Thomas used to shock me. I agreed with John Calvin that “the stupidity of Thomas was astonishing and monstrous . . . he was not only obstinate, but also proud and contemptuous in his treatment of Christ.” To be called a Doubting Thomas would have been a soul-shaking insult to my faith.
All atheists, agnostics and garden-variety doubters used to shock me. I had a visceral, self-righteous reaction to books like The God Delusion. I thought I needed to provide a leakproof defense for the faith or serve up spiritual bromides to calm the discomfort in my own mind, even if they failed to resolve the questions in someone else’s mind.