Seminary News

GRTS professor tackles the hot topic of doubt

“Believe what you know, it’s more than you think.” That’s the tagline of Michael Wittmer’s, professor of systematic theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, latest book, entitled Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith.

After reading several popular books on faith and doubt, Wittmer decided to tackle those hot topic subjects with a slightly different approach. Books like Prayer of Jabez and Experiencing God troubled Wittmer because of the way they attributed doubt as a necessary component to faith, emphasizing what is not known.

“Most books on doubt emphasize how hard it is to believe,” Wittmer said.  “I wanted to focus on what we know, not what we don’t.”

According to Wittmer, people do not usually commit to things they do not know. 

 “If you ask a dentist if something is going to hurt and they say that they don’t know, you would not sit there.”  Wittmer said. “In any other area in our life we don’t commit to anything we don’t know. God is the only area where people say it’s good we don’t know.”

He asserts that accepting doubt is a cultural shift that Christian authors have taken, making a virtue out of doubt by trying to accommodate the faith to what the culture is saying.

“We live in a postmodern pluralistic age, if you spend any time in the culture, you are going to question your faith,” Wittmer said.

However, he challenges his readers to realize that they know enough to believe. He asserts that faith is committing to what you know, not what you don’t.

The first part of his book discusses objective doubts, such as God’s existence. His second part of the book wrestles with more subjective doubts about following God, questions about salvation and God’s calling for life.

He first started thinking about the book five years ago, writing the first chapters as the foundation for the book. After working with Discovery House Publishing with his last book, The Last Enemy, Wittmer presented this idea to the publishing company.

Over the course of his writing career, Wittmer has published five books and is currently writing another. His books can be purchased at local Christian bookstores, the CU and GRTS bookstores, as well as, online through Amazon or the Discovery House website.

Wittmer uses his books for dual-purposes as he speaks at churches, creating sermons from the material in his chapters. Wittmer will be speaking at several churches about the central message from this book, “Focus on what you know. It’s more than you think.”

For more information about Wittmer at GRTS, visit www.cornerstone.edu/grts-faculty.