"Faith" is so common in our discourse, yet Christians are often unclear and confused about what faith means and the significance that it has to our lives. As a result of not carefully understanding the meaning and importance of faith, sometimes Christians do not know what it looks like to grow in faith, including how to deal with doubts. The consequence of an unformed faith is an unformed life.
With my friend and colleague, J.P. Moreland, we try to clarify, illustrate, and instruct about what it means to flourish confident faith as a Christian. With a similar heart to our co-authored Lost Virtue of Happiness, we counsel readers through the following:
- Learn how to receive answers to prayer. Prayer flows from relationship with God. We try to do much more than just talk about what the Bible says about prayer, but actually offer some particular (perhaps even insightful!) guidance and direction to develop effectual prayers.
- Understand why God made the world such that there is a faith arrangement at the core of our relationship with him. Faith is not a mere exercise that religious people do. It is indispensible to our life lived with God.
- Explore how faith is related to reason and experience. A common misconception pits faith against reason or faith against experience. This confusion often results in people being irrational on one hand or rationalistic on the other hand. Understanding the role of reason and experience in relationship to faith is crucial for avoiding folly.
- Find out how to deal with specific intellectual doubts regarding faith. What are doubts? Can they help us build confidence? What are we to make of our soul when we experience doubt? These and other sorts of questions we try to address.
- Hear from credible witnesses concerning how the power of God is unleashed in their own lives, giving the reader a broader, more supernatural vision of the Kingdom. At the epicenter of growth in confident faith is the habit of learning to mature in our response to God as a result of His character and action in the world.
We envision this book to be helpful to Christian leaders (including pastors and small group leaders) and to general Christian readers. Our approach is biblically informed and practical.
Many books on faith are too theological in the sense that they offer very little wisdom, direction or pastoral care about how to grow faith. Other books on faith are too devotional and lack a theological core. Our book tries to provide important theological instruction for the sake of understanding how to grow our faith in light of who God is and how He acts in the Kingdom of God.
Book samples from Publisher (IVP): Preface, Chapter 1