“Shaken Faith Syndrome and the Case for Faith”


Week after week after week, thus far without any interruption or pause


Since its online launch in early August of this year (it having been conceived and founded only about ten days earlier), Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture has never missed a Friday.  It has posted something new every single week.


And this week, the Thanksgiving holiday notwithstanding, is no exception.


Stephen Smoot reviews Michael Ash’s valuable book Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt.



  • Jason Covell

    It’s a sound and valuable book, and a very thorough review of it, too.

    I just came across an interesting book review in The New Republic, and as I was unable to think of any better place, I though I might just mention it here too.

    It’s a review by the Notre Dame philosopher Alvin Plantinga of Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False by Thomas Nagel. Nagel’s book is something of a broadside against the lazy thinking that props up what he terms “Darwinist materialism”, the familiar and widespread consensus that there can be no God, that life emerges naturally from inorganic matter, and that the workings of the universe can be understood by scientific enquiry without appeal to anything much beyond our current level of scientific knowledge (and certainly not to any supernatural phenomena).

    What makes this interesting from the outset is that Nagel is himself an atheist. But what might make the review especially interesting to readers of this blog is the summary of Nagel’s attempts to find an alternative (on p.4 of the online version, link below).

    Here Nagel presents a set of ideas which he sees as a way around, without resorting to a “traditional” theism. I excerpt one short passage which may seem oddly familiar:

    “In this view, mind never emerges in the universe: it is present from the start, in that even the most elementary particles display some kind of mindedness. The thought is not, of course, that elementary particles are able to do mathematical calculations, or that they are self-conscious; but they do enjoy some kind of mentality. In this way Nagel proposes to avoid the lack of intelligibility he finds in dualism.”


    • danpeterson

      Thanks for the valuable lead! Yes, it’s very surprising that Thomas Nagel has written such a book, and wonderful that so fine a thinker as Alvin Plantinga has reviewed it.

  • Rick

    I enjoyed Stephen’s contributions towards apologetics even before his mission. I’m very glad he has continued his work after returning.

    • danpeterson

      We’re grateful to have him working with us.