Well, I did read a pre-publication version of Mikes book, and I think it is an excellent resource, well worth having. Ive read other approaches to the same topic that I found disappointingly tepid ...or suffering from what I call spiritual masochism, superficiality, and reeking of negativity and disillusion (the specific names I will refrain from mentioning today). Mike shows that he knows the issues, that he knows that what makes the issue an issue in the first place is not the data itself, but the framework in which it is placed. He knows the relationship between seed, soil, opposition, and nurturing. He writes clearly, empathetically and with a background of informed faith. Hes offering genuine insight towards healing. Not just making suggestions for salvaging some debris from a shipwreck. ...Mike has always been worth reading. He really does have insightful things to say on the topic (Kevin Christensen, author of multiple articles for FARMS (The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) [part of BYUs Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship]; posted 10 June 2008 on the Mormon Apologetics and Discussion Board).
Tyler Livingston, who helped proofread the pre-publication manuscript says, That book has to be one of my favorites, if not my favorite LDS book. I LOVE it and cant wait to read it again (posted 12 June 2008 on a private email list).
I just had my first chance to take a close look at Mikes book. Its outstanding. It is a substantial book (at least 100,000 words, I would guess) that is well written and well documented. It covers all the big issues that come up repeatedly and points readers to all kinds of other resources. imho, there is just no substitute for something like this. Online resources are valuable, no doubt, but there is nothing like having a book that you can carry around with you, make notes in the margin, etc. Every person who writes to FAIR worried about their faith--or the faith of a loved one--should be told about this book. This book should stay in print permanently, with new editions as needed. Thanks to Mike for working so hard on the research and writing and thanks to FAIR for publishing it (Larry E. Morris, author of And Now You Know: The Rest of the Story from Lives of Well-Known Latter-Day Saints, Words to Live By: Life Strategies of Latter-Day Prophets, co-author of Oliver Cowdery: Scribe, Elder, Witness, and author of multiple articles for FARMS (The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) [part of BYUs Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship]; posted 24 June 2008 on a private email list).
Mike Ash has put together a fine volume with his Shaken Faith Syndrome. His writing skills are superb, which makes this tome an enjoyable and entertaining read, and he is able to present the relevant information in a way that is easy to understand and comprehend, which makes this book a great place for those beginning their exploration into Mormon apologetics or dealing with criticisms of the Church.
This book (Shaken Faith Syndrome) helped me deal with confronting attacks from antagonistic outsiders. It also strengthened my own testimony greatly. (David Brockenshire; 30 June 2008)
Mike, I really want to thank you for your book, Shaken Faith Syndrome. I asked for it for my birthday and my wife bought it for me and I have read it and plan to read it again.... I identified with some of the feelings described in the first part of the book.... as I read the second part of your book, it shot down one by one every single anti-mormon argument that may have ever troubled me. It was like watching a crack marksman at a carnival knocking down target after target. Thank you! (16 September 2008; name withheld per request)
There is much that could be said about this wonderful book... All in all, it is a fine volume that offers a good introduction to Mormon apologetics and is an excellent resource in helping strengthen ones (as well as ones family and friends) testimony in the face of criticisms and doubt, Steve Smoot at American Testament Blog (posted 18 August 2008).
I was one of those people who, though I served a mission and was married in the temple, was able to lose my testimony thanks to many of the anti-Mormon claims that you address in your book Shaken Faith Syndrome, which I read and enjoyed. These feelings of doubt stayed with me for nearly a year, but recently I had a re-awakening of sorts that has brought me back to the testimony I gained as a convert when I was 18. Having seen your book being talked about within the anti circles and on faithful websites, I decided, after the re-awakening, to take a look at the book and see why some people blasted it, and also to maybe understand why I had lost my faith to begin with.
As a current elders quorum president, Ive been reading Shaken Faith Syndrome, and find it tremendously useful and insightful. I wish every new member and reactivated member received a copy of this book, and would read it within six months of their baptism or reactivation (Scott P., emailed 3 November 2008).
