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Still Christian: Following Jesus Out of American Evangelicalism

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  63 reviews

In this provocative tell-all, David Gushee gives an insider's look at the frictions and schisms of evangelical Christianity, based on his experiences that began with becoming a born-again Southern Baptist in 1978 to being kicked out of evangelicalism in 2014 for his stance on LGBT inclusion in the church. But Gushee's religious pilgrimage proves even broader than that, as

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Kindle Edition, 177 pages
Published September 15th 2017 by Westminster John Knox Press
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S.T. Gibson Not particularly, it's more a memoir of his time in the field of Christian publishing, teaching, and politics. I would go elsewhere for some of Gushee…moreNot particularly, it's more a memoir of his time in the field of Christian publishing, teaching, and politics. I would go elsewhere for some of Gushee's theological writing. (less)
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Bill
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it when I get to review books which I can recommend without hesitation or caveats and am glad to say that David Gushee's Still Christian: Following Jesus out of American Evangelicalism is one of them. This is a book which should be of interest to quite a few different people for different, if compatible, reasons. Before I get to that though, let me start by describing the book a little. Still Christian is in the format of a memoir, Gushee isn't trying to persuade his audience(s) to do muc ...more
Zachary Houle
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From time to time, I get hateful comments on these reviews — basically people telling me that I’m bound for Hell because I either don’t believe in Jesus’ resurrection or I’m too inclusive of gay people in my faith. Whatever I’ve gone through, though, holds nothing on David P. Gushee. For a time, he was considered America’s favourite evangelical leftist, until he wrote a book that was essentially accepting of gay people. He watched as speaking engagements basically dried up for doing that. (Lucki ...more
Robert D. Cornwall
I am fiour years older than David Gushee, which means I've traveled similar terrain, even if we grew up in opposite sides of the country in different denominational traditions. He was raised Catholic. I was raised Episcopalian. He left the Catholics for the Southern Baptists. I left the Episcopalians for Pentecostalism. We both felt the call to ministry and academia. He went to a large Southern Baptist Seminary and then a very liberal seminary for doctoral work. I went to the largest seminary in ...more
Jennifer
Following Jesus has led many of us out of the conservative Evangelicalism we may have started in. In this book, David Gushee shares the story of how that has happened in his life.

This is a fairly quick read. I finished it in less than 24 hours. It’s a short memoir because it stays focused on a very specific topic of Evangelicalism through the lens of Gushee’s life. He does give us a brief overview of how exactly Evangelicalism in the US came to be (rebranding “fundamentalism”, coopted by the pol
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Cara Meredith
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s been awhile since I read a book in one day, but I couldn’t help myself. I’ve been a fan of Gushee’s since seminary, and quickly began following his work. I watched his popularity rise and plummet during this time, the latter primarily due to changing his stance on the LGBTQ issue within the church. This is probably his easiest book to digest, because it’s largely memoir. But there’s more, of course. Why and how is he still a Christian? How did he get where he is now? And just in case you wa ...more
Everydayreader1
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dr. David P. Gushee is an expert in Christian ethics, and the author and/or editor of over twenty books. He gave his heart to Jesus in 1978. In "Still Christian: Surviving the Radical Changes in American Christianity," he chronicles his journey as a follower of Jesus from childhood to present day, as he navigates the frictions and schisms of evangelical Christianity.

I have had a strong desire to read this book because it is written by a theologians and scholar--someone who has studied and taught
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Blesson John
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is mostly a memoir but also includes historical context that helps me better understand the battles that went on behind the scenes in the Evangelical (in his case Southern Baptist) academic institutions that shaped the pastors who imparted these ideas to the general public and formed the theological intuitions of a nation. As a kid, I grew up spending time hearing ideas from various influential Southern Baptist pastors in my home state of Texas, which were mixed with political power gr ...more
Readnponder
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The recent headlines surrounding Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore remind me of the reasons I hesitate to identify as “evangelical”: the toxic mix of faith and politics, the inconsistent positions on moral issues, to name a few. Like evangelicals, I hold the Bible in high regard; I believe in salvation by grace through faith alone. However, when a pastor’s sermons drift into culture wars and run afoul of the Johnson Amendment, I begin to wonder, “Would Jesus be doing this?”

Consequently, I found
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Mark
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Gushee does not hold back in this personal memoir and a critique of American Evangelicalism and some of its more prominent institutions and people. While his criticism is quite scathing at times, it is never ad hominem and wherever possible, also narrates positives with each experience, whether institution or with a person.

