I recently heard an interview with Bruce and Marie Hafen and I was so impressed that I decided to find their book, Faith is Not Blind. Bruce Hafen has been dean of the Brigham Young University Law School, president of Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho,) and is a long-time General Authority. He and his wife, Marie, have co-authored several books together.
A short but very powerful book, Faith is Not Blind speaks mainly to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but like Sheri Dew’s Worth the Wrestle, it is for anyone (or anyone related to someone) suffering a faith crisis or someone merely “going through the motions” who wants more. In other words, it casts its net fairly wide.
Because many questioning their faith, whether it be faith in God or their particular organized religion, feel a tug-of-war between logic and belief–opting for logic–the Hafens approach faith from a logical view. They know their audience.
Main points, upon which the book is built, are these:
- real vs. the ideal
- early innocent simplicity
- bewildering complexity
- mature enhanced simplicity
The last point, mature enhanced simplicity, is the ultimate goal for anyone who wants to break the confines of their struggles and rediscover faith. This usually only comes as the result of complexity. The complexity stage, however, is where many people get stuck, often for a lifetime, often leading to “intellectual apostasy.”
The Hafens assure the reader that emerging from complexity and progressing to mature enhanced simplicity with both faith and individuality intact is a very attainable goal, but it requires work and participation. There is no getting something for nothing. Understanding the ways modern society tries to prevent reaching the goal of mature enhanced simplicity is also key and something they discuss in depth. Personally, I found the idea of the “burden of proof” shift over recent years amazingly accurate.
Without being preachy, the Hafens accomplish a great deal in fifteen brief chapters. The reader will find himself holding up the figurative mirror and self-examining his own faith, as well as feeling more compassion and understanding for loved ones still stuck in the mire of bewildering complexity. At the very least, we learn that faith and logic do not need to be mutually exclusive, but can build upon each other to create one great end result.
It is a brilliant book.
Bonus Link: Bruce and Marie Hafen discuss stages of faith in the ALL IN podcast.