About Finding Theology

My name is Logan Greenhaw. I am on this earth to help others discover the joy of learning so that they can help create a more brilliant future.

I believe that education is the single most important factor in transforming the world for the better.

Education can/should be a joyous event because it creates a more hospitable world. 

I started Finding Theology to provide educational resources related to theology and philosophy that can help others become more imaginative learners, teachers, and thinkers.

Ready to get Lost? Here's a little bit more about my story

Over the past few years, many of my friends and family have expressed concerns over whether or not I really believe in Jesus.

For a long time, I suppose I slightly enjoyed the suspicious questioning, the inquisitive looks, and the doubtful stares. I enjoy it when people cannot ‘get a good read’ on me because I do not enjoy making faith a matter of simplicity. Philosophically speaking, I really enjoy making faith more of a problem than a lived reality. I like making others question what genuine faith looks like and if it is even a possibility. 

Yet, if I am being really honest…I suppose I must question whether or not I really have faith at all anymore. Perhaps, all of the questions, doubting, and inquisition from others is not unfounded. Maybe they are right. Maybe I do not have faith at all. And, maybe I have deluded myself into thinking I actually believe in the person of Jesus. Maybe I am exactly who others suspect me to be…a doubter.

Most of us are probably familiar with the notion of a ‘doubting Thomas.’ You know, the disciple that would not believe that Jesus rose from the dead unless he had proof? Many of us have probably heard a sermon (a sermon that I have given a time or two) that comes to the defense of poor Thomas saying that it was not an act of doubt for him to desire proof. After all, don’t we all desire and even demand proof of Christ every now and then? Be that as it may, I do not want to offer a defense of Thomas nor do I want to fall into the temptation to call him a doubter. Rather, I want to think about Thomas’ actions and ask myself if it is better to follow Thomas’ example or not.

In John 20:25, we find Thomas saying, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” Thomas refuses to believe in Jesus until he puts his finger in the side of Christ. 

Let’s just think about this for a moment. The Gospel of John invites us to consider what the resurrected body of Jesus looks and feels like. This is remarkable! Jesus’ body underwent trauma after trauma. He was beaten, battered, whipped, flogged, tortured, crucified, murdered, stabbed, and mangled. It is this traumatized body that gets resurrected. And, the Gospel of John makes it seem as if this scarred and wounded body is the very body that is resurrected. Jesus’ body is not made “whole” (from an ableist perspective) in the resurrection. Rather, Jesus’ traumatized body carries the trauma even in the resurrected life. This is the body that Thomas wants to see and touch.

I find that Thomas is not really wrestling so much with a matter of doubt or faith as much as he is trying to understand how on earth Jesus’ traumatized body lives on. Thomas is trying to make sense of how Jesus could undergo trauma and then carry that trauma beyond the grave. Thomas was trying to believe in a God that knows what it means to live with trauma. 

Yet, Thomas does seem–to a degree–to doubt in the possibility of a God (Jesus) that could undergo such a traumatic event, experience resurrection, and continue on. Thomas doubts that it could be the case that God knows trauma. Thomas doubts that God could get what it means to suffer as a human being. 

I share Thomas’ doubt.

One of the things I struggle the most with in terms of believing in God is making sense of suffering. How is it that a loving God could exist while so many people are suffering? How is that an all-powerful God would not step in to help little children from being bombed by oppressive military regimes? How is it that a just God could allow so many wicked people to profit off of the backs of slaves? How could God know what it feels like to deal with depression or PTSD? I doubt that God can get it.

I share Thomas’ doubt.

Yet, I desire to share in Thomas’ faith. 

Thomas seems to make a move beyond doubt. He moves through faith into doubt and then goes beyond both. He has a faith beyond faith…a super-faith. In saying that he refuses to believe until he sees and touches the resurrected yet traumatized body of Christ, Thomas expresses his faith. Thomas–somehow–acknowledges that God can simultaneously be eternal (resurrected) and empathize with us in our traumas (by carrying on the scars). Before Thomas sees, he believes. 

Honestly, the story of Thomas could end without Jesus actually showing up and we would still get the point. Thomas has a faith that leaves the space open for a living God that fully understands the reality of trauma. Yet, the story goes on.

The story pushes beyond Thomas. Jesus does show up and Thomas really does see (and touch) the traumatized body of Christ. Jesus then leaves us with–in my opinion–some truly troubling words: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (v.29).

This story seems to leave us with the idea that faith is the ability to believe in the resurrected and traumatized Christ without having to place our hands in his side. Faith is this odd, extra-sensory phenomenon that does not require us to use our eyes or our hands. 

And, that makes no sense to me. 

So much of Christianity has to do with the body. We take the bread and wine and we taste and eat it. We feel the water of baptism on our skin. We smell the incense bursting from the thurible. We place hands on one another. And the list goes on. Our rituals are inextricably linked to the body. So, why on earth would faith ask us to take place our trust in something that we do not get to first experience with our bodies?

I ask these questions merely to express my vacillation between faith and doubt and to empathize with my friends and family that question me. I think their suspicion of my faith is completely valid because I am also suspicious of my faith. 

When placed in the crucible, I believe that what I firmly stand upon is my conviction that experiencing God occurs in our bodies. Whatever and whoever God is can be experienced through sensory phenomena. I believe that we can find God in the dirt, in food, in the voice of another, in music, in holding hands, in mountains, and in the beating of our hearts.

I struggle with faith when it is defined as believing without touching, seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting, and thinking. I struggle with this expression of faith because it feels like I must abandon my body. When I look at the life of Christ, I see someone who is all about the body…about a healing touch, a weeping eye, dirty feet, torn flesh, and lots of fresh fish. I believe in a God I can eat breakfast with on the beach early in the morning. I believe in a God that appears in flames that warms the skin. I believe in a God that gives me freshly baked bread. So, if we want to call that doubt, then so be it. But, I am with Thomas…I’d like to place my hands on the traumatized body of Christ.