Proper Confidence by Newbigin

Proper Confidence by NewbiginI just completed Proper Confidence: Faith, Doubt, and Certainty in Christian Discipleship by Lesslie Newbigin. It gets my four star rating. This little book(105 pages) is of tremendous help in reflecting on apologetics in a postmodern West. The usual Newbigin fusion of Christo-centric, missions-oriented, impeccable scholarship, and concern for faithful Gospel witness all are here. In addition, Newbigin takes on a Cartesian approach to the defense of Christianity that has pervaded Western Christian thinking and must now be seen for its inability to fulfil God’s purposes in the world. In his chapter, “Through Faith Alone,” Newbigin says, “The reasonableness of Christianity will be demonstrated (insofar as it can be) not by adjusting its claims to the requirements of a preexisting structure of thought but by showing how it can provide an alternative foundation for a different structure (93-94)”

Newbigin is, as this new century goes by, the kind of pastor-missionary-theologian that we need to consider. I find his writing of immense help. While I prefer to read Newbigin while reading Spurgeon or Ryle at the same time (outside of the box thinking tempered by clear, orthodox Protestant preaching), I still do like to read him and end up preaching better as a result. He excites my devotion to the Christian and Biblical vision of the Church in the world for God’s purposes in the world. And in Proper Confidence he demonstrates a keen insight into how “to commend the truth of the gospel in a culture that has sought for absolute certainty as the ideal of true knowledge bu now despairs of the possibility of knowing truth at all… (93)”

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About Michael Milton, Ph.D.

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D. (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David's College), is an American Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and author. He is, also, an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Book Reviews, Evangelism, Homiletics, Jesus Christ, Newbigin, Preaching, Presbyterian, Presbyterian Churches, Reformation, Reformed, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, World Missions. Bookmark the permalink.

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