Christianity requires “a new set of values and deeper spiritual narratives,” Brian McLaren avows in his latest book, Faith After Doubt. “And we need forward-leaning faith communities to nourish these values and narratives….” He might as well be pointing up SSUC!
Emergence Christianity is progressive Christianity for evangelicals, and McLaren has become one of its lynchpins. Those in that circle who remain steadfast lament how he “wavers off the beaten path of the ancient faith”—this is how one of them, John Armstrong, pictures McLaren. His new book will not assuage the likes of Armstrong.
In it, he “proposes a four-stage model of faith development in which questions and doubt are not the enemy of faith,” Humanities and Social Sciences Online explains, “but rather a portal to a more mature and fruitful kind off faith.” We go through simplicity, complexity, perplexity, then, lastly—if we persevere—harmony: it’s “the pinnacle,” according to Christian Century, “the stage in which believers…live out ‘faith that expresses itself in love’.”
Publishers Weekly sums it all up: “McLaren’s persuasive argument for doubt as a means to save one’s spirituality, and rescue religion at-large, might turn off evangelicals, but it will appeal to questioning Christians.”
Faith After Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do About It
By Brian McLaren
Hodder & Stoughton, 2021