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The End of Evangelicalism? Discerning a New Faithfulness for Mission: Towards an Evangelical Political Theology (Theopolitical Visions) Paperback – February 4, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In your hands is one of the sharpest and informed evaluations of the state of evangelicalism. Read it slowly. Ponder it. Plot a better evangelicalism."
--Scot McKnight
Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies
North Park University

"In compelling fashion, Fitch digs deep to examine how key U.S. evangelical beliefs actually function as an ideology rather than gospel. He calls us from a Christianity that acts as 'ideology' to one that authentically incarnates Jesus' life and mission. What a book! This one will knock you back on your heels."
--Howard A. Snyder
Professor of Wesley Studies
Tyndale Seminary, Ontario, Canada

"This is a significant book for those wrestling with the theological and cultural integrity of the Evangelical movement in a post-Christian setting."
--John R. Franke
Clemens Professor of Missional Theology
Biblical Seminary, Hatfield, Pennsylvania

"David Fitch explores three key issues that symbolize the evangelical conundrum-the inerrant Bible, the decision for Christ, and the Christian nation-by reframing them through missional theology. This is a timely and crucial read for those concerned about the evangelical movement."
--Craig Van Gelder
Professor of Congregational Mission
Luther Seminary, St. Paul --Wipf and Stock Publishers

About the Author

David E. Fitch is B. R. Lindner Professor of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary, Lombard IL. He is also a pastor at Life on the Vine Christian Community in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. He is the author of The Great Giveaway (2005).
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Product Details

  • Series: Theopolitical Visions (Book 8)
  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (February 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606086847
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606086841
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,194,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brian Houghtaling on March 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
As Dr. Fitch warns in his blog, "there's some intense political theory in this book alongside some intense theology." While I lack formal education in both political theory and theology, I still found this book to be both accessible and full of hope.

It's accessible because Fitch provides a comprehensive overview of the methods he uses to understand the `fact' of experience (political theory) of Evangelical theology. He covers a lot of ground as he helps the reader understand and apply Slavoj Zizek's social critical framework. After a couple of sessions of reading and rereading, I was prepared to use Zizek's framework to explore Evangelicalism.

Fitch goes on to systematically investigate three central Evangelical theological commitments: "the inerrant Bible," "the decision for Christ," and "the Christian Nation." He clearly shows how these commitments have lead to the establishment of an ideology that tends to be against much more than it is for.

The good news is that he doesn't finish with a mere critique. I found hope as Fitch goes on to truly discern a new faithfulness for mission. Faithfulness focused on the formation of God's people, socially, into the Body of Christ, "the very extension of "the Sent One'" participating in the missio Dei - the restoration of all things.

On several occasions, I have struggled to understand the opinions of some of my Evangelical friends and colleagues. Having a desire to live together in unity (Psalm 133: 1-3), I have sometimes remained silent especially when confronted with strongly held group opinions. Fitch's book has given me a way to both understand where these opinions come from and a renewed hope for change. A hope that is based on faith in a loving God, a hope that claims that redemption, not suffering, is the final word.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Greg Arthur on April 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
s evangelicalism over? It is changing? Are we discovering a new way of being the church within evangelicalism? David Fitch in his new book The End of Evangelicalism takes an in-depth look at the political theology of evangelicalism, its foundations, its ramifications and alternative practices that might better suit us.

Having just read through and reviewed Love Wins by Rob Bell this book is a completely different animal all together. My main criticism of Love Wins is in the irresponsibility of the format and style. The questions it asked were far too important for the stylized unsubstantiated methods of the book. The End of Evangelicalism? is the opposite. From the get go you are very aware that this is part of an academic series and carries the weight and depth appropriate to such work. It is extensively footnoted, researched, and well put together. Immediately my mind was excited by the challenge of this book and its high level theological and political discourse.

That being said this is obviously not a book for the average lay person. It wasn't written for mass pop consumption, it was written for those in the church who are engaging in the hard fought battles of missional discourse. What is particularly unique about the book is the David uses the ideological theories of Slavoj Zizek as the basis for his analysis of the politic of evangelicalism. Not familiar with Slavoj? Well you can join the club on that one because his work was entirely new for me as well. But David does a very effective job of making Zizek's work approachable and insightful. Zizek's work provides a very fruitful soil for the conversations around evangelicalism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on April 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Is Evangelicalism an empty politic (Zizek)? Have Evangelical's fallen into the trap of defining themselves by what they are against, rather than what they are for? Why is there a disconnect between the professed belief of Evangelicals and their actions? These are the questions addressed in David E. Fitch's "The End of Evangelicalism?".

Using Zizekian analysis, Fitch examines three core Evangelical beliefs: 1) The Inerrant Bible, 2) The Decision (for Christ) and 3) The Christian Nation. In examining these beliefs, Fitch brings out attention to what is wrong within Evangelicalism, and ultimately provides a new understanding of the above core beliefs, making way for a new direction for Evangelicals to consider. Staying within Evangelicalism, Fitch provides a succinct and effective analysis of the current failings of Evangelicalism.

If you are disturbed by recent trends within Evangelical thought, or are otherwise curious to see how Evangelicals are responding to their (own) crisis, then Fitch is recommended reading.
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