Catalogue


Exodus : why Americans are fleeing liberal churches for conservative Christianity /
Dave Shiflett.
imprint
New York : Sentinel, c2005.
description
xxvi, 196 p.
ISBN
1595230076
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Sentinel, c2005.
isbn
1595230076
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
5425175
A Look Inside
About the Author
BIH Author Biography
Dave Shiflett is the author of Christianity on Trial and a member of the White House Writers Group. He has written for The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, Reader's Digest, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, New Democrat, Investor's Business Daily, the Guardian, and many other publications. He lives outside of Richmond, Virginia.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Why is Watered-Down, "Anything Goes" Christianity Triggering an Exodus of Biblical Proportions? In startling numbers, Americans are leaving liberal Christian denominations for churches that ask them for sexual restraint, a hefty commitment of time, and rock-solid belief in demanding theological tenets, such as the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and the Trinity. This trend seems counterintuitive to the secular minded. In our cosmopolitan and prosperous age, why are so many people longing for old-time religion? Dave Shiflett toured America to answer that provocative question, interviewing dozens of people who have abandoned the Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other liberal churches that their parents were loyal to. These people have often been alienated by left-wing political sermons, intellectual fads, and the radical compromises some denominations have made to embrace political correctness-including the installation of an openly homosexual Episcopal bishop. Shiflett found many shocking stories, such as: * A seminary student who was rebuffed, at seminary, because he actually believed in God * A Unitarian hospital chaplain who refused to comfort a dying patient with the promise of an afterlife, because the chaplain doesn't believe in one * A famous bishop whose disbelief in the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and Jesus's curing of the sick has become widespread, even among supposedly serious believers * A Maryland church that created Lenten ashes out of tax forms, draft cards, olive oil, and human blood * The process by which liberal clergy reject clear biblical admonitions and replace them with politically correct ideology But Shiflett doesn't just reveal why mainstream Americans-including many with college degrees and high incomes-are fleeing these colonies of agnosticism, polytheism, and heresy. He also explains the powerful appeal of more demanding denominations, such as the Southern Baptists, various evangelical churches, and even traditional Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. These churches hold people to a much higher standard of faith and action, but they deliver so much more in return. Shiflett explains the power of the traditional Christian message of hope. Exodus is a fascinating book that will shatter many myths about the so-called religious right-who they are, what they believe, and why their ranks will continue to grow in the years ahead.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2005-05-02:
In this readable work of partisan reportage, conservative journalist Shiflett visits all the usual suspects in the denominational culture wars, with a few of his relatives and friends thrown in. His engaging accounts of interviews with figures like Chuck Colson, Southern Baptist Richard Land and Orthodox writer Frederica Mathewes-Green succeed in dispelling the idea that traditional Christians "have `retreated' into orthodox belief as a way of escaping the vicissitudes of modern life." The beliefs they embrace are intellectually rigorous and ethically demanding, hardly the stuff of retreat. Shiflett even allows a bit of nuance in his treatment of liberal Episcopal priests, giving a sympathetic hearing to a priest whose affirmation of gay sexuality coexists with her unflinching faith in the Resurrection. But Shiflett indulges all too often in dubious hyperbole ("Whenever they glance at a car bumper," conservative Christians "see one of those Darwin footed fish") and curious extrapolations (the chapter on evangelicals is almost entirely taken up with a narrative of the religious response to Columbine). He misidentifies a key figure in the Episcopalian/Anglican split and bungles the names of public figures, like Princeton philosopher Peter (not Paul) Singer and San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom (not Mark Newsome). In the end, Shiflett's strong writing and basically generous spirit cannot overcome these deficiencies, and this book will do little more than confirm well-worn prejudices on all sides. (June 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Booklist, May 2005
Publishers Weekly, May 2005
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Summaries
Back Cover Copy
"We Have Figured Out Your Problem. You're The Only One Here Who Believes In God." As it happens, these words were spoken to a seminary student I know, while he was eating lunch in the seminary cafeteria. They were spoken by another seminary student, who was reflecting the view of fellow students and faculty. Something has gone decidedly amiss when a person who believes in God is the odd man out.... That is exactly what is happening throughout the Protestant mainline, and that is what this book is about: Americans are vacating progressive pews and flocking to churches that offer more traditional versions of Christianity. Liberal Churches Have Gone Too Far! In 1984, to give one well-known example, the proprietors of New York's [Episcopalian] Cathedral of St. John the Divine unveiled a crucifix featuring "Christa" -a female remake of Jesus that would likely have made Herod's sap rise. The Episcopalians are hardly the only participants in this religious freak show. The Presbyterians, who have been fighting their own sex wars for decades (as have the Methodists and others), created large columns of refugees by embracing nontraditional ideas, including one insisting that the denomination transfer thousands of dollars from its collection plates into the pockets of Angela Davis-a vibrant apostle, to be sure, though of Karl Marx, not Jesus of Nazareth. The United Church of Christ's general synod endorsed homosexual ordinations in 1983, which was not so great an offense, to some at least, as were references to God as both Mother and Father (suggesting a supernatural sexual identity crisis) and the likening of the Almighty to "a Bakerwoman." Christian aesthetics have fallen far since the King James Version and Michelangelo.
