--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."
This edition includes a new afterword in which the author engages conversations stimulated by the hardcover edition.
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.
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About the Author
Table of ContentsIntroduction
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