5 Stars Awesome way of dealing with the issues most people in the church dont want to discuss in the open or are not informed enough about. Powerful answers to church critics and wobbly testimonies, (Keziah, posted 11 November 2008 at Deseret Book reviews.
5 Stars Wonderful book. Every LDS home should have it in their home library. Easy to understand and gives answers to questions we all probably have on our journey through life. Very helpful to understand the gospel more fully and answers questions -or doubts we may carry in our hearts, ; (posted 14 November 2008 at Deseret Book reviews.
Shaken Faith Syndrome is a fascinating read. ...it was my thought that every bishop in the Church should have a copy of this book to aid them in dealing with challenges to the faith, (Bill Beardall, 17 November 2008, The Gospel Doctrine Class Blog).
Finally, a book that gives a solid foundation for rational thought regarding faith and then as a bonus Mike Ash answers common critical questions regarding various issues about LDS (Mormon) doctrine and history. Well done Mike. Every Bishop and Stake President should own and read a copy. Very enthusiastically recommended! (Stanley D. Barker, 17 February 2009, Amazon review).
I order a lot of religious books searching for answers to questions that I have about the church. I like to read others ideas which help me form my own. None of the books Ive bought have really contained what I was looking for until I bought Shaken Faith Syndrome by Michael R. Ash. I actually bought it for a family member and thought Id read it first to see if it contained anything good. This book has completely changed me and how I view the church. I have peace about a lot of things I didnt before and now Ive been able to move past that and really start finding answers on my own that Ive never been able to see before. ...I hesitate to summarize the book [because]... I dont think I could do it justice, but Ive been recommending it to others I know who have questions. Im in no way affiliated with the writer or anything, I'm just really excited about how its helped me and what Ive been able to see and discover since reading it!! (Brenda, posted 17 April 2009 at the Exponent).
[Shaken Faith Syndrome] …has proven to be tremendously helpful to me… …the book provides great responses to specific anti-Mormon claims. …Mikes book is well written, thought-provoking and for me, a little bit eye-opening… Shaken Faith Syndrome helped me to understand better the real problem that doubt is for some people. I also came to realize more fully that I need to be better prepared with reasonable explanations for those issues that cause the most trouble for some of our members… (Tim Malone, Latter-day Commentary Blog, posted 22 April 2009).
I think Shaken Faith Syndrome is a fantastic book to give to someone whose faith in the Gospel has been rocked by some new information. It not only gives the reader a host of plausible alternative explanations for troubling criticisms of the Church, but it also equips the reader with intellectual tools for reevaluating faulty assumptions that are already carried by most members of the Church, (Dan Ellsworth, Mormon Mentality, posted 28 May 2009).
I have read an interesting book by Michael R. Ash, titled The Shaken Faith Syndrome. I really recommend reading this book entirely...., (Giuseppe Martinengo, GMormon Blog, posted 14 July 2009).
[Shaken Faith Syndrome] is an excellent book that covers some of the issues that one might encounter that might shake ones faith. If you are interested in those issues, or helping someone through those issues, it is a very good book. If you are more interested in apologetics (defending the faith) and would like to have a wider base, then Ashs equally good Faith and Reason would be the better for you. Both are good, it depends upon what you want from the book, (Brant Gardner, posted 12 September 2009 on the Mormon Apologetics and Discussion Board).
Dittos to the recommendations [of the books Shaken Faith Syndrome and Of Faith and Reason]. I hope the book gets wide circulation, and think that it can be quite helpful to many people, (Dr. Daniel Peterson [author of Muhammad: Prophet of God, the editor of the FARMS Review by BYUs Maxwell Institute of Religious Scholarship, and the owner/operator of MormonScholarsTestify.com website] posted 12 September 2009 on the Mormon Apologetics and Discussion Board).