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Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity Hardcover – October 15, 1997
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In 300-odd pages, Bruce Bawer has opened a floodgate of incisive religious criticism that will reverberate across the American political scene. He has put into eloquent and decisive language what many mainline Christians and non-Christians have quietly suspected but been unable to verbalize--namely that Fundamentalist Christianity is barely Christian at all. A Baptist theologian says he is "not interested in who Jesus was." Pat Robertson argues the Golden Rule as Jesus's justification that "individual self-interest is being a very real part of the human makeup, and something not necessarily bad or sinful." In page after page, Bawer reveals a so-called Fundamentalist movement that readily displays a blatant disregard for the most salient message of the Gospels: selfless love and service to all. As for the significance of this revelation in the face of the ballooning presence of Fundamentalist Christians in American politics, readers will have to decide for themselves.
From Library Journal
Author of A Place at the Table, a groundbreaking book on homosexuality, and of articles on religion, Bawer argues that fundamentalism is a recent development that defies the values of Christianity.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
This book is like a text book so it takes time to read and digest. I would imagine many would have a hard time getting through it.
I had a minister quote from this book and it struck up my interests, because I personally have had conversations with fundamental believers and have had difficulty with the literal interpretation of their views of the bible.
Bawer's arguments are well thought out, well-informed and well presented. He is passionate but, I think, fair. Also, unless you are a professional in this field you will learn a great deal about how protestant Christianity evolved over the past 150 years in the US. This could easily be a dry topic by the way but this is not a dry book.
I can't say I always agreed with Bawer -- he makes a case at one point that form and ritual are more important than laws, which is hard to reconcile with Jesus's own ministry which did not focus on ritual at all. But his essential point, that many protestants in the US have moved far away from the essential message of love, is worthy and well-made.
This would be a great book for a book club...if you can all agree to remain friends after discussing a religious topic!