The Danger of Certainty

Dr. Bryan Whitfield – February 23, 2020

Eric Fromm wrote that the “compulsive quest for certainty…is not the expression of genuine faith but is rooted in the need to conquer unbearable doubt.” Or, to put it another way, the dead-sure folks are dead wrong. Excess certainty excludes faith. People of faith move from anxiety, fear, and obsession about certainty to celebrate the present with joy and embrace the future with hope

Bryan Whitfield is associate professor of religion and director of the Great Books Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Mercer, where he has taught since 2002. A Georgia native, he has also taught at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and Columbia Theological Seminary. He holds the Ph.D. in New Testament from Emory University. During the spring semester of 2014, he was visiting research professor of New Testament at Johannes Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany

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