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Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt is Not the Enemy of Faith

(Releasing from David C. Cook, July 1, 2015)

God is infinite, beyond our understanding—yet He chooses to reveal Himself in ways that spark questions rather than settling them all.

Instead of making Himself smaller, God invites us into a larger faith. One that has room for questions, victories, failures, and mystery. Because belief in an infinite God by finite humans is an act of exploration … a process of learning—and then embracing—what we can’t learn but can trust.

Discover the God who not only desires our belief but actually welcomes our curiosity.

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Barnabas Piper issues a powerful call to leave the gridlock of black and white thinking and enter the grey terrain of second-guessing and doubt. This is where we raise our toughest, most honest questions to God. Such an invitation doesn’t push us from the Gospel but draws us nearer to the heart of Christ. May we all learn to pray, “Help my unbelief.”

–       Margaret Feinberg, author of Fight Back With Joy and Wonderstruck


Some Christians have a simple faith unencumbered by doubt. For the rest of us, things aren’t so easy. We question. We second-guess. We always want to know why. Help My Unbelief is the perfect book for us. With accessible prose and unflinching honesty Barnabas explores belief that encompasses, is even strengthened by, doubt. Anyone navigating a faith filled with doubts will find Barnabas a sympathetic and reliable guide.

–       Drew Dyck, managing editor of Leadership Journal and author of Yawning at Tigers: You Can’t Tame God, So Stop Trying


Sometimes believers can give the impression that the Christian life is always one of triumph and confidence. This book by Barnabas Piper counsels us on how to trust God when our faith is weak and wavering. It calls us away from a demon-like faith, that simply knows the data about God, to a childlike faith that cries out “I believe; help my unbelief.” If you find yourself doubting, or if you love someone who does, this book will refresh and encourage.

–       Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and author of Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ


Help My Unbelief gives the church permission to exhale. It’s a book which pulls up a chair and looks in the eyes of the doubter and says, “You’re not alone, friend.” Doubt, says Barnabas Piper, is not the antithesis of Faith. Rather, it’s a gateway. The key is to ask the right questions, and to be open to God’s answers. For this particular disillusioned pastor’s daughter, Piper’s words are a lifeline—and the key to drawing today’s youth back into Christendom.

–       Emily T. Wierenga, author of five books including Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (emilywierenga.com)


Too often our struggles with doubt are hidden, pushed into the back of the cupboard like a corrosive agent that is too dangerous to touch. With clarity, warmth and candour, Barnabas Piper shows us that doubt does not have to be something which corrodes, but rather in its right place can be something that strengthens faith.

–       Mark Sayers: Pastor of Red Church, Melbourne, and author of Facing Leviathan and The Road Trip That Changed the World.


Barnabas Piper’s Help my Unbelief is an honest, self-revealing and engaging treatment of an important subject. This winsome and well-reasoned book avoids clichés and easy, superficial answers. It will benefit many—including those who doubt, those who “sort of” believe, and those who believe, yet long to do so more completely.

–       Randy Alcorn, Author of Heaven and Hand in Hand


I’m really excited for you to read Barnabas’ new book, Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt is Not The Enemy of Faith. Barnabas writes in a ruthlessly honest and raw way.  This book is going to help an entire generation grow and blossom in their faith in midst of wrestling with doubt.

–       Derwin L. Gray, Lead Pastor Transformation Church, Author of Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future.


Barnabas Piper in Help My Unbelief makes a clear and compelling case for faith amidst the sea of doubts many experience in Christianity. It’s a necessary book for our generation.

–       Matt Carter, Pastor of Preaching, Austin Stone Community Church, co-author of The Real Win and For the City


Barnabas Piper’s Help My Unbelief is an encouraging, honest look at an essential but under-discussed aspect of faith: the tension between belief and unbelief. It’s a tension that need not be feared. Piper shows us, rather, how the tension can be healthy and ultimately leave us stronger in our faith. For any believer who has felt alone in their wrestle with unbelief, or who was mistakenly taught that true belief is always ironclad, this valuable and timely book is for you.

–       Brett McCracken, author of Gray Matters and Hipster Christianity


PK Cover - flat

The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity

(David C. Cook, Available Now)

Barnabas Piper has experienced the challenges of being a PK first hand. In The Pastor’s Kid, he addresses the pervasive assumptions, identity issues, and accelerated scrutiny PK’s pastor/father and church body. But more than just stating the problems he shares the one thing a PK needs above all else (as do their pastor/father and church) to live in true freedom and wholeness. With empathy, humor and passion, this book courageously addresses one of the most under-the-radar issues affecting almost every church and pastor, and their children.

(Please use the hashtag #PKBook when sharing on social media.)

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Download Free Sample Chapter

Foreword (John Piper), Introduction, And Chapter 1

You can also download The PK Handbook, a short booklet for PKs, for free at David C Cook’s book landing page.

