From Publishers Weekly
A sociologist at the University of Connecticut, Wright examines recent survey data on Christian evangelicals to see if they substantiate the often misguided and hyperbolic public perceptions of this faith group. Separating the wheat from the chaff, he explains how some poorly worded, ill-sampled statistics give the wrong impression of evangelicals and why people should avoid giving them credence. Though he often blames the media for gleefully reporting bad news about devout Christians, he doesnÖt spare evangelical polemicists such as Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel for their false exaggerations of evangelical shortcomings. His biggest target may be the pollster George Barna, whose surveys on Christianity have generated intense controversy. WrightÖs colloquial writing style gives this volume the feel of a folksy college lecture series. The abundant use of graphics adds to the impression the bookÖs genesis was cribbed from introductory sociology of religion classes. The conclusions drawn here--no surprise--are that the most committed Christians practice what they preach, performing better than the rest of the population on a host of social measures including divorce, domestic violence, sexual misconduct, crime, substance abuse, and everyday honesty.
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From the Back Cover
What if all the bad news you've been hearing about Christians isn't true?
Here are some facts that may surprise you:
• Evangelicals are more respected by society today than they were twenty years ago.
• Divorce rates of Christian couples are lower than those of nonbelievers.
• The percentage of young people who attend church has held steady over the past twenty years.
All these statements are true, yet we've been told the opposite time and time again. Why is the church being misled? And what is the true state of Christianity in America today?
Sociologist Brad Wright shatters popular myths by sifting through the best available data. He reveals how Christians are doing when it comes to everything from marriage and morality to church growth and public perception. While not all the news is good, it turns out there is a wealth of encouraging information that we're not being told.
Get the truth behind the statistics you've been hearing and how the numbers are being manipulated, and discover what is really happening in American Christianity.
"Buy this book and read it carefully. Then buy one more and give it to your best friend and ask that person to do the same thing. I hope this book goes viral because this book shows that there's lots of good news when it comes to the condition of the church in the West."
Karl A. Olsson, Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University
"Amid the widespread, distorted, alarmist, and erroneous claims about American Christianity, it is always good to learn some basic, reliable facts. Brad Wright pulls together a lot of good ones in these pages to reconnect people to reality. Let us hope that the misinformed critics and alarmists pay attention."
Christian Smith, Professor of Sociology, University of Notre Dame
"This is an extremely needed book that is a delight to read."
Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences, Baylor University