Gushee joins the Southern Baptist Convention during its period of a major split between moderates and conservatives/fundamentalists beginning in the late 1970's. And fo
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Rachel
As I mentioned in my notes on Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby, which I read at about the same time as this, I was expecting to be annoyed at this book. Heaven knows David Gushee has ample reason to be annoyed at American evangelicalism, so I couldn't fault him if some annoyance came through in this book. But even so, I find deconversion narratives to be a subgenre afflicted with smugness, and though this is not a narrative of deconversion from Gushee's Christian faith, I was expec ...more
Adam Shields
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Short Review: I am back in a season where I really want memoirs. At least the memoirs of my elders. Wisdom can be hard fought. And those that fight through pain can be some of the most helpful.

Gushee has been through a number of battles within Evangelicalism. From the battles within SBC in the 80s and 90s to ethical fights over torture and the environment in the 2000s to his recent movement on LGBT issues, Gushee has been in the culture wars. This book is part of his resignation.

I am not where
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Shannon
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Gushee is exactly ten years older than me, but the changes he has lived through in the evangelical world outstrip me by what seems like more than a decade. He grew up in Virginia and became a Christian as a high schooler, deciding shortly after that to become a pastor.

His journey took him to Baptist seminaries and colleges, but his journey with Christ took him to the world of Christian ethics. Sadly, the story he tells makes it seem like ethics and evangelicalism do not go well together: "
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S.T. Gibson
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
David P. Gushee has been at the forefront of nearly every schism, controversy, and watermark moment in American evangelicalism over the last 50 years. From his teenage mountaintop conversion, to his time serving as a professor at a Baptist seminary newly defined by fundamentalism in the 80s, to his successful career speaking out for the environment and against torture as a Christian ethicsist, to the publication his hit book Changing Our Mind, which shook up the evangelical world by championing ...more
Doug Phillips
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I am reviewing an ARC of this book received from Net Galley in exchange for honest feedback.

After a quick read through David Gushee's autobiographical search of a home for his particular Christian views, I can understand why it resonates with liberal Christians and some former- and non-Christians. While I do not agree with some of the author's positions, I give him credit for raising his voice to provide a viewpoint that often gets lost in the rhetoric surrounding members of the Southern Baptist
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Chris Crane
While Dr. Gushee and I have not arrived at the same theological conclusions, I resonate with much of his experience here with the uglier side of evangelicalism and have deep compassion for those who have experienced these things too. While I have yet to leave evangelicalism in the more formal way he has (i.e. I’m not part of a mainline denomination or progressive church), I would be lying to say the temptation hasn’t been there.

I also found it refreshing that he was still kind in how he wrote ab
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Janie
It's hard to put stars on someone's memoir. I am young enough to have been a student of Gushee's and I had friends who were), and I used Kingdom Ethics as a text in Divinity School. I related to what Gushee said and felt encouraged by his words about Jesus. I wish I'd read more about his relationship with God and less about his academic pursuits. I've read and followed Gushee for years and reading about his relationship with the CBF was painful. (I am ex-Southern Baptist and ex-CBF, too.) I'd lo ...more
Shelly
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star
I saw this little memoir on the new books shelf at the library and was intrigued. I’m a Christian but I don’t usually read books by Christian intellectuals or read magazines like Christianity Today, so I was previously unaware of David Gushee. This was an interesting and well written book that I just tore through (and I’m a slow reader, especially with nonfiction) it. I like memoirs in general and this was also very informative (in a very readable way) about the history and politics of the Bapti ...more
Alan  Marr
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of my friends suffered at the hands of the fundamentalist “takeover” of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 80s and 90s. It was a painful time, especially for women teachers and pastors who were unceremoniously removed from their positions.
This book tells a personal story of the author’s journey into SBC and exit from SBC. It is a difficult read for any person who values Baptist heritage.
I was saddened by this recent news gives me hope that commitment to freedom of conscience and respect
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Rachel
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No matter where you stand, Gushee writes about the grace of the Gospel in his life, above all. For that, I am moved.
Kim
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book six stars. And give it to 100 people. If you are interested in academic evangelicalism, here is a great memoir. If you are a Baptist or grew up Baptist, which I didn't, this is fascinating.
Steve
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a bold, honest and fascinating book. Gushee was perhaps best known initially for his Kingdom Ethics book written with one of his mentors Glenn Stassen - he then changed his mind regarding the Christian approach to homosexuality and became infamous. As a result of his change of mind, IVP refused to reprint Kingdom Ethics, so Eerdmans took up the option.

