Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Apologetics (PhD)


Kevin King


religious doubt, emotional doubt, emotional religious doubt, REBT, divine revelation, epistemic axiom, counseling, rational emotive behavior therapy, imago Dei, cognitive therapy, faith, belief, varieties of doubt, Gary Habermas


Counseling | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


This study addresses the concept of religious doubt concerning those who embrace the Christian tradition, i.e., those who embrace the words and works of Christ, specifically the reality of the Resurrection, as true and efficacious for both salvation and spiritual formation. The existential crisis of doubting these truths is a consistent and significant issue addressed in both religious and secular circles driven by the desire to help the individual overcome the emotional distress associated with this phenomenon. This study is designating doubt that creates an existential crisis as emotional religious doubt (ERD), i.e., it is a species/variety of doubt that requires a specific approach for better treatment/counseling. Few studies, however, have addressed the species/varieties doubt concept and the significance of these designations to help both the counsellor and individual better navigate the anxiety produced by ERD. This study examines the literature surrounding religious doubt, the use of cognitive therapy (particularly REBT methodology), the importance of divine revelation as an epistemic axiom for the emotional religious doubter, and brings into question ability of REBT to produce long-term effects in the life of a believer. In doing so, it has argued that the best methodology for dealing with ERD requires the proper understanding and implementation of divine revelation as an epistemic axiom within the cognitive therapy approach of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT).