From Publishers Weekly
This stinging jeremiad by Sider (Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger)
demands that American Christians start practicing what they preach. Evangelical Christians, says Sider, are very much like their non-Christian neighbors in rates of divorce, premarital sex, domestic violence and use of pornography, and are actually more
likely to hold racist views than other people. Why the discrepancy between American Christians' practices and what the Bible teaches? Sider decries the materialism of most churches, marshaling evidence to demonstrate that American Christians' charitable giving has decreased even while their income has risen. Although they are collectively the wealthiest Christians in the history of the world, they don't take care of the poor, he says. Sider reviews the New Testament to argue that Christians can't accept Jesus as their Savior without also honoring him as their Lord and obeying his teachings. In the final chapters, he insists that Christians must strengthen their accountability to the church and "dethrone mammon" (money) as the real object of worship. Sider's issues are of course selective; despite careful attention to the subject of racial inequality, there is no mention of gender inequality, and Sider quotes no women alongside such heavyweights as Wesley and Bonhoeffer. Still, his criticisms are incisive and prophetic. (Feb.)
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From the Back Cover
Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World?
Evangelical Christians say they believe in biblical moral standards and the power of God to transform lives--yet recent surveys show that most are not living any differently than the rest of the world. From money to sex to racism to personal self-fulfillment, a scandalous percentage of Christians are violating biblical standards with barely a twinge of conviction.
Ron Sider takes a painfully honest look at this disconnect to reveal the depth of the problem and contrast it with biblical teaching on the transforming power of genuine faith. When we apply these biblical teachings to our lives, we will be more suited to close the gap between who we are and who God calls us to be.
"Every now and then, somebody needs to step on the toes of the body of Christ. Reading this book may make you wince, but the pain of self-examination is worth it."-David Neff, editor and vice president, Christianity Today
"The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience summons us to take the gospel seriously. For the good of society-and perhaps even for the sake of our souls-we had better take notice."-Randall Balmer, author, Growing Pains: Learning to Love My Father's Faith
"When the behavior of members of a religious movement turns out to be little better, and sometimes worse, than that of its neighbors, leaders and members of that movement should take notice. They should ask some deep questions not only about that behavior but also about the systems that produce or support it. Ron Sider has me asking those kinds of questions, thanks to his clear diagnosis and thoughtful prescription."-Brian McLaren, pastor, author (anewkindofchristian.com)
"If you've ever wondered why today's evangelicals lack the societal influence their numbers would seem to bestow, Ron Sider offers an answer."-Duane Litfin, president, Wheaton College
"The conscience of many evangelicals has been programmed more by social patterns than by the Scripture. In this work Ron Sider gives us an impressive critique of this scandal and calls us to a rediscovery of the ethics of Christ."-Myron S. Augsburger, president emeritus, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
"Ron Sider's greatest gift to the church is his willingness to tell us the hard, obvious truth about ourselves. This book is strong medicine-a diagnosis that will take your breath away, but also a prescription that could make the difference between life and death
for biblical faith in America."-Andy Crouch, former editor, Re:generation Quarterly