Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

When Faith Is Not Enough

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

When Faith Is Not Enough

Article excerpt

Mme Faith is not Enough. By Kelly James Clark Grand Rapids, MI Willam B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997. 190 pp. $18.00 (paper).

Paul Tillich ended his classic The Courage to Be with these words: "The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt." It is fair to say that Kelly James Clark's study of the place of doubt in faith is both stimulating and instructive. The book's attraction results from the personal testimony of the author, who understands the Christian life to be a journey and communion with the risen Christ.

It is a book that should be widely appreciated by parish study groups. It is clear and concise about basic Christian faith. It includes a range of helpful illustrations to make its points-from the author's storehouse of personal experiences to the world of the saints, ancient and modern. Whether quoting Boethius, Kierkegaard or T. S. Eliot, references introduce and help to interpret topics considered. But the author's skill in weaving a tapestry of ancient wisdom and modern experience, in the light of growth in Christ, does not stop there. He is able to come up with terse quotations from a variety of sources-Hobbes, Pascal, Dostoyevski, Sartre, Camus, Annie Dillard, and Samuel Beckett-who confront the reader with the unexpected. What at first appear to be illustrations of the power of darkness over light may actually turn out to be the opposite, the power of light over darkness in the journey of faith.

In Part I, "The Shadow of Doubt," the author considers the interplay of light and darkness in Christian experience. …

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