If God Disappears is the title of a new book by my friend and agent, David Sanford. It is subtitled “9 Faith Wreckers & What to Do About Them” and while I don’t normally read books with numbers in the titles, I made this an exception.
David does a much better job than most who take a stab at this subject. He is clear, concise, candid and never condescending. He draws on his own life, his knowledge of Scripture and his pastoral experience to elucidate the main reasons why people lose faith. He genuinely respects those of us who struggle and offers practical advice without preaching.
The 9 Faith Wreckers are:
1. Experiencing evil and suffering.
2. Living recklessly as a rugged individualist.
3. Making your own rules, whatever the cost.
4. Believing that anger is justified when my vision of God is clouded.
5. Neglecting my time with God and failing to see him in my life.
6. Studying about God without heart devotion.
7. Experiencing the most crushing circumstances in life.
8. Giving myself permission to do as I please—especially sexually—pushing reality (and God) out of sight.
9. Being wounded in or by the church.
I’ve experienced about half of these in the past several years, not so much as frontal attacks but as flanking maneuvers. They snuck up on me while I was doing my best to follow God. They have wounded me with doubt and uncertainty, but not yet fatally. My concept of God is changing as a result, which, as David notes, is a good thing.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that God wants nothing more than for us to discard our man-made, limited concepts of who he is. We can begin to form a right view of God’s greatness, goodness and glory only after we first remove our small, misshapen ideas.”
The photos of Father, Son and Spirit most of us carry in our mental wallets are faded caricatures. The details are distorted by our religious tradition, contemporary culture, personality type and unique experiences. I’ve tossed a lot of the old pics and am asking God for newer ones. I don’t expect HD quality; after all, we still see through a glass darkly. I just want something more real.
A video would be nice.
David follows each Faith Wrecker with a helpful Faith Builder and for those I recommend you visit If God Disappears or buy the book. After all, that’s how authors make their living. I should know; I are one.