[PDF/EPUB] Benefit of the Doubt ↠ Gregory A. Boyd

10 thoughts on “Benefit of the Doubt

  1. says:

    In his new book Benefit of the Doubt Greg Boyd seeks to show the reader the difference between Biblical faith and Certainty Seeking faith which at its core is idolatry Boyd argues strongly against the model of faith that says “the psychologically certain you are the stronger your faith is In this conception of faith therefore doubt is an e

  2. says:

    This is one of several books on doubt and christianity that has come out in the last couple years a few others Barnapas piper help my unbelief Pete Enns The sin of certainty I think this was a good book but not a great book To be honest I think people would be better off listening to the house of cards sermon series that Greg preaches to learn the essential core ideas of Boyd's thoughts on faith and doubt which I will uickly summarize as 1

  3. says:

    Great read perspectiveI love how Boyd explains what faith truly is as found in the New Testament We fInd that it has much t

  4. says:

    I read a lot of books but this might be the first book I've read where I found myself thinking that this is the sort of book I'd want to write I felt like Greg was at times writing out my own thoughts If you've ever struggled with doubt or just felt like you aren't a good Christian because you don't feel as certain as others around you appear to this book is for you Greg writes both as a brilliant scholar and

  5. says:

    Doubt for many christians has become a bad word Many in fact are told not to let any doubt enter their minds Worse yet they are told not to speak any doubting words While some say not to even mention a doubtful word Boyd has written a book about the positive effect that doubt can play in our lives How can we have such opposing views on dou

  6. says:

    Every book I have read by Greg Boyd has impacted my life and my faith in ways I never expected always drawing me closer to Jesus Greg is a Jesus freak in the best sense of the word always honoring Jesus and placing him above all elseI give Be

  7. says:

    I really enjoyed this book though I'm not sure I'd recommend it to just anyone Parts of it were easy to read but parts of it reuired a little effort For me the effort was worth itA lot of us have been given a flavor of Christianity that comes with a lot of baggage And some of us have been told it's a package deal Either you believe all of it or none of it And so unfortunately lots of people choose none of itGreg helps expose the flaws in t

  8. says:

    Faith is sometimes contrasted with the reality of doubt We believe we ought to believe uestions and skepticism sometimes make us feel like we don't believe enough If we could simply believe wouldn't our prayers be powerful Wouldn't we see God do incredible things If mustard seed faith can move mountains how much our mountain of true beliefBut Greg Boyd argues that it doesn't work that way We are not saved by our certaint

  9. says:

    I have always been naturally inuisitive Even as a little kid I grilled my parents with uestions about providence f

  10. says:

    Every once in awhile I need a shot of Greg Boyd and Woodland Hills to remind me how loving God is and how muddi

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Onship with Christ is possible even with unresolved uestions about the Bible theology and ethics Boyd shares stories of his own painful journey and stories of those to whom he has ministered with a poignant honesty that will resonate with readers of all ag I have always been naturally inuisitive Even as a little kid I grilled my parents with uestions about providence fore knowledge science history etc I wasn t content with only knowing what I believed I wanted to know why I believed it and why I should believe it As I ve grown older I ve retained that spirit of inuiry however my uestions have matured and grown complex Out of necessity I have had to become comfortable with a considerable amount of ambiguity in my worldview Often I admit that I really have no idea what a certain passage means or what perspective on a certain theological issue is correct or whatever Sometimes I wonder if something is wrong with me because it seems that no one else is asking the same uestions that I am I wonder why the world seems so simple for countless others yet I m confused and unsure on heaps of issuesIt is with this mindset that I received Greg Boyd s latest work Benefit of the Doubt Breaking the Idol of Certainty courtesy of Baker publishing The book claims to help followers of Jesus embrace a faith that doesn t strive for certainty but rather for commitment to Christ in the midst of uncertainty As you can guess from my preface this book had great appeal to me I certainly no pun intended have had my share of doubt and have wrestled with intense feelings of cognitive dissonance so I approached this book with hopeful anticipation that it would lay a groundwork for how I ought to respond to these feelingsIn short I did not find Boyd s overall proposal convincing I am not going to summarize chapter by chapter but I will point out the areas that I found helpful and those that I did notREAD THE REST AT freedominorthodoxyblogspotcom

