cover image Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty

Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty

Gregory A. Boyd. Baker, $16.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-8010-1492-5

Influential theologian and pastor Boyd (Letters from a Skeptic) is not, per se, a confident Christian. Indeed, he wrestles with doubt, and believes other Christians should also. The author inveighs against Christian environments where questioning matters of faith is suspect, and expressing doubt is considered "misguided, self-indulgent, idolatrous, and even dangerous." An autobiographical and theological refutation of the glorification of Christian certitude, this book is a narrative of skeptic solidarity and essay on Christian doubt. It proves a comforting read for anyone struggling with the faith handed to them and a challenge to Christians who rely on cognitive conviction. Boyd bluntly argues that a covenantal relationship with God through Jesus is preferred to psychological certainty, developing his argument solidly with reference to his own story and the narrative of Scripture. Although a bit long and occasionally tedious, this book is highly recommended for skeptic and Christian alike; it could well breathe new life into the dwindling embers of a person's faith. (Sept. 15)