The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri): oil on canvas, 1621

Welcome to Doubter’s Parish!

Before my recent retirement, I spent four decades in church work, mostly as a parish pastor. During those years, I always held a special place in my heart for doubters. I loved interacting with people who could relate to the words of Mark 9, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief!” If you resonate with that text, this website is for you.

The sole purpose of Doubter’s Parish is to help thinking people navigate faith in the twenty-first century. In short, it serves as a “digital parish” for people grappling with traditional beliefs and institutional religion in the modern era. Not all the materials on this site focus on faith struggles. However, everything posted here respects doubters, both within and outside the church.

The books, articles, and posts on this website are all free, including my most recent book, My Long Farewell to Traditional Faith and What Remains. The site also provides resources for pastors, including more than one hundred sermons. My compensation is being allowed to serve a parish of doubters, and I find great joy in that service.

            ~ Martin Thielen


About once a month, you will find a new post in this section focusing on the intersection between faith and modern life. The three newest posts are featured on this page, but the older posts are always accessible. If you want email notifications about future posts, stories, articles and books, please go to the contact page and sign up.

A Pickup Communion Service at a 1990’s AIDS Clinic

“This is the table of Jesus and all are welcome.”

TV Interview of Doubter’s Parish Author, Martin Thielen

Martin Thielen, retired parish pastor, joins this edition of Issues of Faith to explore the concept of doubt, and why it's a normal phenomenon in modern religion.

The Antidote to Mean Christianity

Twenty-first century America desperately needs a kinder Christianity.

“Parishes like yours will become home to all sorts of people, so I’m wishing you all the best in your new ministry.”
    ~ Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Leaving Church

“Imagine being sick and feeling the last place you’d want to go is a hospital, or being robbed and feeling the last organization you want to call is the police. That’s how many people feel about the church, especially if they have honest doubts. That’s why I’m so glad Doubter’s Parish exists online … it’s there for people who have few other places to turn.”
    ~ Brian D. McLaren, author of Faith After Doubt

“Martin Thielen has a been a welcome contributor to United Methodist Insight since he began his blog, Doubter’s Parish. His articles are creative and insightful (no pun intended) and touch on many questions that trouble mature Christians after years of wrestling with the incongruities of faith and life. He gives his readers space both to doubt and to believe, and to live courageously with questions that don’t seem to have understandable answers. His writing offers a valuable open-hearted perspective that adds to the rich diversity of thought and action our publication pursues.”
    ~ Cynthia B. Astle, Editor and Founder, United Methodist Insight

“Doubt takes many forms. It’s not always absolute rejection of all beliefs once held. Sometimes, doubt leads us to get ourselves in healthier alignment. Doubter’s Parish is about that kind of reimagination that’s more like getting fit than abandoning hope. Martin Thielen shows us how to doubt is to believe anew.”
    ~ Mark Wingfield, Executive Director and Publisher, Baptist News Global

“I feel as if I were on a desert island sending off notes in bottles and one of them just came back with an answer.”
    ~ Dr. Jim Vickrey, Montgomery, AL, Doubter’s Parish reader

“Thank you for Doubter’s Parish! My entire congregation is composed of doubters. It’s the only honest option.”
    ~ United Church of Christ Pastor

@ Copyright - Martin Thielen & Doubter's Parish
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