despite doubt

My book on doubt is officially out. I’ll say more about it in the weeks ahead, but here’s why this book is different than anything else you’ve read on the subject.

1. I emphasize what you know, not what you don’t. Most books on doubt emphasize how hard it is to believe in God, Jesus, or the Bible. They are so sympathetic to doubt that when I’m done I sigh, “Well, I guess I can believe in God, but why would I?” Despite Doubt honestly grapples with the difficulty of believing in a postmodern world (there is a chapter on Hume, Kant, and Oprah), but it aims to encourage readers that they already know more than they think.

2. I correct the mistakes made by John Ortberg, Henry Blackaby, Bruce Wilkinson, and the majority of philosophers who claim that knowledge is the enemy of faith. Knowledge isn’t sufficient for faith, as even demons know some things and tremble, but faith can’t get started without it. If you commit to what you don’t know you’re going to lose your shirt. Just ask the victims of Bernie Madoff.

3. I address both objective and subjective doubts. The first half of the book examines what we know about God, Jesus, and Scripture, and the second half explains how we can know God’s will and gain assurance that we are saved. Must Christians demonstrate their faith by taking large risks, or does real faith pay cash?

4. Each chapter is short and easy to read, with a pleasant mix of Scripture, philosophy, apologetics, and pastoral application. I think it’s my best, and most important work yet. Please consider reading it, and sharing it with others. Use the coupon on the right to save when buying directly from the publisher.

5 Comments

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  1. I’m not sure, but it sounds like I might like this book.🙂

  2. Thanks for making our life of faith more accessible and understandable. Keep up the good work.

  3. Dr. Wittmer,
    Former GRTS Systematic Theology student in hibernation from seminary here, who follows your blog but this is my first post.
    I really enjoyed the video, now just have to pony up the cash for the book.
    Perhaps you have addressed this in another area or even more fully in the book, but I’m wondering how you reconcile your reference to “doubt” that Jesus had on the Cross (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?) with the other examples in the Gospels where Jesus seemed to speak clearly about his future. Was he doubting that what he prophesied about himself would come to pass?
    Also, if the author and finisher of our faith had doubts, what does that mean for we the characters in his faith story…
    I’m starting to get nervous just thinking about these questions, and I haven’t even read the book yet, and I do not consider myself a skittish sheep.
    Also, Hume, Kant and Oprah in the same sentence had me almost spewing coffee on my keyboard. Previous to reading that parenthetical note, I doubted your thoroughness, believing you were going to only address Kant and Hume without weighing in on the third member of the modern philosophical trinity.

  4. Hi Andy:

    These are good questions, and they’re impossible to answer because of the mystery of the two natures of Christ and of what happened on the cross, which should have been impossible. Jesus is fully God, so of course he knows all things. But he is also fully human, which would imply that he doesn’t. Even he said he doesn’t know the timing of his return, because only the Father knows that. But how is that possible?

    I think we’re better off not trying to explain this, because we never can, and we’ll either fall into the error of Nestorianism on one side or Eutychianism on the other, or minimizing his deity (as liberals do) or minimizing his humanity (as conservatives tend to do). I’m content to take the text at face value. In that bewildering moment the Son was crushed to hell. Even though he knew what was coming, and sweat blood in Gethsemane just thinking about it, he was still overwhelmed by it. I’m not minimizing his deity by saying he expressed an agonizing doubt, but I think I would be minimizing his humanity, and what happened on the cross, if I say that he didn’t.

  5. Thanks for the reply. Both Nestorianism and Eutychianism have been Wikipediaiated ensuring that I now have a comprehensive understanding of both. As always, I appreciate your historical perspective on these issues. It is always humbling to see that these questions have been grappled with for millennia.

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