Brian McLaren’s latest book is an absolute must-read. From the first page until the last, Faith After Doubt is a gripping, honest and practical book for Christian who is experiencing doubt.
This in-depth exploration of the subject is divided into three main parts: the first section explains why doubt can be both painful and scary for Christians in particular, the second shows how doubt doesn’t have to signal a deterioration but can actually suggest you are growing in faith, and the third explores how to live with doubt as a companion in the journey of faith.
McLaren affirms that doubting doesn’t necessarily mean ‘backsliding’ by showing how doubt can be a doorway to an even deeper spirituality and by sharing some of his own experiences, such as questioning some of the traditional evangelical pillars of doctrine (ie biblical inerrancy). McLaren creates a safe space for doubters, and ends each chapter with deep and important questions for reflection.
The book ends on a fantastic note of hope by encouraging doubters to consider taking on a new mission of moral and spiritual development. This mission is grounded in humility – he recognises he doesn’t know all the answers – and is based on McLaren’s idea that doubt can be a positive companion along the faith journey. Drawing on inspiration from the biblical prophets, who combined critique and protest with their imaginations, and writing specifically with reference to contemporary culture and a Western Church in decline, McLaren hopes to inspire a new generation of faithful doubters to live out faith expressed in love. This echoes what Paul once wrote: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6).
Be prepared to be deeply challenged and hugely encouraged by this book in your journey of faith… and doubt.