The Bible Made Impossible
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The Bible Made Impossible : Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture

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Description

Biblicism, an approach to the Bible common among some American evangelicals, emphasizes together the Bible's exclusive authority, infallibility, clarity, self-sufficiency, internal consistency, self-evident meaning, and universal applicability. Acclaimed sociologist Christian Smith argues that this approach is misguided and unable to live up to its own claims. If evangelical biblicism worked as its proponents say it should, there would not be the vast variety of interpretive differences that biblicists themselves reach when they actually read and interpret the Bible. Far from challenging the inspiration and authority of Scripture, Smith critiques a particular rendering of it, encouraging evangelicals to seek a more responsible, coherent, and defensible approach to biblical authority. This important book has generated lively discussion and debate. The paperback edition adds a new chapter responding to the conversation that the cloth edition has sparked.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 138 x 214 x 18mm | 294.83g
  • Baker Publishing Group
  • Brazos Press, Div of Baker Publishing Group
  • Ada, MI, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 158743329X
  • 9781587433290
  • 250,541

About William R Kenan Jr Professor of Sociology and Director Christian Smith

Christian Smith (PhD, Harvard University) is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He is the award-winning author or coauthor of numerous books, including What Is a Person? Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and Moral Good from the Person Up and Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults. His research focuses primarily on religion in modernity, adolescents, American evangelicalism, and culture.show more

Back cover copy

"Evangelicalism is cracking apart not because of theological drift to the left but because the only theology that can sustain a genuine evangelicalism is--to use the only word appropriate--a catholic theology. Many who were nurtured in American evangelicalism (as Christian Smith was) and now find it seriously deficient (as Christian Smith does) seem to be those on whom the light has dawned. Here is a genuinely evangelical catholic understanding of scripture." --Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary "Biblicism remains one of the most entrenched and pressing problems facing the church. In his characteristically lucid, direct, and fair-minded fashion, Christian Smith asks questions about biblicism that need to be answered. Smith also begins to articulate an alternative, Christ-centered approach to biblical interpretation that is supremely constructive--a truly evangelical account of scripture." --Douglas A. Campbell, Duke University Divinity School "Given the importance and influence of evangelicalism in American religion and culture, this book is both a healthy corrective and a hopeful sign of positive developments within evangelicalism." --Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, America "Ever the sociologist, Smith forces readers to confront and account for the stubborn fact that not everyone who ascribes supreme authority to 'what the Bible says' hears God saying the same thing. Even those, like me, who are not persuaded by his 'truly evangelical' alternative will benefit from this strong dose of realism about the way in which evangelicals actually interpret and appeal to the Bible." --Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School "[A] finely constructed volume. . . . Smith makes a persuasive case for shifting one's focus from the sole authority of the words of scripture to the one whom scripture proclaims to be 'the way, the truth and the life.' Such a shift, he insists, is necessary for American evangelicalism to move forward." --Publishers Weekly This edition includes a new afterword in which the author engages conversations stimulated by the hardcover edition.show more

Rating details

613 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 29% (178)
4 42% (259)
3 20% (120)
2 7% (43)
1 2% (13)
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