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The Skeptical Believer: Telling Stories to Your Inner Atheist

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  21 reviews
When it comes to God, there are believers and there are skeptics. But there are also Skeptical Believers, a particular kind of believer who lives with an Inner Atheist that is constantly raising objections. The Skeptical Believer is a book about making peace with your Inner Atheist, and about working out useful responses to questions that have no definitive answers. It ste ...more
Paperback, 388 pages
Published February 7th 2013 by Bog Walk Press
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Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
I gave this book five stars even though I found the tone annoying at times and I agree with other reviewers that it could have benefited from more editing because this book in many ways pulled me from the depths of an existential crisis. I needed to hear Taylor's arguments about there being a place for doubters in the story of faith and I needed to hear a committed Christian author verbalize doubts and questions that I wrestle with constantly. I also am willing to bear with the meandering writin ...more
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A thought provoking book that gives validity (and Challenge) to those in the Christian walk who sometimes struggle with faith. The "inner Athiest voice" throughout the book seems more gimmick than anything and it's longer than it needs to be. That said, the ideas are important, genuine, and generally well thought out. Reccomended. ...more
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Skeptical Believer makes the case that it makes sense to live a life of (Christian) belief even if you are skeptical of religious doctrines. This is not an apologetic work. Dan Taylor is not trying to give you arguments about why Christianity is true or other belief systems must be false. Instead, The Skeptical Believer re-casts the question of religious belief as a question of commitment to a story that can make sense of life. More than make sense, he asserts that the Christian story can ma ...more
John Martindale
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! Taylor has a refreshing perspective and a good sense of humor. It was affirming and encouraging to come across another Christian who has similar reasons for remaining in the faith despite of a skeptical disposition and being inundated by a plethora of uncertainties and doubts. For us it all ultimately comes down to Story. Both me and Taylor feel the Christian story is the best one out there--both of us are familiar with the myth of certainty--both of us know we need to commit a ...more
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
If it hadn't been for the author's irreverent "inner atheist" who kept interrupting his thoughtful discourse with sarcastic remarks, I would have given this book five stars. (It was the sarcasm that annoyed me, not the atheism. My inner atheist is more polite.) It was a very enjoyable read nevertheless. I was gratified to see healthy skepticism (not cynicism) presented in a positive light. No thinking person can honestly claim to be 100% certain about matters of faith. For certainty obviates an ...more
Richard Heyduck
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As one who is a firmly committed follower of Christ yet with a high doubt tolerance, I have found Taylor's work congenial. His short, pithy chapters confront the nature of believing (and non-believing) skepticism.

Taylor's major premise is that the truth of faith is best encountered and understood in the form of story, not propositions abstracted from that story. As those who have read my book know, I am very much in line with such a view.

If you are a "skeptical believer" or interact with people
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Loved this. Would have been 5 star, but went a bit long. With the right editor I think this could be streamlined into a best seller.
David Gregg
What follows is a preview of the chapter "Learning to Live With Your Inner Atheist", which the author has posted publicly on his website ( (view spoiler) ...more
Paul Dubuc
My name is Paul ... and I am a Skeptical Believer.

I've been savoring this book. Its short chapters and conversational style make that a good way to read it. This isn't a book about apologetics, except maybe where one's own faith is concerned. It's more about epistemology--how we know what we know--where it comes to the really important matters upon which our most important commitments rest. The author's musings are interrupted occasionally by the snarky, sarcastic comments of his "Inner Atheist.
Ed Wojniak
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Great book! Written with humor, insight, compassion and balance. Highly recommended, even if you have less an atheist and more a skeptic as your alter-ego.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Good content, but I just found it too long.
Taylor Ruckle
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Taylor's conclusions are highly useful, insightful, and personally resonant. His style is. Tedious. ...more
Clayton Keenon
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A little repetitive, but chock full of good nuggets and turns of phrase. Also, it resonated with this skeptical believer's experience. ...more
Luke Paulsen
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a tricky book to review. It isn't really a work of apologetics-- thus the "Believer" part of the title. But it isn't really a work of devotion either, because devotion assumes the truths of faith, and there's that "Skeptical" in the title. It isn't making a well-defined argument, per se, because one central thesis of The Skeptical Believer-- so far as it can even be said to have one-- seems to be that arguments are less relevant to day-to-day belief than stories are. But it doesn't seem ...more
Autumn Kotsiuba
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I saw the title and something in me went, "Oh, so that's what I am." And I've always hated it. I'm skeptical about everything. I question...well, all the time. I wrestle with my beliefs and with contradictions. It sort of sucks, especially when some (well-meaning) people consider this "weak faith."

But. I'm lucky enough to have good friends who 1) share my "ailment," as well as 2) those who don't, but put up with me anyways. I found (some) answers to my questions in books and personal study. Whic
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
"Life is tough, faith is difficult, the world does not pat you on the head. Get over it!...
It requires a bit of fortitude to be a thinking, reflective, engaged, honest, committed believer in the twenty-first century. When has it not? Life is not and never has been, conducive to any faith that requires you to be different than you would instinctively be anyway. There will always be a gap between what you wish you knew and what you do know, between how you would like things to be and how they are,
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are those days when you judge a book by its cover, pick it up, pay for it, only to read it and discover that it is better than the cover.

This has been my experience reading through Daniel Taylor's Skeptical Believer. Artistically, he is a great writer, and the fact that he is a literary tutor shows. Plus I have a special place for writers who value the importance of stories in our lives.

But I also found myself disturbingly identifying with the author. It is like he was reading my mind and
Lee Bertsch
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was a tad too long. During the last quarter of the book I felt like some points had been made already. I am still rating it a five star however, because I simply delighted in reading this book. In his own review of another book, Taylor wrote: "I underlined the sentence, not sure whether it was quite right, but knowing he was on to something." I underlined a lot in his book, some of them in the way of which he refers. There were so many times I felt like he took assorted thoughts and un ...more
May 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
2.5 and a somewhat subjective rating; I appreciate what he is trying to do, but mostly the book moved too slowly for me and didn't resonate. I did like the emphasis on "buying into a story" and then living daily to be faithful to the story, while recognising there will never be enough concrete, rational, scientific evidence that it is true. The leap of faith must be made and then lived out. ...more
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Daniel Taylor (Ph.D., Emory University) is the author of twelve books, including The Myth of Certainty, Letters to My Children, Tell Me A Story: The Life-Shaping Power of Our Stories, Creating a Spiritual Legacy, The Skeptical Believer: Telling Stories to Your Inner Atheist and two novels, Death Comes for the Decontructionist and Do We Not Bleed? He has also worked on a number of Bible translation ...more

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