In his book, Battling Unbelief, Barnabas Piper explains the difference between believing doubt and unbelieving doubt. Of unbelieving doubt he says:
When unbelieving doubt poses a question, it is not interested in the answer for any reason other than to disprove it. Unbelieving doubt is on the attack. It is much more interested in the devastating effect of the question itself to erode the asker’s belief and hope in what is being questioned. The asker is not asking to learn; she is asking in order to devastate. She does not want to progress to an answer. She wants to show that there is no answer. Unbelieving doubt is not working toward anything but merely against belief.
Believing doubt, on the other hand, is a doubt which seeks the truth. There is a similar difference between the language of lament and the language of grumbling and complaining. The grumbler consistently questions God’s character. The Israelite grumblers in the Sinai desert repeatedly questioned whether or not God was actually for them. Even after all of the displays of God’s power, protection, and care for them they still harbored a belief that God was brought them out of Egypt to slay them in the wilderness.
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