SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

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

St. Martin's Essentials. Jan. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781250262776. $26.99. REL
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Many Americans have left the Christian church, or experience doubt, and the numbers continue to rise. In his latest book, McLaren (The Great Spiritual Migration) addresses those who are struggling with faith loss, positing that doubt is not the enemy but a vehicle for growth. Thoughtful interviews with people questioning Catholicism or Protestantism relay the personal challenges of reconciling belief with supporting institutions that uphold hierarchy and patriarchy. Writing through the lens of a former pastor who has spent over 40 years examining his own doubt and how to live with it, McLaren offers a schema he created called "the four stages of faith development: simplicity, complexity, perplexity, and harmony." Christian dogma is left behind as McLaren provides broad theological and philosophical context, drawing from the writings of Richard Rohr and Ken Wilber, among others. The author acknowledges that living with faith and doubt is not a linear journey but, rather, one of many iterations. He continues by providing ample opportunity for readers to go in-depth with numerous footnotes, end of chapter discussion questions, and appendixes with extensive resources for an individual or group.
VERDICT A helpful, non-judgmental resource for readers questioning their Christian faith, and looking for guidance on living with doubt.

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