Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Crucible of Doubt by Terryl and Fionna Givens

Cover image for The crucible of doubt : reflections on the quest for faithThis is a religious treatise written by an LDS couple who are both professors at a university in Virginia.  It addresses the question of what a member can do when they have serious doubts about church doctrine.  The Gibbons use quotes from church leaders, as well as other prominent historical philosophers, to reassure the reader that doubts are OK, no church leader is infallible,  that it is better to belong to the church with doubts than to leave the church, and that there is hope for finally having all doubts resolved in the end.  It is very well written, and their assertions are for the most part reasonable and insightful.  The Gibbons both have a humanities background and it shows in their writing.  While acknowledging the importance of science in a cursory way, the couple hardly ever quote from a scientist or list one when mentioning the world's most influential thinkers.  As long as the reader is aware of this bias, and also remembers that the writers are merely expressing their own opinions, and don't claim to be establishing official church doctrine  (even though it is published by the Deseret Book), it is well worth reading.(168 p)

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