From time to time during this misfit faith series, I will be featuring the broken, bruised, limping faith of others throughout history. Sometimes I will agree with them, sometimes I will disagree, sometimes I’m not sure but always they have made me think.
Dostoevsky’s struggles with faith and doubt surely qualify him for membership in our little church of the misfits. Here, in a letter to a friend, he bares his faithful doubt, and begs the question, “To what extent do I love Christ?”
Despite doubt and confusion, do I love him and find him even more attractive than the truth?
I don’t know, Mr. Dostoevsky, but you are very welcome here.
I want to say to you, about myself, that I am a child of this age, a child of unfaith and scepticism, and probably (indeed I know it) shall remain so to the end of my life. How dreadfully has it tormented me (and torments me even now) this longing for faith, which is all the stronger for the proofs I have against it. And yet God gives me sometimes moments of perfect peace; in such moments I love and believe that I am loved; in such moments I have formulated my creed, wherein all is clear and holy to me. This creed is extremely simple; here it is: I believe that there is nothing lovelier, deeper, more sympathetic, more rational, more manly, and more perfect than the Saviour; I say to myself with jealous love that not only is there no one else like Him, but that there could be no one. I would even say more: If anyone could prove to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if the truth really did exclude Christ, I should prefer to stay with Christ and not with truth.