cover image Faith After Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do About It

Faith After Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do About It

Brian McLaren. St. Martin’s Essentials, $26.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-25026-277-6

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. (Jan.)