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Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty by [Boyd, Gregory A.]
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Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Let your questions lead you to a stronger faith

Have you ever struggled with doubts about your faith? Has the Bible sometimes felt like a shaky foundation? Are you afraid to talk about it for fear of judgment from those who seem to have it all figured out?
Gregory Boyd knows how you feel. For him, faith has been anything but certain. In Benefit of the Doubt, he invites you to embrace a faith that doesn't strive for certainty but rather for commitment to Christ in the midst of uncertainty. Join him as he shares with poignant honesty his own inspirational journey, offering reassurance that you can experience a life-transforming relationship with Christ, even with unresolved questions about the Bible, theology, and ethics.

"Even when certainty is inaccessible, commitment remains an option. Greg Boyd is incapable of uninteresting thoughts. And this book is not merely thoughtful; it will be a tremendous help to doubters (and non-doubters) everywhere."--John Ortberg, author of Who Is This Man?; pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
"Boyd has gotten used to exploring new territory, and in this book he dives into the issue of doubt and certainty--and recovers the lost treasure of Christlike humility and childlike wonder. Enjoy."--Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and lover of Jesus; www.thesimpleway.org
"Benefit of the Doubt is a deeply personal yet profoundly theological look at the important role of doubt in the Christian faith. Prepare to feel a little less crazy, a little less alone, and a lot more challenged to take the risk of following Jesus with your head and heart engaged. Boyd is the best sort of company for the journey."--Rachel Held Evans, blogger at www.rachelheldevans.com; author of Evolving in Monkey Town and A Year of Biblical Womanhood
"If you're a Christian who wrestles with doubt or you know someone who does, Benefit of the Doubt is one of the best books ever written on the subject."--Frank Viola, author of God's Favorite Place on Earth; www.frankviola.org

Gregory A. Boyd
(PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is the senior pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the founder of ReKnew. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Letters from a Skeptic, Is God to Blame?, Repenting of Religion, and Across the Spectrum.

About the Author

Gregory A. Boyd (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary), formerly professor of theology at Bethel University, is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, where average attendance has grown to 5,000 since he helped plant the church in 1

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2730 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0801014921
  • Publisher: Baker Books (15 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CIUJX3K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #233,219 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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I finished the final chapter put the book down & my immediate reaction was to praise Jesus and tell him that I love him, trust him and would love help from his Spirit with the many questions this book raised for me. This is a book that helped me to connect more deeply in relationship with God and that makes it very worthwhile.
I regularly read Greg Boyd's books & listen to his podcasts, I have found him to be one of the most profoundly influential theologians for me in recent years. When he initially taught the principles of this book in a sermon series the central premise stirred & excited me. Reading the book was a journey for me for my head and my heart.
Head first. The honest question I confess I asked through reading this was 'does reading this make me a liberal?' and of course the answer is 'no', on two levels. First we don't have to agree with everything we read, (especially useful in the post-modern world) we need to engage with it. Secondly, I don't believe where Greg lands his conclusions here is a liberal position. I say that to say this, throw away the word 'liberal' in association with this book, its a destructive label and barrier and the fear of that label (for evangelicals) could rob the reader from being fed by the truth in the book.
Heart; I found a lot here that was releasing and inspiring, Greg's honesty about his life and marriage, his willingness to recognise the reality of questions about the historicity of scripture, and most of all the clear example of someone who knows and loves and trusts God and is preoccupied with Jesus not abstract truth.
There is some really really significant theological wisdom here, the clear teaching of covenant not contract puts into language something I have felt for a while and been asking God for language to describe.
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Superb book. The autobiographical parts are brutally honest, and will be of immense practical help to various struggling believers. It's refreshing to see such a well known pastor being as candid as this about his own struggles. Boyd reiterates the importance of having a relationship with a person not a book - i.e. Jesus Christ. His reasons for retaining faith in Christ are rooted in considerations beyond the testimony of Scripture itself, as well as his convictions that there are sufficient reasons for believing the Gospel accounts to be on the whole historically accurate.

This frees up believers to continue to grow in their understanding of the Word without being shackled by rigid interpretive traditions. Boyd's approach is a healthy alternative to the 'house of cards' approach, whereby if a literal interpretation of Genesis - or historicity of Job - is rejected, then everything is to be rejected, including faith in Christ. This allows for intellectual freedom, and will help, Boyd maintains, young people who go off to college to continue in the faith without having to believe what might be deemed improbable, and have their growth stunted. I loved the part where Boyd recounted an evening spent over a few beers with his autistic son who brought along a friend with all sorts of searching questions about the Bible and the Christian faith. A gripping, stimulating conversation ensued. Nights like that are great!

Relatively new believers are often the ones with the most certainty. I was one of them when I discovered the five points of Calvinism within a few months of coming to faith in Christ. Not so sure now about this, and a whole host of other doctrinal positions that Christians argue over. Is being less 'certain' really an indication of having less faith?
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I always find myself liking what Greg Boyd writes, even when I disagree with some of his points. In this volume I find myself very drawn by his prime message that our gospel is based on Christ alone, that it is relational and not something that we learned. The types of faith he criticises is not in anyway denominational, and he isn't banging a drum, rather he is leading us back to a true biblical understanding of what it means to believe, and that it is the faithfulness of God rather than ramped up faith in God that is the key.

Confidence will not sustain us, but relationship will.

I didn't quite grok some of the personal stuff he mentions, but some of the anecdotes were very helpful.

Well done Mr Boyd for this excellent contribution to the literature. If he is speaking near you I recommend a trip to hear him.
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Having just read this book it is great to be allowed to really think about what I believe and why I believe it. There are so many people who are held back from really investigating Jesus because they doubt little bits, this book allows us all to come to Jesus and to work out those questions with Him rather than just accepting a formula.
I have really enjoyed this and will certainly read it again as there's too much to take in with one reading.
This is a great book to read without having to have a degree level education to read it.
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If you take your faith seriously, or if you are an open minded non-believer, then this book is a must-read.

I warn you, it will challenge you but please stick with it until the end. If you do, you will be so grateful. Boyd has a special gift, not to be missed.

I also strongly recommend 'Is God to Blame?' also by Boyd.
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