Still Christian is the inside story of one person’s move from Catholicism to fundamentalism to net-evangelicalism to his present position
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Nicki
David Gushee is not a name I've heard in faith circles before, so apart from the blurb, I didn't really know what to expect when I began reading.

This was a very interesting book especially from someone who lives outside of the U.S.A. I'm familiar with the labels of 'religious right' and 'evangelical fundamentalists' but I didn't really know what these labels really entailed and the connection to politics.

Through this memoir David Gushee unpacks how he become involved with these groups, althoug
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Justin
The wonderful thing about Still Christian is how the story is told about the shift within the Southern Baptist church from moderate to evangelical and the far right.

Most of the book is about Gushee himself and his life as a Baptist professor and leader. I was not familiar with who Gushee was, but looked him up after reading the book which gave a bit more insight. As a professor, he faced a wide variety of situations and felt safe being part of the Baptist community.

The shift happens as the churc
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Brandon G. Smith
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whenever I read spiritual memoirs, I often believe that I am reading very personal, holy writings. This memoir by David Gushee is no different. There is something sacred that happens when someone tells you about the journey to follow Christ. Even when I read something I disagree with, and there are a few moments where I disagree with Gushee, they are hardly an issue for me, because I am overwhelmed by the sacredness of the story being told. I recommend this book, which I started and completed in ...more
Jennifer Lara
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still Christian: Following Jesus out of American Evangelicalism by David P. Gushee is his journey from a young Christian just as the Christian Right movement began to gain momentum. He chronicles his path through college, seminary, minister, academic and then activist. He became a leading Christian ethicist who was caught in the crosshairs of those who lead the movement. He details the history and course of American Protestantism as it split into two primary camps: fundamentalists/conservatives ...more
Glenda
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have no earthly idea how this book came into my hands. I had it for a while before I read it, or better to say, devoured it.

Growing in an Evangelical faith, I totally understood where and what Gushee was describing. Even tho my childhood faith was not Southern Baptist; it was a part of the larger Religious Right and Evangelicals he refers to. I grew up speaking this “language” and this was probably the first opportunity I had to read someone who was talking about the faith from a once removed
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Audrey  Adamson Stars in Her Eye
Still Christian by David Gushee is an open memoir of life as a Southern Baptist and how life and politics changed and shaped his views. Gushee studied to be a Baptist Preacher and spent a lot of time in academics. He was called to Christian ethics which leads to a slippery slope in the world of progressiveness and fundamentalism. Gushee details those struggles but reminds us why we are Christians and that we can't let bad experience keep us from our Faith.
I grew up as a Southern Baptist but what
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Ann
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still Christian; Following Jesus Out of American Evangelicalism by David P. Gushee, is the heartfelt story of a Christian professor of ethics coming to grips with the continuation of his Christian faith while leaving the evangelical nest that had nurtured him. It should succor those Christians who remain committed to Christ but who have an awful problem with the example of what some American Christians have been practicing lately.

His stories, as Gushee explains, “are not the disillusioned storie
...more
Becca
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short read, but as this is a memoir, it’s a jam-packed one. Gushee has lived a full life, and he’s not even sixty yet. He’s a renowned Christian ethicist, scholar, speaker, author, and professor, but he’s also humbly just another human being... a human being trying to figure things out like the rest of us. I am encouraged by his transparency as he explains his journey at each stage of his life, from his “conversion” experience to fall-outs with certain tribes of the Church to where he stands n ...more
Heather Bottoms
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In contrast to David Gushee's many scholarly works, Still Christian is a brief, very personal memoir reflecting on his spiritual and professional journey through the American evangelical south. He shares his ups and downs as a southern Baptist through college, graduate studies, and into his work as a professor, ethicist, and activist.

Gushee's rising status in the evangelical community came to an abrupt halt in 2014 when he publicly declared support for inclusion for the LGBT community and experi
...more
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David P. Gushee is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. A foremost expert in the field of Christian ethics, he is the author or editor of 25 books, including Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, Kingdom Ethics, The Sacredness of Human Life, Changing Our Mind, Still Christian, and the new After Evangelic ...more

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