Doubting Faithfully: Confessions of a Skeptical Pastor
Independently Published (2020)
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (1/21)
“Doubting Faithfully: Confessions of a Skeptical Pastor” is Keith Long’s memoir of his spiritual journey throughout his life. It is the true story of how circumstances and situations can make a lasting impact on your life. Long’s memoir tells that he developed his love and passion for God while at college in Minnesota. He was down deep with his faith and took everything at gospel truth. His fire was hot for the Lord; he knew his path was making God his full-time job. Now that he has graduated and helped his wife achieve her MRS degree, he decided to dip his feet in the film industry. While tangibly unfruitful, it produced its fruits through the lessons he took away from the overall experience.
Now Long begins the next chapter in his life as a seminarian. While semi-hesitant of this decision, he jumps in and jumps out as an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). The hesitancy felt in the seminary becomes the truth while working in the field. Then he experiences some deaths of loved ones; this accumulation of events causes him to question everything about life, including his faith. Long searches for reassurance through any means possible to gain the answers he desperately needs. Unfortunately, he realizes that some questions may not come with the answers here on earth.
While coming up with the rest of the review, it was difficult for me to formulate my thoughts. I can say that the writing is smooth and flows well. Long does an adequate job of explaining theology, scripture, and worship practices from both viewpoints. The book gets to the point without “extra” material lying around.
On the other hand, I have problems with his nit-picking the Bible, and it seemed to me that he contradicted himself a few times on his beliefs. Long has issues with interpreting the Bible, whether to take it literally or allow room for interpretation. It shocks me that he holds views that are not even Christian (Jesus is not truly God; there is no Trinity), yet he still preaches that Jesus is a “good guy.” If someone is serious about their faith, they should consult someone else who shares their faith, not someone of a different religion or lack. The verse 2 Timothy 3:16 states that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.”
So, for readers interested in reading this book, Long makes good points about seeking answers and not being content believing what your elder tells you. However, he is way off the mark with his blasphemous comments from a Christian perspective.