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Faith and Doubt Hardcover – September 16, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

What if the most important word is the one in the middle? We often think of doubt as the opposite of faith, but could it actually strengthen our relationship with God? According to John Ortberg, best-selling author and pastor, the very nature of faith requires the presence of uncertainty. In this refreshingly candid look at a life of faith, he traces the line between belief and unbelief: less a dividing line between hostile camps than a razor's edge that runs through every soul. His findings point us toward the relief of being totally honest. Questions can expand our understanding, uncertainty can lead to trust, and honest faith can produce outrageous hope. Written from Ortberg's own struggle with faith and doubt, this book will challenge, comfort, and inspire you with the truth that God wants all of us---including our doubts. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

John Ortberg is a pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author of When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box; The Life You've Always Wanted; and If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. He and his wife Nancy, have three children. SPANISH BIO: John Ortberg es el Pastor principal de la Iglesia Presbiteriana de Menlo Park, en Menlo Park, California, con dependencias en Menlo Park, Mountain View y San Mateo. Ha escrito numerosas obras que han tenido una gran aceptacion, como La fe y la duda; El ser que quiero ser; Un amor mas alla de la razon; Cuando el juego termina, todo regresa a la caja; La mision fantasma; Dios esta mas cerca de lo que crees; Todos somos normales hasta que nos conocen; La vida que siempre has querido; Si quieres caminar sobre las aguas, tienes que salir de la barca; Vivamos divinamente la vida, y el plan de estudios multimedia Old Testament Challenge (con la colaboracion de Kevin Harney). John y su esposa Nancy tienen tres hijos.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310253519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310253518
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read many of John's books. My first experience was a tape of the message "It all goes back in the box". I listened and was convicted by his words.

Finding John, for me, was like finding a great mystery writer. I am not always able to determine how the puzzle will be solved until the end. But the gems of wisdom, the humor and the personal anecdotes keep me spellbound until the last page.

In this book he describes degrees of doubt, both the helpful and the destructive kind. He talks about faith and how it always applies only to the unseen.

I guess the most telling thing for me is that after 60 years someone has helped me realize that my doubts are not a condemnation to hell, but a starting point to find my faith.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John OrtbergFaith and Doubt has once again masterfully shed light on something most Christians are afraid to admit exist in their lives because of the fear of being ridiculed. In this book, he is able to explain, as only he can do, that having doubts is necessary in developing faith. This book will be as tremendous benefit to new believers as well as those who have been walking in the faith. I like the way he is able to educate the reader on remaining faithful during times of uncertainity. This book will end up being a Christian Classic.
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Format: Hardcover
I have now read 3 of John Ortberg's books and am also presently in a short bible study he co-wrote.

I love him.
I love his story's. What a great story teller.
I love his jokes.

One of my favorite treats is on my 2 work days, I go to lunch alone. The same restaurant....every Tuesday and Wednesday, and I read.

With John's work, I find myself laughing out loud, in the restaurant, as I savor one of his stories.

Then, in the next paragraph, he's moved my heart and I'm trying to hide my tears.

I love how He makes my Lord and Savior feel so close to me.

He knows the bible so well and he makes it so very applicable to EVERY situation I find myself in...be it a blessing or a challenge.

John is very real. There is no lecturing or 'talking down' to his reader. I guess 'authentic' is a good word for him.

This book especially reveals him as an 'every man' kind of guy.

He lays out his own doubts in this book and doesn't candy coat or defend his own issues with doubt.

I love how he interjects scripture. With out being 'preachy'

I do not lend out my Ortberg books. I've offered to...and then I never want to part with them. I am reading 'Everyone's Normal till You Get to Know them' for the second time. I highlight John's books. I make smiley faces where they make me laugh and I circle what breaks my heart.

I have overcome my Ortberg-hording by just buying his book for my friends/loved ones and even my Boss! (He's a great guy and lover of Christ.)
John is an excellent author for that new believer. All of his books are great for that friend you want to introduce to Christ.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A lot of my recent reading has been on the subject of doubt. After finishing The Atheist who Believes In God by Frank Schaeffer I moved on to a more organized approach by a well known Christian writer, John Ortberg.

Mr. Ortberg’s work is far more focused and clearly he is a minister with a hope to help Christians who struggle with doubt. The Book, Faith and Doubt makes it clear that if you have faith, you have doubt. He goes so far as to say you cannot have faith and certainty. Near the end of the work he talks about holding up his fist and asking people if they believe he has a twenty dollar bill in his hand. At that point the people around him have no way of being certain what is in his hand. Some of those on lookers will have faith that the minister has $20 in that fist, because he said he did and they have faith that a minister would not lie. Some around the minister might be equally sure that the minister is lying. Maybe they have known some ministers well, in their past and know not to trust them. Then the Reverend Ortberg says to those who have faith in him, “I am now going to destroy your faith in me,” and he opens his hand and shows them what the fist contains. You see, once you know something, once you have seen with your eyes, once you are absolutely certain, you no longer have any need for faith.

When it comes to the claims of the Bible, we cannot know for certain that the claims are true, just as we cannot know for certain that the claims are untrue. We can have an opinion. We can have a conviction. We can believe so strongly that it feels like a fact, but in the end, honest thinking people know that we cannot know if the those Biblical stories are true, or untrue.
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Format: Hardcover
I like John Ortberg, really I do. I think he is a brilliant writer. He writes in a way that is engaging enough to draw in the general reader but with enough references to serious authors to keep the more boff-like interested. He has a wonderfully self-deprecating sense of humour and sets up his jokes beautifully. Few other Christian authors make me laugh out loud so much. His use of illustration is powerful and impressive. He has a knack for pulling you in, making you laugh, then landing a killer punch.

Here is an example of one of his jokes. Explaining that when God afflicts the Philistines with tumors (1 Samuel 5), the word really means hemorrhoids, Ortberg says:

"The writer wants us to know that in the presence of God's judgement, the Philistines were embarrassingly human. All their iron swords, spears and shields did them no good, because what they really needed was inflatable cushions to sit on, and while the Iron Age had arrived, the Inflatable Cushion Age was still centuries away."

I also agree with the overall thesis of the book - doubt is part of faith, something everyone experiences to greater or lesser degree, and something to process rather than deny. We do one another a great disservice if people are never allowed to air their doubts for fear that they will be cast out of our righteous presence. Life throws up all kinds of challenges and difficulties - it would be weird to never doubt.

Ortberg doesn't shy away from this and opens up the toughest of issues, especially those concerning pain and suffering. And he presents some good responses. His interaction with the New Atheists (Dawkins, Hitchins. et al) is excellent. His `proofs' for the existence of God are really helpful. His pastors heart shines through.

So thus far so excellent.
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