Is there a way to walk faithfully through doubt and come out the
other side with a deeper love for Jesus, the church, and its
tradition? Can we question our faith without losing it?
Award-winning author, pastor, and professor A. J. Swoboda has witnessed many young people wrestle with their core Christian beliefs. Too often, what begins as a set of critical and important questions turns to resentment and faith abandonment. Unfortunately, the church has largely ignored its task of serving people along their journey of questioning. The local church must walk alongside those who are deconstructing their faith and show them how to reconstruct it.
Drawing on his own experience of deconstruction, Swoboda offers tools to help emerging adults navigate their faith in a hostile landscape. Doubt is a part of our natural spiritual journey, says Swoboda, and deconstruction is a legitimate space to encounter the living God.
After Doubt offers a hopeful, practical vision of spiritual formation for those in the process of faith deconstruction and those who serve them. Foreword by pastor and author John Mark Comer.
Award-winning author, professor, and pastor A. J. Swoboda
offers a hopeful, practical vision for questioning your faith
without losing it.
"In this remarkable book, A. J. guides us into a path of stronger faith through the surprising valley of doubt. I resonated with this book at a profound level and think you will too."
--Jon Tyson, Church of the City New York; author of Beautiful Resistance
"Whether you're in the midst of the isolation and disruption that doubting your faith often leads to or if you're leading those who are, A. J. Swoboda's voice is one of a well-differentiated leader, accurately articulating the struggle many Christians are experiencing and casting a hopeful vision for a way forward together."
--Emily P. Freeman, author of The Next Right Thing
"A must-read for anyone who has realized that not everything we grew up believing about Christianity is true. With much wisdom and wit, Swoboda navigates us through the turbulent waters of deconstruction-reconstruction."
--Preston Sprinkle, president of The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender
"Swoboda invites us to reimagine what's happening when we doubt the coherence of the Christian faith. What if the disorientation is actually a strange gift, pushing us toward growth and transformation? In this book you'll find wisdom and guidance as you take your questions deeper."
--Tim Mackie, cofounder of the BibleProject
"As a college professor who daily watches the challenges of life and the ideologies of the age batter my students' confidence in their Christian faith, I am eager to put this book into their hands. It offers an informed, insightful, and deeply empathetic conversation about the road home."
--Sandra Richter, Westmont College
"By the time I was done reading this, I was able to embrace my doubts-as-longing as a gift and found myself loving Jesus and his church in a new and deeper way."
--James Bryan Smith, author of The Good and Beautiful God
Part 1: Deconstruction and Doubt
1. Deconstruction and Doubt
2. The Theological Journey
3. The Problem of "Freedom"
Part 2: Following Jesus through Deconstruction and Doubt
4. Knowing the Whole Self
5. Going to Church
6. Feeling Everything
7. Learning to Tend
8. Practicing Being Wrong
9. Discerning the Truth
10. Embracing the Whole Kingdom
11. Trusting the Right Way
A. J. Swoboda (PhD, University of Birmingham) is assistant professor of Bible, theology, and world Christianity at Bushnell University in Eugene, Oregon, and leads a Doctor of Ministry cohort on the Holy Spirit and leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Subversive Sabbath, winner of a Christianity Today Book Award (Spiritual Formation) and an Award of Merit for CT's Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year. He speaks regularly at conferences, churches, camps, and retreats. Swoboda served for ten years as the lead pastor at Theophilus Church in urban Portland, is the founder and former director of Blessed Earth Northwest, and served as executive director of the Seminary Stewardship Alliance.