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Fit Bodies, Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don't Think and What to Do about It
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Fit Bodies, Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don't Think and What to Do about It

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Os Guinness traces the retreat of the evangelical mind and the dumbing down of evangelicalism through popular culture. But this book goes beyond mere analysis. It is a strong call for reformation of yet another place where evangelicalism in not evangelical enough.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by Baker Books (first published July 1994)
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Paul,
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
The more I think about this the madder I get. I hate the fact that I have been tricked (as well as the fact that I was too naive to see it for myself).

Has anybody ever wondered why television is free? We all know that nothing is free, right? And we know that the actors/actresses in these shows are paid large sums of money, don't we? Easy answer, then, advertisers pay for TV. So what? Now, let's think about that for a second. If advertisers pay for TV, then advertisers must determine what goes
...more
Brenda
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Although this book was written in 1994, in many ways it's even more relevant today. The author bluntly states that anti-intellectualism is a sin because it violates Jesus' commandment to love the Lord our God with our minds. He goes on to examine how anti-intellectualism developed and its impact on the church. The author concludes the book by "sketching the rudiments of the needed reformation in evangelical thinking," which he describes as a brief summary of what "thinking Christianly" is and ...more
Jenny Karraker
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing


This short book was an easy read. Using alliteration to list why we don't think as deeply made it easier to remember (polarization, pietism, primitivism, populism, pluralism, pragmatism, philistinism, and premillennialism). Unfortunately, I see that I tend to be anti-intellectual and am more interested in personal experience and practicalities. However, too much emphasis here leads becoming an idiot culture. The author describes that as evidenced by people obsessed with entertainment (sounds
...more
Brance Gillihan
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is actually a very good book. The only reason its not a 5 star is because it is a bit dated when he speaks of both technology and generational labels, and I wanted more what to do about it than the one long chapter at the end.

But given these small dislikes, he does a great job of outlining the history of Christian thinking and explaining the circumstances and pressures to which Christians have responded by retreating from the life of the mind. Sadly, he is correct, Christians dont think,
...more
Benjamin
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, religion
Brief overview of the philosophically movements that influenced Evangelicalism. While it is mostly pointing out the problem, I felt that the solutions to Evangelicalism anti-intellectualism presented could have been more developed. Of course part of the problem is how do you present intellectual arguments to an anti-intellectual?
Ryan Boomershine
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This should be a must-read for everyone in ministry. Whoa to those who ignore the command to love the Lord our God with all our minds. Especially helpful are the first 70 pages that outline the 8 primary ways we got to this point
Andy Hickman
Fit Bodies, Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don't Think And What To Do About It by Os Guinness

Eight years ago if I had of given this book a review it would have been 5-stars! I identified as an Evangelical.
Today, no! I've watched as 81% of US Evangelicals became more Evangelical in their brazen support of Donald Trump.
Still, the author makes many genuine observations and insights, it's just that for every sentence of insight it is accompanied by loaded biases. ***

What I do agree with is:

.. it
...more
Randy Corn
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book back in 1997 and I remember thinking how different it was from the only other Guinness book I had tried to read, The Dust of Death. Obviously, this was written with the general public in view while the Dust of Death was more of a theologians book. I am glad that I reread this book. I did so in connection to my current Welch class Christianity, Culture and Worldview. The book speaks in a brief form about the state of the culture in the early 90s. It complements Colsons book ...more
JimtheDean
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sometimes words can diminish the impact of a book. My fear is that my words would do so here. This book is unquestionably thought provoking. I have marked it up more than most...and yet, Im not certain I understand its full impact. Using Guinness own words, I will some up my comments here to say that this book is a challenge to the anti-intellectual thinking of many segments of evangelical Christianity and the damage that has done to the faith. I recommend this to those who are interested in ...more
Scottalberts
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and as always with Guinness extremely well-written. Could use a better title; perhaps the British meaning of "fat" in the sense of "prosperous" or "satisfied" was intended, but lost on American browsing eyes. Since this was published over 20 years ago, I will be searching for any possible updates to this material. Social media did not technically exist at the time of publication. "...the creation of a ghost mind...and the rise of an idiot culture." Wait, is that from Facebook's ...more
Melanie
Jul 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Part 1, the history of the problem, was excellent. Then it sort of drifted off. Some of it is just outdated in terms of the discussion of technology.
Stanley Jebb
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Long on diagnosis; short on prescription, but very good.
Andrew Gupta
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very relevant to 2018 despite being written so many years ago.
Kai
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
classic book! Read it back in my late teens have read through it several times since.
Josiah
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
The first part on the history of anti-intellectualism in the American church was more interesting to me than the latter section on issues related to postmodernism. I had already learned about the history of anti-intellectualism in the American church from some different college classes, but it was nice to get it all abbreviated in one place. And then the latter section seemed a bit too all-over-the-place. I also feel like I've read a lot from Guinness about the problems with our postmodern ...more
Gene
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
I had previously been a fan of Os Guinness, especially as he was influenced by the thought of Francis Schaeffer. I was hoping this book would light a fire under me to oppose the anti-intellectual faction of Evangelical Christianity that is evident in the widespread Evangelical support for Donald Trump in America. This book was not able to do that for me.

