A Jew Among the Evangelicals: A Guide for the Perplexed

Mark I. Pinsky, Author . Westminster John Knox $14.95 (155p) ISBN 978-0-664-23012-8

What's a nice Jewish boy doing at a Baptist church on Sunday? This is not the first line of a joke, but the raison d'être of Pinsky's account of American evangelicalism. Pinsky (The Gospel According to the Simpsons ) is a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel , and his beat—religion in the Sunbelt—draws him into close contact with evangelical Christians. Here, he examines evangelical pop culture and asks hard questions about evangelicalism's attitudes toward Judaism. But it is Pinsky's treatment of evangelicals in politics that distinguishes his book from countless other journalistic forays into the land of megachurches and Veggie Tales . Pinsky shows that evangelicalism is much more politically diverse than is often acknowledged. To illustrate, Pinsky takes readers to Calvin College, where a furor erupted when President Bush was invited to speak at graduation; many of the faculty and students at this decidedly evangelical school were appalled, and some boycotted commencement rather than give tacit approval of a president they disdained. Pinsky charts a growing evangelical environmental movement and shows that though many people who believe in a literal six-day Creation are evangelicals, many evangelicals do not hold to creationism. Kudos to Pinsky for offering nuanced reporting instead of stereotypes. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 04/24/2006
Release date: 08/01/2006
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