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Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites...and Other Lies You've Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media Paperback – July 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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From the Back Cover
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
More About the Author
His first book, Christians are Hate-Filled Hypocrites... and Other Lies You've Been Told, was a modest success, winning a Christianity Today book award. His second book, Upside: Surprising Good News about the State of Our World, not so much. It supports the idea that good news doesn't sell.
His hobbies include photography, cycling, and hiking. He is married and has two children and a small dog.
Top Customer Reviews
Filled with charts, engaging explanation, and elbow-patch college professor humor, this book sets out to debunk commonly quoted myths regarding religion, focusing on Christianity and, more specifically, Evangelical Christianity.
Statistics are fascinating things. People tend to believe them when quoted. A few things to keep in mind when seeing a statistic. What is the thesis question, who is gathering the data and for what purpose, what is the N or population for data (the smaller the study size, the less reliable the data and does it represent a fair amount of different groups), and is it statistically significant?
The author addresses, through statistics and surveys, how Christians, and more specifically, evangelical Christians, are doing in regard to Christian lifestyle. For instance, why do we hear so much bad news about Christianity? (It sells stories) Is Christianity on the Brink of Extinction? Are we losing our youth? Are evangelical Christians all poor, uneducated, southern whites? Do Christians think and do Christian things? Do Christians love others? What do non-Christians think of us?Read more ›
Wright is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut. Sociologists Rodney Stark and Christian Smith blurb the book positively as does Scot McKnight. In the book, he wisely points out the many reasons statistics can get garbled and exaggerated. Many hyperbolic reports of the demise of Christians and evangelicals from a variety of sources are exposed as faulty. Wright is generally gentle in his criticisms and his sense of humor pops up throughout the book.
The conclusion includes this summary judgment, "You know, I'm kind of enjoying this oversimplification, so let's take it a step further. That's right, after about a year of reading the scholarly literature and analyzing scores of data sets, I am distilling my evaluation of Evangelical Christianity to a single grade. I give American Evangelical Christianity a B" (213). To a large extent, he finds evangelicals are doing quite well. He is most concerned about the tendency of white evangelicals to be suspicious of people of other races. But even this area has a bright spot as the trend appears to be improving.
What is perhaps most refreshing about Wright's book is his encouragement for regular people to have a healthy skepticism toward statistics. "If nothing else, I hope you realize the need to be more skeptical when it comes to statistics about Christianity" (218). The sloppy use of statistics is a stain on both secular journalists and Christian authors. Wright's book is a significant dose of truth and sanity among the cacophony of shrill pronouncements. Get it and become a voice of reason in your sphere of influence.
I was very interested in what Wright had to say about the religiously unaffiliated people in America today. Who are the folks who choose not to affiliate with any particular religion? What do they think about God? What do they think about Christians? Wright takes on these questions and shares data from enough studies to form a pretty good picture of the unaffiliated group. He demonstrates that they are not all agnostics and atheists. It's fascinating stuff!
I was also challenged by what Wright had to share about how Christians are doing when it comes to loving others. As Christians, we are challenged to love everyone, even those who we disagree with about church, politics, or family issues. He paints a broad picture about how Christians are doing, but I found it easy to personalize the questions and think about how I am doing in these areas. So there's even some food for personal growth here.
Thanks, Dr. Wright, for this terrific book. My favorite line appears in the last chapter of the book: "With statistics, we should be everything we shouldn't be with people - cranky, skeptical, and critical." I agree!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wouldn't agree with all of his conclusions, but the actual facts he deploys are a useful counterfactual to the "sky is falling" story you hear from other observers of... Read morePublished 8 months ago by D. E. Dickerson
A great book for making you consider where statistics come from and how to interpret them. A good warning against accepting the headlines and not understanding the context of the... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Bob Farnaby
Dr. Bradley is a sociologist. He has done a very good job exposing poor research and bad statistical analysis (including some extremely poor work by the Barna Group); and... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Charles Reed
The title of the book is certainly fetching, and the author sometimes does a good job of delivering on the debunking of the lies which aren't so much out and out premeditated lies... Read morePublished 18 months ago by KLP
I highly recommend this good work. Every preacher and teacher should read it and help them use more care in choosing statistics to quote from everywhere.Published 19 months ago by Ernest Barnes
I enjoyed reading the text of the book, but the figures were really awful. Unfortunately, since this is a book about statistics about Christians, the figures are also an important... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Glenda Good
I must admit that when it comes to the perceived negative views of Christians I have both wallowed in it and taken it as a right of passage. Read morePublished 23 months ago by HAT
Bradley Wright. Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites...and Other Lies You've Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths from the Secular and Christian Media. Read morePublished on December 7, 2013 by Andrew Ramey
I loved this book! It really is like SNOPES for those annoying stats both fear-mongering preachers and Christian haters keep throwing around. Read morePublished on November 14, 2013 by SumKinaRobot