Archives for June 2010

The Lonely Polygamist: An Interview with Brady Udall

{Brady Udall. The Lonely Polygamist. W.W. Norton & Company 2010. 602 pages. $26.95} Reviewed by David Crumm This is a novel about a very big Mormon family. You’re from a famously big Mormon family yourself. So, let’s start with your place in your own family tree. Your great-great-grandfather was David King Udall, a polygamist. More [Read More…]

Beyond Me: On Melinda Doolittle

{Melinda Doolittle with Ken Abraham. Beyond Me: Finding Your Way to Life’s Next Level. Zondervan 2010. 192 pages. $18.99} Reviewed by Ralph Marston In any competition, the person who finishes in first place receives pretty much all the glory and attention. Whoever comes in second gets a little bit of acknowledgement as a key participant in [Read More…]

Almost Christian: An Interview with Kenda Creasy Dean

{Kenda Creasy Dean. Almost Christian: What the Faith of our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church. Oxford University Press 2010. 264 pages. $24.95} By Deborah Arca Mooney From 2003-2005, researchers conducted the most ambitious study of adolescent spirituality to date in the U.S. Among the results of the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), [Read More…]

Stunning New Illustrated Ramayana from Pixar Artist Sanjay Patel

{Sanjay Patel. Ramayana: Divine Loophole. Chronicle Books 2010. $29.95} Reviewed by J. Ryan Parker Lost in the never-ending debates about biblical inerrancy and infallibility is the recognition of the Bible’s worth as a great work of literature. Lost is the focus on how it has inspired countless translations and interpretations, both written and visual. If anything, we [Read More…]

Sherwin Nuland on Melvin Konner’s “The Jewish Body”

{Melvin Konner. The Jewish Body. Schocken 2009. 304 pp. $22.00} Reviewed By Sherwin B. Nuland Melvin Konner of Emory University is one of America’s most distinguished anthropologists, whose talents include the ability to make himself easily and enjoyably understood by readers with no background in his area of expertise. He also teaches in the university’s [Read More…]

Marcus Borg’s new novel, “Putting Away Childish Things”

{Marcus J. Borg. Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith. HarperOne 2010. 352 pp. $25.99} Reviewed by Martha K. Baker Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith is didactic. Usually labeling any book “didactic” is the kiss of retail death, butMarcus Borg’s most recent book also courts a second smacker: it’s [Read More…]

“In the Land of Believers”: Gina Welch goes undercover at Jerry Falwell’s church

Gina Welch grew up in an atheistic, anti-religious household in Berkeley, California. After she moved to Virginia for graduate school, she found herself surrounded by evangelicals, at the very time that evangelicals were credited (and often blamed) for the re-election of George Bush. To investigate what makes evangelicals tick, and to confront her own personal prejudices, Gina resolved to go “undercover” and fake a conversion at the fundamentalist Thomas Road Baptist Church, where the pastor was a certain Jerry Falwell.

Patheos’ Tim Dalrymple recently interviewed Gina Welch, author of In the Land of Believers: An Outsider’s Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church. [Read more…]