Les Ferguson, Jr.: Desperately Wanting to Believe Again


Most readers are likely aware of Les’s story. His blog, “Desperately Wanting to Believe Again,” offers intensely personal insights into his struggles to cope with horrific personal tragedy in light of his faith in Jesus.

From Les Ferguson, Jr.’s November 7, 2013 article “I Don’t Know Where I Fit In” —


Along the way, a funny thing happened (here’s where I probably lose the next preaching job or opportunity). As I became intimately involved with the lives of hurting broken people—as I came alongside them with the brokenness and hurt of my own life, I found it harder and harder to maintain some of my positions.

Sometimes it was because my positions didn’t hold water in the practicality of living out my faith—at other times, I realized that in the grip of pain and struggle, I couldn’t often afford the luxury of smug self-assurance.

At this point in my life, I have apparently lost the ability to march in lockstep. Or maybe you might consider me a round peg in a square hole.

And it’s not that I am advocating for you to rethink your arguments or positions. I am not all that worried about knowing whose theology is more accurate, yours or mine.

But here’s the rub: things that were once so important have lost their impetus.

I have come to believe that in the context of theology—and in the context of how we live our lives, a lot of doctrine and theology—bad, misguided, or completely correct—is overshadowed by the two greatest commands: Love God & Love Others.

I desperately want to have a ministry again one day. But in the trauma and heartache of my life, I have come to realize that nothing matters more than how I love God by loving others.

Living out that ideology might just be the biggest and best ministry any of us can have.

Yes, I am not sure where I fit into the theological world today… and yes, I respect your beliefs and opinions. But…

I choose to remember the words of Peter in 1 Peter 4:8, Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 


Okay. I have a confession to make. Les’s story terrifies me, and I struggle to read his blog because, as the father of four, I find spending time in his story deeply disturbing.

The same is true, I have to also admit, of John Mark Hicks’ invaluable work on lament and brokenness (Brokenness (123); Comforting Sufferers (12345678); Divorce (123); Forgiveness (1234567); Forgiving God (123)). John Mark’s posts on dealing with his own personal tragedies are hard for me to read. I’ve lived a blessed life, and I shake at the thought of suffering what either of these men have dealt with.

And yet I’m convinced that they speak to a vast audience that is especially important to our Savior. By speaking to the hurts so many feel, they are truly doing the work of Jesus.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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One Response to Les Ferguson, Jr.: Desperately Wanting to Believe Again

  1. Gary says:

    Walter Brueggemann writes in Interpretation and Obedience of the “pre-pain” truth that Job’s friends were so sure of when they saw the tragic condition of Job. I have become convinced that there can be all of the difference in the world between the pat truths taught us by those who experience the pain of others only as onlookers and the truth that emerges from the crucible of suffering of those who must actually experience what others love to debate and hypothesize about. The smug assurance of the former only makes the pain of the latter all the greater.

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