I'm reading Introduction to Christianity by Joseph Ratzinger, better known as Pope Benedict XVI. He was a theologian before he became Pope. This book was first published in 1968 — in German. It is a surprisingly readable and enlightening book. I say surprising, as many of the Catholic blogs I stumble upon and read seem to be in their own separate world, talking about different issues using different concepts and different vocabulary. But B16 has a direct and engaging style. Take his first chapter, "Doubt and belief — Man's situation before the question of God."
He opens the chapter with a discussion of Kierkegaard's story of the clown and the burning village to illustrate that theologians just don't get much respect in the world today. He goes on to suggest the problem is deeper than simply people not being willing to take what they suppose to be a clown act with sufficient gravity: "In the strangeness of theology's aims to the men of our time, he who takes his calling seriously will clearly recognize not only the difficulty of the task of interpretation but also the insecurity of his own faith, the oppressive power of unbelief in the midst of his own will to believe" (p. 41). Insecurity of one's own faith — that's not the sort of thing one hears at General Conference.
Then he closes the chapter with a story from Martin Buber, which ends with a wise Rabbi concluding, "But perhaps it is true after all." The point is that doubters doubt their own doubting. Benedict's commentary:
In other words, both the believer and the unbeliever share, each in his own way, doubt and belief, if they do not hide from themselves and from the truth of their being. Neither can quite escape either doubt or belief .... (p. 46-47.)
It would be unfair to end with that quote, so I'll add a bit more. By Chapter 5 he has moved forward to "Faith as Standing Firm and Understanding," in which he renders Isaiah 7:9 ("If you do not believe, then you do not abide" or KJV "If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established") as, more literally, "If you do not believe [if you do not hold firm to Yahweh], then you will have no foothold" (parenthetical explanation and italics in original). Then he adds this commentary on the Hebrew root 'mn (amen) which appears twice in that verse:
It includes the meanings truth, firmness, firm ground, ground, and furthermore the meanings loyalty, to trust, entrust oneself, take one's stand on something, believe in something; thus faith in God appears as a holding on to God through which man gains a firm foothold for his life. Faith is thereby defined as taking up a position, as taking a stand trustfully on the ground of the word of God. (p. 69.)
Standing for something ... sounds strangely familiar.