The Evangelical Experience
The Evangelical Christian movement is one that I suspect most, if not all, the people reading this review are familiar with. They are perhaps the most outspoken branch of Christianity, and I’m sure nearly everyone I know has at least heard of televangelism if they haven’t seen an example of it. When the election season rolls around, they are the ones courted by the Republican Party as though they make up the vast majority of America. But how much does the average person know about evangelicals? How much would they really understand about the movement?The answer may well be “more than you think.” Nothing in the book was a great surprise to me, though Coleman does a magnificent job of piecing together information so that it forms a coherent whole. He uses facts about what evangelicals believe in addition to his own personal account of being drawn toward their faith before having his own crisis of belief to illustrate just what is so powerful about this very vocal group. I was fascinated by his writing, and I finished the book with a far better understanding of evangelicals than I had when I started it.
I highly recommend this book, and not only because it offers a chance to better understand Evangelical Christianity. The book is an excellent read no matter what your opinions on this particular branch are, since Coleman offers no judgment one way or the other. In the chapters dedicated to the facts about evangelical beliefs, he presents solely those: facts, without any attempt to sway the reader’s opinion one way or the other. In the chapters dedicated to his personal experience being an evangelical, he shows both the good and the bad. He walks us through his crisis of faith, but before that, he shows how drawn he was to that faith and the positive effect it can have on people’s lives. For a truly neutral account of one of the most vocal religions in America, you needn’t look any further. For those seeking a greater understanding, this is an excellent first step.
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