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Benefit of the Doubt

In Benefit of the Doubt influential theologian pastor and bestselling author Gregory Boyd invites readers to embrace a faith that doesn't strive for certainty but rather for commitment in the midst of uncertainty Boyd rejects the idea that a person's faith In his new book Benefit of the Doubt Greg Boyd seeks to show the reader the difference between Biblical faith and Certainty Seeking faith which at its core is idolatry Boyd argues strongly against the model of faith that says the psychologically certain you are the stronger your faith is In this conception of faith therefore doubt is an enemy Boyd says that this model of faith is gravely mistaken and damaging to the believer the Church and the mission of God He has multiple objections against certainty seeking faith including how it makes a virtue of irrationality it makes God in the image of Al Capone replaces faith with magic reuires inflexibility and thus creates a learning phobia tends towards hypocrisy creates the danger of certainty and leaves the one with certainty seeking faith only concerned with their belief being true not having a true belief and finally that certainty seeking faith is idolatrous If that list doesn t whet your appetite to dive into this book I am not sure what willBoyd s general admonition and apparent motive for writing is that the believer should doubt meaning that the believer should consider other truth claims and seek to know whether heshe is right or wrong and should be applied by all If the Christian claim is true it will be proven true even under scrutiny If the Christian claim is false then the believer should desire to know that than anyone regardless of the cognitive dissonance this will assuredly bring If as Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living then Boyd is right in saying that this applies to faith as well The unexamined faith is not worth believing While I wholeheartedly agree with Boyd s point of the dangers of certainty seeking faith and the need to doubt and to examine there were many parts of this book I struggled with greatly It seemed oftentimes that Boyd was embracing pluralism and submitting Scripture God s revelation of Himself to us to culture and to our experience Boyd s handling of the book of Job is at times simply horribleHe begins early on by making the claim that God was surprised when Satan appeared in Heaven and uses Job 17 as his evidence of this surprise He then goes on to show how Satan forces God to act via his cleverness and God s apparent inability to keep control and His motivation not to lose face after being unwittingly challenged by His enemy I cannot find a translation that even comes close to indicating any of this I really wished that this was the extent of the butchering of Job but Boyd takes aim at God s sovereigntynot surprising but does so in a way that is very unfaithful to the text very surprising Boyd looks at the statement by Job that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away and says that this is a misguided conviction He says that people are arrogantly misguided if we ever blame God as Job did when tragedy strikes Blaming God in the sense of Job s words in 121 and 210 Boyd claims that God rebukes Job for making these statements Boyd uses some real emotional heart wrenching examples as to why one cannot attribute these things to God and how offended he is when people use these verses to draw comfort but he refuses to address the immediate context which refutes entirely his premise The author of Job immediately after each statement anticipating a negative response cuts it off with the statement In all this Job did not sin with his lips The author of Job seemed to know how shocking these statements would be to the human mind the sinful self loving rebellious human mind So he cuts the argument that Boyd raises off before it can even be raisedunless of course you just ignore completely those statements This seems to be the approach Boyd takes and it is well beneath a scholar of his reputeI did love a definition of faith that Boyd offered Faith is not psychological certainty but trusting another s character in the face of uncertainty Amen For his example of this he offered Jesus as He suffered through the garden of Gethsemane He showed how Jesus who had perfect faith struggled in the garden and begged for another way to be offered but in the end submitted wholly to His Father s will knowing that His Father was and is worthy of perfect trust and allegiance Boyd offers that this is true faith and I would wholeheartedly agree So whether your struggle is with doubt confusion the challenge of accepting God s will or any other matter the fact that you have this struggle does not indicate that you lack faith To the contrary your faith is strong to the degree that you re willing to honestly embrace your struggle Boyd spends a lot of time attacking penal substitutionary atonement and attributes its existence to lawyers becoming theologians and attributes to it almost all the ills that face Western Christianitythis seems like an exaggeration but not so much I found it slightly amusing that Boyd would attribute the lack of faith led works in the life of a believer to the belief in penal substitutionary atonement seeing as how the Reformers and the Puritans wholly held to this viewand we all know how lax those Puritans were in pursuing personal holiness The false dichotomy Boyd creates between accepting a legal view of salvation and a fruitful Christian life is laughably absurd and somewhat offensiveBoyd concludes the book by looking at how a Christian should deal with a modern pluralistic world and Scripture He makes some very interesting arguments abandoning a house of cards model of Scriptural authority for a concentric circle model and submitting all revelation in Scripture to the revelation in the God man Christ Jesus Boyd says one of the keys is not basing your faith in Jesus on the Scriptures but rather basing your faith in Scripture on the person Jesus While he gives some examples of how one could come to faith in the person of Jesus apart from Scripture I think his examples are flimsy and do not take into full account the fact that apart from the revelation of Scripture we today would have no understanding of the revelation of the person We receive our revelation of the person of Christ in the revelation of Scripture To act as if we could and should come to faith in Christ apart from the Scriptures seems misguidedThat reservation although a large one aside I was greatly intrigued by how Boyd dealt with all revelations being in submission to the ultimate revelation in Jesus Himself and how this impacted how we deal with certain debated points the historicity of Jonah evolution global deluge Samson the character of God in the Old Testament etc Essentially the point of revelation is to point us to Jesus Christ and Him crucified and inerrancy is only important as it deals with that specific revelation of God s character Boyd labors intensely to deal with the violence of God in the Old Testament It is especially troubling to him and he feels a genuine need to go beyond the surface reading and in some way rescue the character of God from the plain reading of the text This is imperative in a system that while claiming to submit all Scripture to the person and work of Christ actually uite often submits all Scripture to the experience and opinion of men Not onceas best I can recollect in this book does Boyd even offer the argument that instead of doubting the Scriptures when conflicted with experience reason science visceral reaction etc that the reader should maybe doubt his or her experience or reason or science or visceral reaction The doubt always seems to be placed at the foot of Scripture and Scripture seems reuired to conform rather than vice versa Boyd trumpets this throughout as a new way to look at Scripture but it really seems like the same old way that unbelievers have always looked at it The unbelieving heart is probably not the best role model for faithful Biblical exegesis Boyd seems to feel that appealing to mystery in these hard texts is a cop out that it is not genuine faith I think that maybe it would be a humble and faithful way of dealing with hard texts that we all agree are troublesome to one degree or another rather than feeling the need to be absolutely certain about what they do or do notcannot meanBoyd is a great writer This is an easy read that really makes the reader think While I disagreed with much of this book I would recommend it to the discerning reader to have his views on many things challenged to be led to doubt and to find that the truth of God and the faith He gives to believers can and will withstand much scrutiny and much doubtI received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalleycom for review purposes


