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God in the Dark: The Assurance of Faith Beyond a Shadow of Doubt Paperback – January 5, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (January 5, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891078452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891078456
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

OS GUINNESS (DPhil, Oxford University) was born in China, raised and educated in England, and moved to the United States in 1984. He directs the Trinity Forum and is a former fellow at the East-West Institute in New York. His books include The American Hour, No God But God, and The Dust of Death.

More About the Author

OS GUINNESS (DPhil, Oxford University) is an author and social critic. Born in China, he was educated in England at the Universities of London and Oxford. He moved to the United States in 1984, and has been a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the lead drafter of both the Williamsburg Charter and the Global Carter of Conscience, as well as the founder of the Trinity Forum. He has written more than 25 books, including The Call, The American Hour, Time for Truth, Unspeakable, The Case for Civility, A Free People's Suicide, and his latest: The Global Public Square. He lives with his wife Jenny in McLean, Virginia..

Customer Reviews

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Some of us doubt the POWER of God to affect our lives for the better.
Julia Gwin
This is definitely a great book to examine different types of doubts and also a good read for those dark and trying times in a believers life that stretch ones faith.
Jason Ford
Sometimes our doubts are good in that they question our pitiful ideas of God that often are outright misrepresentations of him.
A. Omelianchuk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A. Omelianchuk on June 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There nothing else like God In The Dark: The Assurance of Faith Beyond a Shadow of Doubt out there in print that makes such a thorough examination of the phenomenology of doubt.

In part 1 Guinness starts with what he calls the "square one principle": "The person who has the courage to go back when necessary is the one who goes on in the end." Going back and reexamining faith guards against coasting through life on the basis of a faith that, though once vital, has grown inauthentic due to it being taken for granted. When an inevitable crisis comes it fails, leaving one disillusioned and alone in the dark with all kinds of duplicitous thoughts.

From there he "dares" us to doubt by explaining that the idea of faith being "doubt free" only sets us up to drive our faith into the ground like an overloaded donkey. First, it is beaten with a variety of admonitions and cajolings that then lead to warnings and threats of the "big stick" of judgment until it expires and collapses. Then it is beaten for collapsing.

Guinness explains that the doubt is an "in-between" problem that has two minds between faith and unbelief. Unbelief is a deliberate refusal to believe that willfully rejects any affirmation of faith, while doubt is the suspension between the two. The distinction is important, because it makes all the difference in expunging that dreadful perfectionism demanded by "doubtless faith" which ends up being more discouraging than the worst of doubts ever could be.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got in the Dark is not a fast read because it is so profound. You will enjoy yourself going "wow" and having to stop and think. You will find yourself wanting to read passages to loved ones. Every page is very well thought out and the whole book is very well organized and thorough. The book deals with the doubts that thinking Christians have and stresses that it is healthy and faith building to deal with your doubts and not be ashamed of them. It is refreshing to read an intellectual Christian author that doesn't read like a testbook. I got my "money's worth" with this one.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Julia Gwin on January 31, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Guinness examines faith and doubt rigorously by tracing their presuppositions, carefully explaining the indissoluble bond between faith and rationality. Faith can and will lead us beyond reason, but never against reason into absurdity. The God who created our capacity for reason is beyond our reason but never at odds with it.

Although the majority of the book probes the nature of doubt from practical origins, one chapter is entirely devoted to doubt springing from emotional and / or psychological scars. This chapter is handled very well, proving Mr. Guinness thinks deeply as well as with breadth of soul and empathy. I think he is a most uncommon and remarkable man.

I was particularly struck with his comparison, using scripture, of the different kinds of doubt we hold. Some of us doubt the POWER of God to affect our lives for the better. This illustration is made in Mark 9: 17 - 25 (the man who brings his demon-possessed son who is often thrown into water and fire to destroy the child). The father of the possessed child has experienced failure at the hands of the apostles. He approaches Jesus with "...if thou canst do anything...." He doubts the POWER of God. He confesses his weak faith: "...and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."

This kind of doubt is contrasted with the doubt in God's COMPASSION and MERCY as shown in the leper who desires to be cleansed (Matthew 8:2; Mark 1:40; Luke 5:12). The leper says, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." (Matthew 8:2) He doubts the willingness of God to extend healing and mercy - but not God's power to do so. Jesus affirms his willingness verbally: "I will" or "I am willing" and then touches the man (the touch of great compassion and power).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By LMS on April 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
First of all, this book is not for the faint of heart. It will cause you to take a deep look at your heart, motives,thoughts, and feelings. What you see may not be pretty. It certainly wasn't for me. Even though I have been a Christian for a while now, I struggle regularly with doubt. I've come very close several times to throwing in the towel and never looking back. There are many different types of doubt. Some are intellectual, some are psychological, some are emotional. All are spiritual. I have read quite a few books on the subject of doubt, and many of them have left a bad taste in my mouth. They sound good on the back cover, but once you read the actual book, the answers they provice are less than satisfying. Much of the time, the solution offered comes down to "Just don't doubt." But there is no help given as to HOW to overcome doubt and move towards trust in God.

But this book is very different. Os Guiness asserts that doubt is not all bad. Genuine faith will always have elments of doubt. It goes without saying that doubt can be incredibly harmful and destructive. But it doesn't have to be. We can choose to allow our doubts and questions to push us deeper and closer to God, rather than away from Him. Its really up to us.

Os Guiness has written a amazing book. He talks about different types of doubt. How to recognize them, what the roots are, and best of all, simple and practical ways to tackle each type of doubt. Then he tackles two of the most thorny questions (that most Christian authors seem unwilling to raise, much less discuss at length) Why God why? and How long?

It doesn't matter if you are a relatively new Christian, or someone who has walked with the Lord for many years. If you struggle with doubt and trusting God, this is the book for you.
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