In high school, I entered a skeptic phase that eventually led me out of the doors of the church. My parents saw it coming. My dad started taking me out to breakfast at a local diner, the kind of spot cops go to after the night shift. We ordered omelets in a corner booth and, in between bites of egg and onion, started talking about God, faith, and philosophy. I wanted to know: Why does God wage war in the Old Testament? Why does God seem distant and inaccessible? And why would a good God allow suffering?
"How can I be certain of anything?" I asked him one Saturday morning. "How can I be sure that what I believe is true?"
My dad listened. He affirmed my questions and challenged me. But nothing he said kept me from leaving the church a few years later. While I was home from college visiting my parents, I overheard my mother say to my father, "Why are we spending so much money to watch our daughter lose her faith?" I could hear the panic. Her child was walking out ...1