New Book by Noted Adventist Thinker Deals with Doubt and Issues
August 1, 2016: Throughout North America and Europe, as well as among educated believers in the southern hemisphere, there are growing numbers of Adventists and other Christians who struggle with serious doubts about the church and their faith. Many have quit going to church or find themselves “on the margins,” perhaps connected more by family ties and the hopes they remember from their youth than traditional commitments. It is these people that Dr. Reinder Bruinsma speaks to in his new book, Facing Doubt which was released today.
Published by Flanko Press in London instead of an official, denominational publisher, the slim volume begins with a brief analysis of current trends in Christianity and the Adventist faith in particular. Bruinsma deals honestly with doubts about Christian basics and with the questions many have about the denomination and many of its doctrines. He writes about his own doubts, his concerns about present trends in the Adventist Church and his own questions about particular Adventist teachings, as well as issues raised by others.
He is also straight-forward about the fact that he has decided to stay and work for a more mature faith and fellowship in his denomination. Bruinsma grew up in the Adventist faith and has given the denomination his life; born in Europe, working on three continents as a pastor, academic and church administrator. He retired in his native Netherlands recently after serving as a union conference president.
A well-known scholar in history and theology, Bruinsma has published 20 books and hundreds of journal articles. He believes that the Adventist denomination has a future if it can allow for more diversity of opinion and more successfully address the real issues of the 21st century.
In an appeal from his heart, Bruinsma explains his reasons for staying with the Adventist movement and appeals to those who feel marginalized to constructively deal with their doubts, find new inspiration in their faith and meet the challenges of renewing the faith community (and perhaps reconnecting with it).
Part One reviews the widespread crisis in Christianity, recent trends in the Adventist religion, fundamental doubts about faith and the personal dimension of belief. Part Two describes the leap of faith, reasons to leave or remain a part of the church, what doctrines are a “must” and how to deal with our doubts at an individual level.
Facing Doubt: A Book for Adventist Believers ‘on the Margins’ is released in English today and will be published in Dutch later this month. Translations into French and Russian are being prepared. Adventist Today will publish a review in the near future.