Is as strong as it is certain In fact he makes the case that doubt can enhance faith and that seeking certainty is harming many in today's church Readers who wrestle with their faith will welcome Boyd's message that experiencing a life transforming relati Every book I have read by Greg Boyd has impacted my life and my faith in ways I never expected always drawing me closer to Jesus Greg is a Jesus freak in the best sense of the word always honoring Jesus and placing him above all elseI give Benefit of the Doubt 5 stars not because I agreed with everything he wrote but because everything he wrote made me think It challenged me to dig deeper into what I actually believe Most of my theology has been developed haphazardly over a lifetime of embracing teaching after teaching that I often had to later adapt or sometimes reject I wish this book had been around when I was a new believer it would have helped me in my journey with Jesus and the BibleI am still wrestling with God a phrase from the book over many uestions I cannot find solid answers to in the Bible Benefit of the Doubt didn t answer any of these uestions for me but it gave me Biblical and Christi logical reasons to continue to wrestle through the uestions without shame or guiltThe most amazing concept this book gave me is the difference between contractual and covenantal faith I confess that I have often approached the Scriptures like a lawyer looking for iron clad assurances that would guarantee earthly outcomes to my prayers The chapter on Legal Deals or Binding Love is alone worth the price of this bookThis is a book I had to sit with and some sections I had to re read than once as I found myself erecting barriers in my mind to his initial statements It was not easy for me to let down my well guarded theological convictions and take an honest look at the what I thought were solidly held Biblical beliefsIn the end I can honestly say that there is genuine benefit to uestioning our beliefs It will help purify and strengthen our faith Not because we can be certain of everything but to have the confidence that the Bible serves it s inerrant purpose of pointing us to the one and only sure author of our faith Jesus the Son of GodThank you Greg Boyd for your courage and honesty in writing this book