Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sunnier Side of Doubt?

If you have been a Christian for more than a week, you have probably encountered many moments of doubt and uncertainty about your faith. We all do, and somehow, by the power of the Spirit, we learn to grow through these trying times. For many, however, doubt can become a major stumbling block to deeper faith. We begin to question whether or not God exists, or if Jesus really was who he said he was. Sometimes our questions turn personal, and we doubt ourselves, particularly our ability to follow Christ.

Renowned Oxford University professor, Alister McGrath, has provided a valuable guide to helping Christians through difficult times of doubt. His book Doubting: Growing Through the Uncertainties of Faith (InterVarsity Press) puts doubt into perspective and offers practical advice for struggling Christians. McGrath suggests, “Doubt is an invitation to grow in faith and understanding, rather than something we need to panic about or get preoccupied with. We must all learn to grasp and value what Alfred Lord Tennyson calls the ‘sunnier side of doubt.’”

The book begins with a cultural and Biblical understanding of doubt, and progresses to specific issues such as: doubt and the vain search of certainty; the personal aspects of doubt; doubts about the Gospel; doubts about God; and doubts about Jesus Christ. It concludes with guidelines for handling doubt in the Christian life.

Full of wisdom, insight and illuminating illustrations, McGrath has provided an important guide to helping students, as well as ourselves, through the difficult times of doubt and uncertainty.

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