The Trailer

What People Are Saying

I’m so pleased and thankful for this new resource from my friend Barnabas Piper on “The Pastor’s Kid.”  As a PK, I found myself laughing, crying and empathizing chapter after chapter.  While some might find some of the anecdotes far-fetched or over-wrought, let me assure you these experiences he writes about do truly happen.  What I appreciated as a PK so much was Piper’s sincere honesty in not only addressing and unveiling so many of the issues PKs face, but also presenting helpful, practical and biblical wisdom in loving and interacting with the PK.  Personally it has renewed my desire as a pastor to wisely love my children not as PKs but as precious children entrusted to my wife and I from the Lord.

–       Jonathan Holmes, PK and pastor


I resonate with this book because not only am I a PK but I am also a pastor. The pastor is under pressure to have “well-behaved” kids – after all, it could cost him his job (cf. 1 Tim 3). Barnabas challenges me to be a grace-saturated parent who doesn’t raise Pharisees but instead points my children to identity in Jesus. I am thankful for a preacher father who modeled for me what this work is exhorting: prioritizing time with family over meetings, seeking forgiveness from children for sins against them, and much more. I pray that this work will challenge many toward this great goal!

–       Jonathan Akin, PK and pastor


This book exposes a variety of issues related to the inner dynamics of the experience of a Pastor’s Kid (PK). I think the book could be helpful for PK’s, pastor’s families and church members, particularly lay leaders in understanding the implications of grace and gospel for a PK.  So many of the heart level, dare I say, secret realities that PKs face are brought to light. I also appreciate the author’s honesty about his experiences and personal journey as a PK.  The conversational style of the book also adds the element of shared journey for the reader.  Although the book sometimes appears to come down hard on pastors, the final chapter is helpful in offering encouragement to pastors and PKs, particularly as the benefits of being a PK are discussed. As a PK who is now a young pastor and father of four, I’d love to see even more in that chapter (book 2 perhaps?) and I’m sure there are further examples out there of PK’s who feel like their parents did it well. 

–       J. Ryan Davidson, PK and pastor


The Pastor’s Kid poignantly conveys the struggles many PK’s face today. It is a call for pastors, families, and church families to carefully consider their relationships and extend God’s overwhelming grace to one another as they grow together in unity. As a PK myself, I resonated with much of what Barnabas wrote and encourage you to read this book and journey a mile in our shoes.

–       Matthew Weathers, PK and missionary


As a PK, Pastor and new Father I am very thankful for Barnabas Piper’s book, The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith And Identity. The Pastor’s Kid is a brutally honest description of what it’s like growing up simultaneously in the shadow and the spotlight. There were many portions of the book where I felt as if Barnabas was retelling my own experiences as a PK and the countless frustrations that come from unrealistic demands and expectations. It accurately describes the many pressures that a PK faces while giving helpful tips for Pastors and their congregation as to how they can help to create a church culture where those pressures are appropriately recognized and removed.

If you’re a PK, a Pastor or someone who loves their pastor and his family you will appreciate the lessons this book has to offer. 

–       Daniel Balcombe, PK and pastor


Barnabas nailed the PK experience, or at least my experience as one. I am thankful for how he helped illuminate my background for me. I’m also thankful he wrote a book that isn’t the same as every other book. I’ve tried to think of other books aimed at PK’s, about PK’s, etc. and I can’t think of any. I hope it’s read well beyond Pastors’ families. It deserves it. 

–       Matthew Lee Anderson, PK and author


Pastor’s kids must wrestle with the internal pressure to become like dad, and the external pressure to live up to his standard of supposed perfection. Not to mention the others who expect the PK to rebel against it all. No question, the life of a PK is packed with potential for good and bad. Barnabas Piper writes as someone who can empathize with the pressure PKs feel. Pastors, PKs, and those who desire to help others navigate through this tension, now have a resource in this book to be more equipped in handling the past pains and the current struggles.

–       Tyler Braun, PK and author


I enjoyed reading The Pastor’s Kid.  I appreciate the writing style.  It comes across as conversational.  I think the reader will feel like he’s sitting across from Barnabas at Starbucks, enjoying some coffee while they discuss life as a PK.  No one will ever understand PKs like another PK, but for those who are not, this book will give them helpful insights into the struggles and challenges PKs face.  I especially appreciated Barnabas’s willingness to be vulnerable. Overall, I thought this book was balanced.  I’m thankful it doesn’t let us PKs off the hook by reminding us to choose forgiveness and not be bitter about our God-ordained upbringing.  I’m thankful it shows grace to Pastors in the end. My prayer for The Pastor’s Kid is that it will succeed in terms of restored, renewed, and strengthened relationships between pastors and their children.  I also pray that church members will be more mindful of PKs and will want to genuinely invest themselves in the life of each PK. 

–       Chriselda Dirrim, PK


Being a PK (Preacher’s Kid), I’ve often joked that there should be a support group for our misunderstood little band. So when I learned that Barnabas Piper was writing a book about PKs that wasn’t critical, but purposed to give insight and helpful information to Pastors, their kids, and church members, I was elated. After reading The Preacher’s Kid, I believe Barnabas may have inadvertently written one of the most helpful and revealing books in recent years. I know that it has been therapeutic to me personally and has given my wife a better understanding of me and my unique family dynamic. I am certain that this book will be a valuable asset to the body of Christ as well… especially for PKs who often feel misunderstood and unloved.

–       Rev. Dwight L. MacPherson, PK and Pastor