my questions while living and worshipping within the Christian tradition. 
So I’m always fascinated by intellectual Christians who don’t seem to struggle with doubt. I suppose all Christians doubt in some way or another (even if only “How do I know God really loves me?”), but I’m speaking of Christians who are, for instance, philosophers or scientists or artists or professional intellectuals of some kind of another, who are exposed to a wide range of ideas, many of which would challenge their faith directly…and yet, they aren’t really bothered by all that. It’s not that they don’t face the hard questions–it’s that they do, and they do it without fear. They consider perspectives that challenge their own, they even find those perspectives reasonable and respect those who hold them…but somehow, the process of studying this stuff never shakes them to the core. It doesn’t keep them up at night, or make them less likely to take communion the next Sunday at church, as it has with me. It may make it hard impossible for them to find a church that respects or represents all their views, but it doesn’t make them see the Church as bunk all through. 
When I was at the nadir of my doubt, I once went to dinner with a friend in New York City who was a teaching fellow in philosophy. He was talking about the range of questions his students had about God, about their staunch skepticism, and how he enjoyed discussing these subjects with them and surprising them with his faith in (to put it broadly) metaphysics. At one point, I asked him how he had dealt with the pain of struggling toward faith. 
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Well, how did you get through the bleak times, when you were first confronted with all these ideas that conflicted with Christianity?” I spent a few moments summarizing my own struggle to believe. 
“I never went through anything like that,” he responded. He told me about how he had grown up in a church with a pastor who loved the world of ideas, and encouraged hard questions from his parishioners. Then, in college, he was part of a group that met with a couple of the school’s Catholic professors in a bar each week and explored the paradoxes and complexities of Christian belief. 
Somehow, these contexts had helped this guy see questions not as threatening, but as, well, fun. Questions were tough challenges, to be sure, but he had an undergirding strength that fixed his way of seeing the world. But it didn’t make him dogmatic, or any less intellectually flexible. He was as curious and open-minded as one could be, and was fair-minded toward others and other belief systems. But he had a quiet peace about the story of Christianity, and he believed in it.  
N.D. Wilson’s story, linked above, gives this same impression. Another new friend of mine who has a background in English literary theory is the same way.
Why is this? Why are some people troubled and sometimes destroyed by intellectual questions about faith, while others handle skeptical claims with a joyful interest? 
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