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The Myth of Certainty: The Reflective…

The Myth of Certainty: The Reflective Christian & the Risk of Commitment

by Daniel Taylor

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229478,245 (4.24)1
Do you feel equally uncomfortable with closed-minded skepticism and closed-minded Christianity?If so, then The Myth of Certainty is the book for you. Daniel Taylor suggests a path to committed faith that is both consistent with the tradition of Christian orthodoxy and sensitive to the pluralism, relativism and complexity of our time.Taylor makes the case for the reflective, questioning Christian with both incisive analysis and lively storytelling. His brief fictional interludes provide an alternative way to explore key issues of belief and vividly depict the real-life dilemmas Christians often face.Taylor affirms a call to throw off the paralysis of uncertainty and to risk commitment to God without forfeiting the God-given gift of an inquiring mind. Throughout he demonstrates clearly how much the world and the church need people--maybe people like you--who are willing to ask tough questions.… (more)



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First published in 1986, this book explores what it’s like to be a Christian caught between two worlds—that of the close-minded Christian and the sometimes equally close-minded skeptic. Such a Christian might feel frustrated by the tendency of some in the church to dismiss difficult questions or to refuse to really engage with thinkers who challenge them. They might feel equally irritated by those outside the church who blithely dismiss any beliefs that cannot be rationally proven and paint all Christian beliefs as a sign of anti-intellectualism.

Although I rarely feel all that torn these days, I do I consider myself such a Christian. Most of what Taylor said about the nature of truth and belief resonated with me. And I liked a lot of what he has to say about being willing to listen with care to all points of view and to accept the possibility of being wrong. Taylor intersperses his thoughtful discussion with a narrative about Alex, a literature professor at a Christian college, and his encounters with various not-so-reflective Christians and non-Christians who display some appalling attitudes toward anyone whose beliefs are different from theirs. As head-shakingly entertaining as these anecdotes were, I think they weakened the book and limited its value to those outside Taylor’s core audience. The characters all felt like straw men to me, and their arguments were so silly that they were easy to dismiss.

See my complete review at Shelf Love. ( )
  teresakayep | Mar 16, 2011 |
This is a book about snubness. It is fantastic. ( )
  SamTekoa | Aug 2, 2010 |
The ability to believe and to question, to trust and to press on truth - these are the marks of real Christian spiritual health. They indicate a faith which knows the solidity of the foundation of Jesus Christ so well that no dialogue or inquiry present a risk to that trust. Taylor's expression of his faith is refreshing and encouraging and opens the door to genuinely trusting in the person of Jesus Christ without having to leave your head at the door. ( )
  PastorBob | Nov 25, 2008 |
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