Reformed Reflections

God in the Dark. The Assurance of Faith Beyond A Shadow of Doubt
by Os Guinness.
Crossway Books, Wheaton, I 11.,1996. Softcover, 224pp.

" But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined in to saucy doubts and fears." (Macbeth III.iv.38) This Shakespearean cry of the heart has many modern kindreds. Our time of moral and cultural decline and drifting away from the Christian faith has led even Christians to ask: Is God there? Is God good? How can I be sure that the Bible is true? Whom do I trust? What is faith? Is doubt a sin? Can I be sure of my salvation? How can I trust God enough to enjoy Him? Is the whole of life different for that trust?

Os Guinness argues that a healthy understanding of doubt will act as safeguard against today's widespread unnecessary breakdown of faith. He shows, why trusting God in the dark is so hard, and doubting God is so devastating. He examines various kinds of doubts in depth and how they can be resolved. He points out that the weakening and breakdown of our faith that we are witnessing is a logical consequence, pure and simple, of the deep deficiency of faith today. Many who claim to have " lost their faith" lacked little in terms of orthodoxy or experience but never understood why their faith was true. They found “university-level questions puncturing their Sunday-school-level faith." Most doubts have far more to do with wrong thinking or no thinking at all than with too much thinking. Os Guinness believes that we must provide decisive answers to the questions and objections of our contemporaries.

To doubt it is to be double minded. When we are of two minds we cannot enjoy God. Each doubt makes us feel that we have found a real problem with God. To overcome doubt we need a radical reliance on God. God is faithful. Os Guinness rightly says: " The problem of doubt is not ultimately a matter of God's faithfulness but of our faith, just as the answer does not ultimately depend on our faith but on God's faithfulness." We should take our doubts to God straight away, though with help of Christian friends. Doubts that are not resolved will inevitably blame God in the end. Any unresolved doubt takes us away from God.

God in the Dark is a clear, profound and thoroughly Biblical exposition of doubt and its nature. It also shows the reader how to deal with it. This book is for all who feel unsure of God's love.

Johan D.Tangelder.