In a culture in which the self-appointed gatekeepers of Christianity insist that faith equals certainty; belief is adherence to an exacting checklist of principles and politics; and belonging is an insular, exclusive membership, Brian McLaren is a heroic gate-crasher. In Faith After Doubt, he invites us into an honest, vital conversation about the pain and shame created by inherited certainty, and the powerful usefulness of thought and doubt. For all those who have understood that doubt and free thinking are failings of your faith, Brian's book will help you live fuller and breathe easier. He illuminates the reality that belief and doubt are not opposites, they are the twin sisters with whom any honest person of faith walks continuously.
Religious folk often find the path of descent into doubt especially terrifying because they've been told their entire lives that they must accept certain understandings, beliefs, or dogma without question. In this important book, my friend and colleague Brian McLaren helps you find a deeper and wiser faith that is enriched by doubt instead of threatened by it.
Former pastor McLaren (A Church on the Other Side) asks Christians to contemplate what faith might look like 'on the other side of doubt' in this smart rumination. Written for those wrestling with aspects of the Bible or their church culture that they don't agree with, McLaren's work introduces doubt as a companion to faith, a 'tough but effective teacher and a difficult but faithful friend.' He uses personal stories to show how doubt can lead to breakthroughs in one's faith, such as describing his experiences in pastoral care while protesting opposite other Christians, who felt no doubt about their racial antagonism, at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va.: 'We need radical change flowing from a new set of values and deeper spiritual narratives ... only doubt will open a doorway out of hostile orthodoxies - whether religious, cultural, economic, or political.' Prompts for 'Reflection and Action' are also included at the end of each chapter: 'How would you describe the differences among certainty, uncertainty, and faith?' or 'Respond to the statement: Doubt is necessary, but not sufficient.' McLaren's persuasive argument for doubt as a means to save one's spirituality and rescue religion at-large might turn off evangelicals, but it will appeal to questioning Christians.
a gripping, honest and practical book for a Christian who is experiencing doubt... be prepared to be deeply challenged and hugely encouraged.
A gripping, honest and practical book for a Christian who is experiencing doubt... be prepared to be deeply challenged and hugely encouraged.
This is a challenging, provocative, and, at times, uncomfortable read, but, above all, it demands action. Churches need to listen to millennials and engage with their hopes and fears. They also need to reach out to those who have left, asking why and where they have gone and being prepared for some uncomfortable answers.