Item description for The Beliefnet Guide to Evangelical Christianity by Wendy Murray Zoba & Philip Yancey...
Overview A critical study of evangelical Christianity provides an analysis of evangelical beliefs and practices, traces the history of the movement, and refutes common misconceptions about the faith and its followers.
Publishers Description Has Evangelical Christianity become a political entity? What is the difference between "evangelical" and "evangelism"? Do evangelicals "literally" believe the Bible? Thirty-five percent of Americans today are evangelical Christians, yet many people are uncertain of what that term actually means. "The Beliefnet"(R)" Guide to Evangelical Christianity "offers a clear, unbiased description of evangelical beliefs and practices--including how they have changed throughout history and what they are now. It also dispels many current misconceptions about this faith group and its followers. "The Beliefnet"(R)" Guide to Evangelical Christianity" addresses topics such as evangelical Christians' approach to the accuracy of the Bible, their relationship with Jesus Christ, and the connection to conservative politics. Its nuts-and-bolts approach will appeal both to evangelicals who want to know more about the history of their religion and community and to general readers who want to understand the rise of evangelicalism over the past decades. From the premier source of information on religion and spirituality, the Beliefnet(R) Guides introduce you to the major traditions, leaders, and issues of faith in the world today.
From Publishers Weekly Here we have evangelical Christianity in a nutshell, written by a former Time
and Christianity Today journalist who describes herself as an evangelical.
Using Beliefnet's characteristically breezy and accessible writing style, Zoba
tells the truth about evangelical Christians. They are not all in agreement on
political issues such as abortion and homosexuality; they don't all reject
the theory of evolution; and while most believe in the inerrancy of the Bible
("when scripture says something, it is telling the truth"), they interpret
scripture in a variety of ways. This guide claims that evangelicals share
certain core religious values: they believe humans must have a "born again"
experience to become Christians, emphasize a personal relationship with Jesus
Christ, trust in the reliability of the Bible and "feel obliged to share their
faith in Jesus (which they believe saves them from eternal damnation) with
other people, in order to save them, too, from eternal damnation." The book
works overtime to rescue evangelical Christianity from the notion that it
promotes only individual concerns, with Zoba emphasizing the many ways
evangelicals are working hard toward social justice and the alleviation of
poverty. This guide delivers what it promises-a broad view of evangelicalism
designed to help readers be more tolerant and accepting of this branch of
Christianity. (June 14) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Beliefnet Guide to Evangelical Christianity by Wendy Murray Zoba & Philip Yancey has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 10
Ingram Advance - 05/01/2005 page 129
Publishers Weekly - 04/11/2005 page 48
Library Journal - 05/01/2005 page 94
Booklist - 05/15/2005 page 1616
Voice of Youth Advocates - 04/01/2006 page 82
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Studio: Three Leaves
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.52" Width: 5.51" Height: 0.38" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Jun 14, 2005
Publisher Three Leaves
Edition Three Leaves Pr
Series Beliefnet Guide
ISBN 0385514522 ISBN13 9780385514521
Availability 0 units.
More About Wendy Murray Zoba & Philip Yancey
Zoba is associate editor at Christianity Today. She worked in youth ministry with her husband for ten years.
Wendy Murray Zoba currently resides in Wheaton, in the state of Illinois.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Beliefnet Guide to Evangelical Christianity?
Questionable Usefulness Aug 17, 2007
The Beliefnet® Guide to Evangelical Christianity presents an overview of Evangelical Christianity covering evangelicalism's definition, beliefs, history, and current status politically and culturally. It includes a glossary of "church-speak" and a very good reading list. The book comes across in a friendly manner and is claimed to be written by an insider. Zoba does well in her attempt to dispel the negative stereotypes surrounding Evangelicalism, although she does not flinch from reporting its more embarrassing features. She also prefaces the book by stating that she does not speak for all evangelicals, a welcome admission considering some of her later statements.
She gives a good definition of this difficult-to-define movement which can be summarized as those Christians having: an emphasis on a born again experience, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, belief in a reliable and authoritative Bible, and an obligation to share their faith. This is followed by a very good section on just what the gospel is and why it was necessary for Christ to die for sin. The book is certainly not perfect, however. While no single error necessarily makes the book completely unacceptable, there are many of them and taken together make the book of questionable value.
While the author often distinguishes between those doctrinal features of Evangelicalism that fall within a range of acceptable possibilities and those that do not, she makes questionable or even false claims in other areas that she implies are fairly unanimous. One troublesome assertion is her explanation of the Trinity which smacks of heretical Modalism. There is also a repeated referral to a "strangely warming" sensation that Evangelicals allegedly equate with the influence of the Holy Spirit. I have been an Evangelical for over 15 years and the only time I have heard a phrase like this referring to God's interaction with us was from Mormons. A somewhat vague Charismaticism is assumed without mention of those who hold to Cessationism. Some important questions are also left open making it appear as though Evangelicalism is still struggling with issues that have actually been adequately answered (e.g. the fate of those who never heard the gospel is said to be a "mystery beyond human reckoning").
Her sections on morality leave much to be desired as well. The homosexual issue is considered to be more of an marketing problem for Evangelicals than a true moral dilemma, and the abortion debate is relegated to politics. In her section on the former she allows the ridiculous question "How did homosexuality leap over murder and adultery?" to stand as an assessment of culture's influence on Evangelicalism rather than its reliance on Scripture. She even makes the bizarre conclusion from Romans 1:26-27 that "the seemingly really bad sins as well as innocuous ones carry the same result" (which is the opposite of Paul's discussion here). Other statements like "the evangelical approach to justice [is] restorative, not retributive" are also less than representative.
It would have been better to simply state only her views (as such) or always include all options. Mixing the two without notice paints an inaccurate picture of the evangelical landscape. The uninformed reader will likely be far more confused after a perusal of this "premier source of information" than they were before they began.