Doubting: Growing Through the Uncertainties of Faith
Alister McGrath, . . InterVarsity, $13 (155pp) ISBN 978-0-8308-3352-8
Western culture is going through an anti-Christian phase, writes McGrath, an Oxford theologian and president of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Doubt, he says, is currently fashionable, hence the continuing need for books of Christian apologetics, which explain and defend the faith. Doubt is normal, according to McGrath, its presence simply an indication that a person's faith needs to grow. In concise, readable and encouraging language, he examines various kinds of doubt (of God, Jesus, the Gospel and ourselves) and offers orthodox theological and biblical teachings as antidotes. Emphasis on feelings and experience in matters religious are fine for new converts, but in Oxfordian fashion, McGrath recommends academic study of the Gospels and Christian faith as well as engaging in traditional devotional practices and spending time with mature Christians as tools for growth in understanding and faithfulness. The book covers well-trod ground, adding little new content, but the language and examples are contemporary and engaging. Some confusion about the audience arises when McGrath alternates between speaking directly to college-age students, the book's primary audience, and providing instructions to counselors, clergy and friends who are caring for doubters.
Reviewed on: 11/13/2006