The Sin of Certainty – Peter Enns

Review From User :

I simply cannot recommend this book enough, particularly to anyone who has participated for any amount of time in a religious community that all too often places a premium on the language of certainty (e.g., what Enns refers to as "right" or "correct" beliefs). Needing "to know" orients our religious experience too much on beliefs about rather than primarily as trust in. Enns does an excellent job of conveying the need for each of us to keep our eye on the ball and place our ultimate trust in God. Church, beliefs, doctrine etc. - all important - but at the end of the day, these are all means to a much more important end - a trusting and vulnerable relationship with God himself.

For me, this book felt more like a conversation with a longtime kindred spirit. As I was reading, my daughter came into my study and asked me who I was talking to Evidently, many of Enns insights had flipped my internal dialog switch to speakerphone mode and the rest of my family was subjected to several outbursts of "Yes!" and "Thank You!" I was particularly struck by Enns observation that church is too often the riskiest place to be spiritually vulnerable and honest (museum vs. hospital analogy) - which is such a shame.

One quote I feel compelled to share: "God will eventually expose the limitations of our thinking. Then we can (and will) see the inevitability to letting go of the need to know (intellectually) and trust God instead - as best we can each moment - because God is God. Trust like this is an affront to reason, the control our egos crave. Which is precisely the point. Trust does not work because we have captured God in our minds. It works regardless of the fact that, at the end of the day, we finally learn that we can't." Yes! and Thank You!


Category: History, Spiritual & Religious

With compelling and often humorous stories from his own life, Bible scholar Peter Enns offers a fresh look at how Christian life truly works, answering questions that cannot be addressed by the idealized traditional doctrine of “once for all delivered to the saints”.

Enns offers a model of vibrant faith that views skepticism not as a loss of belief but as an opportunity to deepen religious conviction with courage and confidence. This is not just an intellectual conviction, he contends, but a more profound kind of knowing that only true faith can provide.

Combining Enns’ reflections of his own spiritual journey with an examination of scripture, The Sin of Certainty models an acceptance of mystery and paradox that all believers can follow and why God prefers this path, because it is the only way by which we can become mature disciples who truly trust God. It gives Christians who have known only the demand for certainty permission to view faith on their own flawed, uncertain, yet heartfelt terms.

The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More than Our "Correct" Beliefs