In his 2021 Episcopal Address, Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar recommended the book Faith After Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do About It to clergy and laity of the New England Conference.
The bishop is pleased to welcome the book’s author, Brian D. McLaren, to the NEAC for a four-session online discussion of this book that Bishop Devadhar called “important and insightful.”
In his address Bishop Devadhar said, “McLaren invites us to a future of hope. He invites us to transform our weariness into constructive collaborations with fellow Christians. He invites us to invest in the church of the future.”
In Faith After Doubt, McLaren, a former pastor, postulates that questions of faith and doubt are not “the enemy of faith, but rather a portal to a more mature and fruitful kind of faith.” His model for faith development has four stages: Simplicity, Complexity, Perplexity, and Harmony.
McLaren writes: “Some people tell me they never have doubts. Faith comes easy to them, they say, at least it has so far. But many, many, many of us do have doubts, and sometimes our doubts seem more powerful than our beliefs. … I promise you: there is faith after doubt, and life after doubt, and life with doubt. … wait until you see where doubt can lead you and what doubt can teach you.”
This series is for everyone – clergy and laity. We especially encourage pastors and church members to participate together.
You will get the most out of these discussions if you have read or at least begun Faith After Doubt prior to the series start. But even if you haven’t, we anticipate rich and fruitful conversations and urge all NEAC members to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
Over four sessions, McLaren will offer an overview of his book and examine the four stages with a specific focus each week. There will be time for questions as well as some small-group discussion.
Each session takes place from 8-9 pm Mondays. The sessions will be recorded.
You are encouraged to bring your questions for Dr. McLaren, and he has prepared some questions/ prompts for you to consider and share during the discussions:
Was there a sentence or paragraph from the book felt that especially meaningful to you personally? Why?
Was there a sentence or paragraph from the book felt that especially meaningful to your congregation or our conference or denomination at this time? Why do you feel this is especially important to our Methodist family?
You will receive additional prompts specific to each session with your registration confirmation.