Wednesday 20 March 2024

Book Review: In Defence of Doubt | Val Webb

In Defence of DoubtIn Defence of Doubt by Val Webb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everything you hear from the modern church seems so cut-and-dried. This Truth is the absolute, the Bible is the literal answer to everything; you have to believe in every word it says, or you are not a true Christian. But is that really true?

Val Webb reveals a long history of doubt in the church and how that has moved the understanding of faith and belief-as well as church practices, norms, and culture-forward in many different ways. It's important to note that the protestant church, in its current form, would not be in existence without the many saints who moved in and worked through their doubt and stood up against the church of their day to bring fresh revelation and revival. There are no easy solutions.

Reading In Defence of Doubt is liberating. It gives you freedom to address the doubts and questions that you have about God, faith, and the church even as you discover that this is nothing new. Noted (notable?) Christians over the centuries have struggled over these same questions, and having them being downplayed, glossed over, or left unaddressed is a disservice to everyone.

My only concern (and a wavering one at that) is the last chapter on Interfaith Dialogue. In one sense, I agree with everything she says, but as a whole... I don't know. Maybe I'm not there yet. There are many things in the preceding chapters that, if I read this when I was younger, I would have utterly rejected. So maybe in the future I might end up agreeing with Webb's stance fully, or maybe I'll end up shelving it as one of the things that's not really important to me in the grand scheme of things.

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