A little background is needed.

  • Stage 1: Criminal/ Self centered.
    Best served by two institutions – jail and the boardroom.
  • Stage 2: Rules-based/ Black and White/ Certainty
    Two institutions might best serve stage 2 – the military and the church – conservatism.
  • Stage 3: Rebellious/Questioning
    The institution that seems best to support stage 3 is the university – liberalism.
  • Stage 4: Mystery-based/ Doubt and Uncertainty
    They seem to be saying the same stuff as those in stage 2, but every word out of their mouths is slippery.

(Read the background article to get a fuller understanding of these stages.)

As I read this article on the four stages, I asked myself, “self, where are you in relation to these stages?”

Like the author, I did not come into faith from a solid stage one position, I started from a mixture of stages one and three. Likewise, when I came to faith I did not go into any single stage. Although I was solidly birthed into stage two faith, there was always a bit of stages three and four there. (Just ask my wife and mother-in-law who had to live with me shaking up their faiths with my questioning.)

Recently, though, I made a departure from this mixture. I entered into a stage three faith that was shaken to the core. As I went through this phase of my faith walk, I kept the questioning mostly to myself. A year or so ago, I walked out of the wilderness of stage three and entered a phase that combined stages three and four. Today I think I am solidly in stage four but I do have some stage three left in me.

So where are you in relation to these stages?