Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Book Review - Despite Doubt (21/10)

I’m quite sure that we all have doubts one time or another in our christian lives, but what do with do with them? And after hearing sermons on doubting Thomas, some might even think that they shouldn’t be doubting. Some might just sweep it under the carpet, others may thrive in it, some fall away because of it. So what do we do with these doubts?Despite Doubt

Michael Wittmer wants us to ‘doubt away’. This is a deliberate play of words, he wants our doubts to be away, and he wants us to be honest with our doubts. This book can be spilt into 2 portions. The first portion deals with doubts that most people have, doubts about God, Jesus, Bible, etc… and the second section deals with some questions (doubts) that christians have about their lives, about trust, promise, assurances.

In the first section, Wittmer answers most of the common questions people have against or about christianity. Wittmer does this by taking up their stand and showing the readers about what their belief entails or implies in our lives, if we are to take up such system of thought. Essentially Wittmer wants us to doubt our doubts away.

Wittmer also has a very  written very helpful on the definition of faith and doubts. One example: when dealing with the topic on knowledge, he argues in order for our faith to grow, we need knowledge, but even a greater or fuller knowledge will never be able to obliterate faith. Uncertainty it not the opposite of faith, but rather the lack of knowledge.

In the next section, Wittmer deals with the common christians usually have or face. I especially like how he dealt with the topic of why the church is full of hypocrites (found in chapter 20). He answers this lucidly by showing that the church has hypocrites, simply because the church is good. No one fakes a bad stuff. But hypocrites doesn’t ‘prove’ that Christianity is not real. (Read the book for the fuller answer with explanation)

Finally, this is why I think this book is excellent. Often books dealing with apologetics, they do a great job answering questions, Wittmer does this too, but he goes further than that. He calls readers to re-examine their lives, he calls them to put their trust in Jesus, shows them what it means. And therefore, what he is really doing is to deal answer their doubts, and then to slowly lead them to Christ and discipling them into a church. This book would be fine for either christians or non-christians, and any teenager should be able to understand this book since there are not many technical terms, and they’re usually explained in a very layman language also. Wittmer has also provided discussion questions at the end that would be helpful for group studies, and the division into small but numerous chapters would be appealing to groups who wants to spend more time discussing about them. Or they could be group into multiple chapters and discussed, since the chapters flow very well one after another.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

If you're interested, you can get it here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Here's the trailer:

And a introduction of the book by the author:

[vimeo 70348177 w=651 h=366]

Despite Doubt – Embracing a Confident Faith, By Michael E. Wittmer from Discovery House Publishers on Vimeo.