In this ethnography of Southern evangelicals, Mark Pinsky, a Jewish-born religion reporter, is friendly but unintentionally condescending. While seeing great worth in the values his evangelical Christian neighbors live outhe'd trust them to rent his home, furnished, for a year and return it undamagedPinsky settles for describing lifestyle differences over theological ones.
In this, he misses the point: Christians are good people because God has forgiven us and given us the power to live righteously. To ignore this reduces evangelicalism to a caricature.
Unsurprisingly, Christians who attempt to evangelize Jews receive close scrutiny in this book. Pinsky provides a good reminder that while evangelism among all people groups remains a Christian imperative, we are to do it with gentleness and respectall the more so, knowing that reporters such as Pinsky are watching.
Mark Pinsky, reporter, husband, father, and neighbor of evangelicals, is a nice fellow who is courteous, intelligentand unconvinced.
"If it looks like I'm in one of those hand-holding or hugging congregations," he admits, "I try to edge away from the nearest person in the pew before it's too late."
May we who name Jesus as Lord continue to edge closer.
A Jew Among the Evangelicals is available at ChristianBook.com and other retailers.1
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