Shaken Faith Syndrome
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The Shaken Faith Syndrome is Michael Ash's book dealing with the problems some members have when encountering anti-Mormon arugments that shake their faith. Here's an overview from the Web site:
In today's Internet world, an increasing number of Latter-day Saints are encountering anti-Mormon material. Since most members don't have all the answers at their fingertips, LDS-critical claims can be unsettling or create doubt. Some arguments have caused a few members--even active members with strong testimonies--to lose their faith. Backed by extensive research and decades of experience dealing with anti-Mormon allegations, Michael Ash explores how we can be both critical thinkers and devout believers.
Because misconceptions can make us vulnerable to a shaken faith, the first half of this book offers suggestions on how we can strengthen our intellectual foundations against challenging issues. Ash invites us to fortify our testimonies as we develop a more mature appreciation of the role of prophets and personal revelation, as well as a greater understanding of the inherent limitations of science, history, and even the scriptures. The second half of this book exposes common anti-LDS tactics and ngages some of the most frequent criticisms.
I haven't seen the book yet, but respect what I've read from Mike in the past, so I expect high quality. Any of you have it already?
Here's a sample chapter: "Confusing Tradition With Doctrine." He makes some great points. It's important to understand that many of the attacks of anti-Mormons on the Church, the Book of Mormon, etc., are really attacks on the non-canonical opinions and views of individuals, including prominent Church leaders, but whose views, however widely repeated, need not constitute official Church doctrine. How tragic that some members of the Church, even a Mormon bishop in one case, have left the Church over the DNA vs. the Book of Mormon issue, when the conflict of DNA evidence is not with anything in the text of the Book of Mormon itself, but with traditional and rather naive interpretations of and assumptions about the text, or even hostile misunderstandings about what those popular interpretations really were. Please don't confuse tradition and popular opinion with official doctrine.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading this book. We need to do more to help members be prepared for the arguments that are out there. When caught off guard, without the knowledge to understand the assumptions behind the attacks or the frequent flaws in the arguments, people really can be caught off guard. Ditto for Christianity in general. Don't send your Christian child to college without a firm grounding in defending the Christian faith and Christian values.