Main Description
Why, in this age of moral relativism, are millions of people eager to adopt tougher and more traditional religious practices? Why are they fleeing denominations that focus on social justice rather than dogma, such as the Unitarians and Episcopalians? Why are they joining conservative churches like the Southern Baptists in record numbers? Many articles have been written about the decline of mainstream Protestantism? especially since the Episcopal Church confirmed an openly gay bishop, sparking a fierce debate among its own members. But no author has gone behind the scenes to interview the Americans, liberal and conservative, who are at the heart of this important shift. Journalist Dave Shiflett reveals why liberal pastors have cast aside tradition and Christian belief as they remake their churches. He shows why there are so many refugees from the mainline denominations into Roman Catholic, evangelical, and Orthodox churches. Exodusundermines several stereotypes about conservative believers, who are better educated, wealthier, and more worldly than we assume. Many of those who flock to conservative churches don't agree with all of their new churches? teachings on issues like abortion and divorce. They don't all believe that every word of the Bible is true. Yet they're tired of being told that nearly anything goes. They hunger for the traditional Christian message of hope. This is a fascinating book that will shatter many myths about the ?religious right.'
Main Description
Why, in this age of moral relativism, are millions of people eager to adopt tougher and more traditional religious practices? Why are they fleeing denominations that focus on social justice rather than dogma, such as the Unitarians and Episcopalians? Why are they joining conservative churches like the Southern Baptists in record numbers? Many articles have been written about the decline of mainstream Protestantism— especially since the Episcopal Church confirmed an openly gay bishop, sparking a fierce debate among its own members. But no author has gone behind the scenes to interview the Americans, liberal and conservative, who are at the heart of this important shift. Journalist Dave Shiflett reveals why liberal pastors have cast aside tradition and Christian belief as they remake their churches. He shows why there are so many refugees from the mainline denominations into Roman Catholic, evangelical, and Orthodox churches. Exodus undermines several stereotypes about conservative believers, who are better educated, wealthier, and more worldly than we assume. Many of those who flock to conservative churches don’t agree with all of their new churches’ teachings on issues like abortion and divorce. They don’t all believe that every word of the Bible is true. Yet they’re tired of being told that nearly anything goes. They hunger for the traditional Christian message of hope. This is a fascinating book that will shatter many myths about the “religious right.”
Main Description
Why, in this age of moral relativism, are millions of people eager to adopt tougher and more traditional religious practices? Why are they fleeing denominations that focus on social justice rather than dogma, such as the Unitarians and Episcopalians? Why are they joining conservative churches like the Southern Baptists in record numbers?Many articles have been written about the decline of mainstream Protestantism— especially since the Episcopal Church confirmed an openly gay bishop, sparking a fierce debate among its own members. But no author has gone behind the scenes to interview the Americans, liberal and conservative, who are at the heart of this important shift.Journalist Dave Shiflett reveals why liberal pastors have cast aside tradition and Christian belief as they remake their churches. He shows why there are so many refugees from the mainline denominations into Roman Catholic, evangelical, and Orthodox churches.Exodusundermines several stereotypes about conservative believers, who are better educated, wealthier, and more worldly than we assume. Many of those who flock to conservative churches don’t agree with all of their new churches’ teachings on issues like abortion and divorce. They don’t all believe that every word of the Bible is true. Yet they’re tired of being told that nearly anything goes. They hunger for the traditional Christian message of hope.This is a fascinating book that will shatter many myths about the religious right.”
Unpaid Annotation
This eye-opening book will shatter many myths about the "Religious Right."
Table of Contents
Our proud illusions
The Episcopalians : in the name of tolerancep. 3
The departing Episcopalians : in the name of traditionp. 24
Celebrity heretics and their influence : the wee deityp. 43
The abiding hope
The Catholic church : some roads lead to Romep. 69
The Orthodox church : some roads lead to Byzantiump. 94
The Southern Baptists : some roads lead to Louisvillep. 112
Evangelicals : Satan had a planp. 134
Evangelists : Damascus roadsp. 154
Conclusion : the fish and the sharkp. 175
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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