All Is Forgiven

All Is Forgiven : The Secular Message in American Protestantism

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In recent years mail deliveries have included a new kind of invitation to Protestant Christianity: slick brochures enumerating the social and psychological advantages of church attendance--with no mention whatsoever of spiritual striving, suffering, or faith in God. Does this kind of secularity prevail not only in direct-mail Christianity but also in mainline Protestant churches? Finding the sermon to be the centerpiece of Protestant worship, Marsha Witten looks for the answer to this question in an in-depth analysis of preaching on an important New Testament text: the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 196 pages
  • 197 x 254 x 19.05mm | 510g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0691032807
  • 9780691032801

Review quote

"This very revealing slice of sermonic Protestantism confirms the hypotheses and findings of many sociologists of religion: the market has forced or lured many preachers to refashion God and gospel to make them palatable to potential, struggling and complacent listeners."--Christian Century "Marsha Witten has written a stunning analysis of what contemporary Christians hear when they go to church. She shows the power and the complexity of religious speech but also how it succumbs to the secular society. This is a major achievement."--Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University "This may be the best book ever published on the week-in, week-out content of ordinary sermons. The heart of All Is Forgiven--a splendid close reading of forty-seven sermons on the Prodigal Son by Baptist and Presbyterian ministers--tells us more about ordinary religious speech in Protestant churches than any previous study."--Mark Noll, Wheaton College
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About Marsha G. Witten

Marsha G. Witten is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Franklin and Marshall College.
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