The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture [NOOK Book]

Overview

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

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
American evangelicalism is a textured and varied collection of believers, scholars, and students. Despite the variety of belief and practice, one idea unites them: the centrality of the Bible, and the determined appeal to sola scriptura that has defined their religious basis from earliest times. The much published Smith, a professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame, sets out in this finely constructed volume to question not just the wisdom but even the possibility of depending only on the Bible to define faith and practice. The "Bible only" foundational belief is so ingrained in the consciousness of evangelicalism thatasserting its irrationality and logical impossibility strikes at the very heart of what motivates and defines theevangelical community. 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. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441241511
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 958,010
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

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.
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, where he has been cited as an outstanding faculty member. 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.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Part 1: The Impossibility of Biblicism
1. Biblicism and the Problem of Pervasive Interpretive Pluralism
2. The Extent and Source of Pervasive Interpretive Pluralism
3. Some Relevant History, Sociology, and Psychology
4. Subsidiary Problems with Biblicism
Part 2: Toward a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture
5. The Christocentric Hermeneutical Key
6. Accepting Complexity and Ambiguity
7. Rethinking Human Knowledge, Authority, and Understanding
Conclusion
Afterword
Index
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2012

    A must read

    An excellent assessment of how scripture is often misunderstood and misapplied. Smith is on target with his Christ centered approach to the Bible. I found myself highlighting much of the text and my heart and mind were resonating with affirming "Amens" to the content of this thought provoking book. Incredible!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2012

    the title is a real turn off. "Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly

    the title is a real turn off. "Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture"?

    seriously? how can reading the bible not be evangelical when being evangelical (in a Christian sense) cam from the Holy Bible?

    take it from a Christian that actually reads the Holy Bible: this book is flawed just from its title.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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