Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Quitting Church: Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to Do about It Hardcover – September, 2008
Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Save up to 40% during Wiley's Summer Savings Event. Learn more.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
However, after this intriguing start, the remainder of the book feels flimsy. In chapter after chapter, we hear one description after another of (a) reasons people give for leaving their church, (b) inventive new paths that some people are trying, and (c) recent history of failed attempts at inventiveness. The real failure is in Duin's inability to make persuasive judgments (indeed, almost any judgments) about anything beyond the complaints of people who have left their church.
Page after page after page is filled with direct quotes from people who have left their church, with their own opinions, memories and anecdotes being presented as fact (often following up a poll or study). Time and again we hear about people leaving their church because the pastor was "too controlling." In my own experience, such claims are often made by people who present unworkable, poorly-planned or -executable ideas and are rejected. Duin, unfortunately, piles these anecdotes together as though they were actual evidence.
Let me stop for a moment and state something clearly: I don't have any idea whether or not most pastors are, indeed, too controlling.Read more ›
By TERRY EASTLAND
September 2, 2008; Page A21
By Julia Duin
(BakerBooks, 186 pages, $17.99)
[Sunday Morning, Staying Home]
By now we know that evangelical Protestants -- generally supportive of Republican candidates but eagerly courted by Democrats this year -- are a crucial voting bloc in the November election. Thus it was big news when Rick Warren, the evangelical megachurch pastor, recently asked both John McCain and Barack Obama about their religious beliefs, in part to address the concerns of church-going "value voters." But what about the evangelicals themselves? Is all well within their communities? Is their own passion for church-going as strong as their supposed political passion?
According to Julia Duin, a religion reporter for the Washington Times, more and more evangelicals are in fact fleeing their churches. Indeed, Ms. Duin regards church-quitting, at least among evangelicals, as nothing less than an epidemic. The problem, in her view, is not in the souls of the church quitters but in the character of the churches they choose to leave. "Something," she observes, "is not right with . . . evangelical church life."
The faults she points to -- relying on her own reporting and survey data -- are many. They are surprising, too, running counter to the stereotype of evangelicals bonding happily in their churches.Read more ›
The strongest chapter in the book deals with singles. Ms. Duin questions the mindset of churches that do not meet the needs of singles or deal with their spiritual concerns. She correctly condemns the refusal of pastors to address sexual longing in real terms and wonders, if marriage is the normal state for Christians, why do churches not attempt to find mates for unattached members? This chapter alone is worth the cost of the book.
Other sections of the book contain interesting insights, even if I do not agree with Ms. Duin's conclusions. Her chapter on women, for example, is correct in pointing out how they have often been used as churchly cannon-fodder fit to be mere nursery workers or kiddie teachers, but this can be fixed without resorting to the solutions proposed by secular modernity.
If you are not Pentecostal or Charismatic, you may be put off by the author's occasional longing for the spiritual excitement of the Jesus Movement of the '70's, but don't let that theological quirk deprive you of the benfit of the rest of this well-written book.
But I'm writing this review to highlight a bias of the author I haven't seen otherwise mentioned: white/majority privilege. Near the end of the book she describes moving to a new area and visiting two very different churches, one 95% white and another 95% black.
The author wrote, "I've noticed that at majority-white churches, people tie themselves into knots worrying about whether they're diverse enough. Folks at the majority-black congregation gave no sign of caring whether any whites or Hispanics attended--even though the latter two groups constituted more than half of the city's populace. I could never figure out a reason for their indifference."
She says the people at the black church, "couldn't have been nicer to Veeka [her daughter] and myself at that church, and they made sure Veeka was included in the annual vacation Bible school." But she later laments that no one at the black church invited her over for dinner (though the author never mentioned that she extended an invitation to any of them to come to her house), but that someone at the white church did and that the white church paid for her to attend conferences and paid some of her bills a few times.
So, the white church stayed 95% white, and provided a fellow white person privileges, and the author gave them kudos for caring about diversity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book in about 4 days, which is very unusual for me. I enjoyed it a lot at first but towards the end I discerned a pattern she seemed to use. Read morePublished 16 months ago by JazzLover7
Pretty well summarizes it...what worked a century ago does not work todayPublished 17 months ago by Kenneth A. Peterson
I read bits and pieces of the book and know enough of Ms. Duin's work to feel qualified to make a comment. What I didn't see addressed is what I believe is part of what Ms. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Seeker of Truth
Good synopsis on why people are not going to the traditional churches.Published 20 months ago by Terry C
I first obtained a copy from a thrift shop. Didn't put it down until I had completed reading it. Ordered 10 other used copies and gave them to friends and to my ministers. Read morePublished on June 7, 2014 by Jarrett G. Melvin
In this thought-provoking book, author, journalist and committed-Christian Julia Duin looks at the epidemic of people simply walking away from church. Read morePublished on April 5, 2014 by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson
I read the book and reread several chapters. Alarming to say that out country and churches are heading away from the traditional church. Read morePublished on December 30, 2013 by phylfin