Book Review: Faith After Doubt by Brian D. McLaren
Deena M. Lin
Vol. 3, No. 1
Deena M. Lin, Brian McLaren, Brian D. McLaren, Faith, Doubt, Progressive Christianity, Theology
In Faith After Doubt, Brian McLaren formulates doubt as a means to enhance and enrich religious faith. In progressive fashion, doubt is reclaimed as a means to develop faith, such that believers can aim towards a greater solidarity with others and practice revolutionary love. By providing a nuanced analysis of faith, McLaren takes a phased approach where believers experience increased levels of wisdom and spiritual depth as they engage in different levels of doubt. This text may offer assistance to those who have been discouraged and fearful of entertaining doubt in their spiritual lives. Through invoking a healthy skepticism of inherited doctrines passed down by dogmatic Christianity, individuals are provided a means to further develop their faith as opposed to becoming disjointed from it. Much of this text constructs a progressive future for Christianity in an effort to ensure its relevance and continued survival. Beyond the complex analysis given to faith and doubt in this work, it is lacking a robust means to ensure that Christians will enact the revolutionary love McLaren aims to achieve. To impart such a vision of love requires practicing radical hospitality towards the most vulnerable, and believers cannot remain complicit to a toxic form of orthodoxy. Pursuing social justice aims necessitates an activist faith that critically probes dogmatic theology; and by making allowances for the faith commitments of all believers irrespective of consequence, this project remains a tepid means to further a truly progressive evolution of Christianity.