Terryl and Fiona Givens joined me back in July of 2013 for the first episode of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, and it seems fitting that they’re back on the nice round number of episode 30.
Here we talk about their latest book The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith. One of the fundamental messages of Crucible is the idea that faith is a sort of choice; a decision. The idea is that God could provide overwhelming or undeniable evidence for the gospel, but doing so would rob people of the agency of making a choice that has any moral worth. They write: “We have learned to relish a commitment that is born of faith freely chosen rather than of certainty compelled by evidence.” What about people who simply don’t feel like they really have a choice? Perhaps they have come to believe the evidence against any particular claim is too overwhelming and that choosing faith would be like looking at the summer sky and declaring that it isn’t blue after all? In this episode Fiona and Terryl offer responses to this and other questions about their path-breaking book.
About the Guests
Terryl L. Givens holds the James A. Bostwick chair of English and is Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond and a prolific author in Mormon studies, with books such as By the Hand of Mormon, People of Paradox, and Wrestling the Angel.
Fiona Givens is a retired modern language teacher with undergraduate degrees in French and German and a graduate degree in European history. With Terryl she co-authored The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life.
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