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Freedom to Doubt Paperback – October 14, 2013
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"This book is exactly what every historically-critical pastor needs available at hand. Chuck's work is a beautiful and very accessible synthesis of his broad understanding of our sacred texts, various Christian traditions, his personal struggles with both, and devout, mature faith. Freedom to Doubt is a sampling of the kind of faith we seek to inspire and need to inspire to keep the Christian message relevant to the real world in a landscape increasingly divided..."
--The Rev. Nathan Winterhof, Our Savior's Lutheran Church of Solon Springs, Wisconsin
"With unflinching forthrightness and poignancy, Shingledecker is one of a growing number of engaging Christian writers like Thom Stark and Mark Roncace who eschew the chicanery of apologetics and admit the indefensibility of many traditional Christian doctrines.... [H]e adds the perspective of a former evangelical and a current member of the Orthodox tradition, providing refreshing insight into the honest doubts of many of the earliest church fathers. Highly recommended..."
--Kenneth W. Daniels, author of Why I believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary
"The Greeks were enslaved for 400 years under the Ottomans, who failed to eradicate the deep Orthodox Christian Faith that resonates throughout Greece and abroad but may have inflicted a handicap on our religious education. Thank you Mr. Shingledecker, for a book that helps overcome the vacuum that's been left. It's about time! Chuck does an excellent job at prompting us to dig deeper into our questions...."
--Yianni Pappas, Editor, We Are Orthodox
About the Author
A self-proclaimed Doubting Thomas, Chuck was baptized Roman Catholic and raised in a religiously tolerant home. He was “born again” at the age of nineteen and spent most of his twenties trying to silence a “still small voice” of doubt that pointed out all of the contradictory claims found within the Bible and the various Christian traditions. His love and respect for history, mixed with a desire to discover which of the Christian denominations was most true, took him on an unexpected journey. He got introduced to the writings of Biblical scholars, archaeologists, historians, theologians, and eventually the Church fathers. A decade after his quest began, he joined the Eastern Orthodox Church, and was tonsured (ordained to the lower order) of Church Reader in 2004. Several personal tragedies and a sudden onset of multiple health complications challenged his faith in new ways, forcing him into his own personal dark night of the soul—a reality he’s come to embrace as a Christian and a writer. Chuck's first book The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy was published in 2011 by Regina Orthodox Press. In addition to his book publications, Chuck has had editorials published in various newspapers as well as opinion pieces addressing the current state of his own Eastern Orthodox tradition.
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Charles Shingledecker has written a much-needed and thought-provoking book I can recommend to both my theist and non-theist friends alike.
His forthright and honest examination of his own personal doubts is most refreshing, despite his apparent loss of some worldview-dependent friendships along the way.
Mr. Shingledecker brings us the perspective of one born into Catholicism, reborn into teennage fundamentalism and currently a still questioning congregant of Eastern Orthodoxy.
Anyone prepared to remove the blindfold from their blind faith or willing to tone down strident and overly confident atheism will find a truly kindred spirit here in this well-written and well-referenced testimonial which, incidentally, I truly enjoyed listening to on my Kindle Windows app for the blind.
Thank you, Mr. Shingledecker!
Denying the problems in the Bible does not he!p the bible - it just makes us look silly, or worse, p ignorant and foolish.
If you are a christian you need to read this book. If you already have and you disagree then you are ignorant and foolish and god knows your doubts, even as you pretend you have none.
On a personal level, I have never given much serious thought to why I gradually fell away from the church of my upbringing, dismissing it on a superficial level as lack of interest in a system built on archaic scripture and dogma that had little relevance in my real world life. Now, after reading Freedom To Doubt, I realize that it was my doubt, and more importantly early experience with such doubt being dismissed or criticized that caused me to lose interest in my church and organized religion as a whole. Had my questions been encouraged and my basic intelligent reasoning been validated with serious conversations the ilk of Shingledecker's book, I’m sure I would have become more engaged in the deeper mystery of faith, rather than becoming disinterested by what I saw as a flimsy construct wholly reliant on blind ignorance. I stopped identifying as a Christian and labeled myself a spiritual seeker. What a shame I did not believe I could be such a seeker within Christian religion. Freedom To Doubt grants that permission.