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Proper Confidence: Faith, Doubt, and Certainty in Christian Discipleship

, 1995
ISBN: 9780802808561
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Looking to end the divisive conflict that has raged between Christians who attack each other either as “liberals” or as “fundamentalists,” Newbigin here gives a historical account of the roots of this conflict in order to begin laying the foundation for a middle ground that will benefit the Christian faith as a whole. What results is a perspective that allows Christians to confidently affirm the gospel as public truth in our pluralistic world.

For more by Lesslie Newbigin, see Eerdmans Lesslie Newbigin Collection (8 vols.).

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Provides a historical account of the conflict between fundamentalists and liberals
  • Attempts to end the conflict between fundamentalists and liberals
  • Account of the Christian faith that affirms the gospel as public truth in a pluralistic world

Top Highlights

“The doctrine of verbal inerrancy is a direct denial of the way in which God has chosen to make himself known to us as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Page 89)

“At the heart of the Christian message was a new fact: God had acted—and let us remember that the original meaning of ‘fact’ is the Latin factum, ‘something done.’ God had acted in a way that, if believed, must henceforth determine all our ways of thinking.” (Page 4)

“We do not argue from experience to the gospel. On the contrary, it is the gospel accepted in faith which enables us to experience all reality in a new way and to find that all reality does indeed reflect the glory of God.” (Pages 96–97)

“Because of the work of Christ in the incarnation, we may use material means for the advancement of human salvation” (Page 8)

“In seeking a kind of supracultural and indubitable certainty, these Christians have fallen into the trap set by Descartes. They are seeking a kind of certainty that does not acknowledge the certainty of faith as the only kind of certainty available. The only one who has a context-independent standpoint is God. The fundamental error of Descartes, surely, was the supposition that we ourselves can have such a standpoint. Christian faith is not a matter of logically demonstrable certainties but of the total commitment of fallible human beings putting their trust in the faithful God who has called them. I believe and trust that the Bible is the true rendering of the story of God’s acts in creation and redemption and therefore the true rendering of the character of God.” (Pages 98–99)

A masterful demonstration of the bankruptcy of secularism and all forms of Christian accommodation to it.

Books & Culture

Whatever Lesslie Newbigin writes is well worth reading and worth reading well. . . . With a breathtaking grasp of the history of Western thought, Newbigin proves the roots of the current dialectic between liberalism and fundamentalism.

Presbyterian Outlook

This is an important book for pastors and teachers serving in church settings where the temptation to soften the scandal of the cross is present or where the good news, for all its outward acceptance, is thought (deep down) to be a source of embarrassment. . . . The book is beautifully written, a powerful statement of faith in God, whose incarnation has changed the nature of human life forever and whose call to the church cannot be altered by the temptation to believe that the human being is the center of the universe.

Princeton Seminary Bulletin

  • Title: Proper Confidence: Faith, Doubt, and Certainty in Christian Discipleship
  • Author: Lesslie Newbigin
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 1995
  • Logos Release Date: 2015
  • Pages: 111
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Faith; Belief and doubt; Certainty; Fundamentalism; Liberalism (Religion) › Protestant churches
  • ISBNs: 9780802808561, 0802808565
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T02:25:45Z

Bishop James Edward Lesslie Newbigin (8 December 1909 – 30 January 1998) was a Church of Scotland missionary serving in the former Madras State, India, who became a Christian theologian and bishop involved in missiology, ecumenism, and the Gospel and Our Culture Movement.


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    Digital list price: $14.99
    Save $3.00 (20%)