At the outset Guinness seemed to grieve the loss of influence that Evangelicals have in the academic and political power centers in America,
...more
Rick
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Guinness always has a lot of good things to say. This critique of Evangelical anti-intellectualism is no exception. However, the book was written in '94, so there have been further developments in Evangelicalism, some of them positive, particularly in the developing of a thoroughgoing Evangelical apologetic covering a wide range of fields. Nevertheless, Guinness's critique remains powerfully relevant and still deserves to be read. It turns out that patience is a virtue. There were some things I ...more
Dan Glover
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read this some years ago and its relevance has not dwindled in the mean time. Some might argue that our culture has a problem with our bodies being unfit as well and they have a legitimate point but overall, we are far more consumed with the image of fit bodies than we are about the state of our mental health. In this short book, Guinness calls the evangelical church, which continues largely to follow the lead of culture in the area of mental atrophy as in most things, to shape up our minds by ...more
Toby
Nov 01, 2007 added it
Shows a little bit that it is dated both with its discusstion of current events and its assessment that there is no serious Christian thinking going on. I believe that there is. That granted, it make some good points about what forces in American culture are driving Christianity to "abandon its mind." Was motivating and interesting, but I found him rather brusque and sometimes lacking sophistication in his points. Very much worth the read![return]
Barbara
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a sad evaluation of evangelicalism, but accurate. Anti-intellectualism has become the trend for evangelicals and arguably a majority of Christians (my conclusion, but certainly implied by Guinness). This is a straightforward, short read with well-connected chapters that could also stand on their own. Whether you read the whole book or pick through a couple chapters, it'll rustle, convict, and/or challenge your intellect, which is the very point.
Mitch
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is another great read in the vein of Amusing Ourselves to Death and Brave New World, only with a Christian worldview. It is a great treatment of how intellectualism and critical thinking, especially in the church, have largely been replaced by consumerism and vanity. It's a damning critique of the modern church mindset and "Christian ghetto" mentality.
Brit
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Goodreads book description summarizes the book nicely. What I can add is that the book is easy to read, but still thought provoking and written in a humble, honest and gentle spirit. Part three deals with what next; "let my people think." In this book it needed to be brief, but it sure would be nice to see this section expanded in a separate book.
Sheri
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I would have gotten much more from this book if I hadn't read it in such short snippets, but it still provided powerful explanation of the anti-intellectual vein in Christianity (particularly evengelicalism) and the reasons to resist and to THINK.
Amy
Sep 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
though the main title is a bit odd, the subtitle is (still) true. it's the probably the best book I was required to read while in seminary.
David Campton
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-theology
An attack on the anti-intellectualism of much modern evangelicalism. It is a little sneering at times, but it is frighteningly accurate...
Jon
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good book. Definitely oversimplified, but very enjoyable nonetheless. The chapters on premillennialism, pragmatism, and pietism are worth the price of the book.
Stinger
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Great look at what has lead to the erosion of the Christian mind over the past few centuries in America
Michael J
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
it was hard to read the chapters with lots of big words that he didn't always take the time to define. otherwise very thought provoking.
Thomas Kidd
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good and unfortunately true.
G. Connor Salter
A hard-hitting, effective, and still relevant critique on how American Evangelicals have let certain things slide, and how we need to pull ourselves back up.
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Os Guinness (D.Phil., Oxford) is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including The American Hour, Time for Truth and The Case for Civility. A frequent speaker and prominent social critic, he was the founder of the Trinity Forum and has been a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies. He lives near ...more

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