Named one of the Top 10 Books of the Year in 2020 by the Academy of Parish Clergy
“Drawing on his own spiritual journey, David Gushee provides an incisive critique of American evangelicalism [and] offers a succinct yet deeply informed guide for post-evangelicals seeking to pursue Christ-honoring lives.” —Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Calvin University
Millions are getting lost in the evangelical maze: inerrancy, indifference to the environment, deterministic Calvinism, purity culture, racism, LGBTQ discrimination, male dominance, and Christian nationalism. They are now conscientious objectors, deconstructionists, perhaps even “none and done.” As one of America’s leading academics speaking to the issues of religion today, David Gushee offers a clear assessment and a new way forward for disillusioned post-evangelicals.
Gushee starts by analyzing what went wrong with U.S. white evangelicalism in areas such as evangelical history and identity, biblicism, uncredible theologies, and the fundamentalist understandings of race, politics, and sexuality. Along the way, he proposes new ways of Christian believing and of listening to God and Jesus today. He helps post-evangelicals know how to belong and behave, going from where they are to a living relationship with Christ and an intellectually cogent and morally robust post-evangelical faith. He shows that they can have a principled way of understanding Scripture, a community of Christ’s people, a healthy politics, and can repent and learn to listen to people on the margins.
With a foreword from Brian McLaren, who says, “David Gushee is right: there is indeed life after evangelicalism,” this book offers an essential handbook for those looking for answers and affirmation of their journey into a future that is post-evangelical but still centered on Jesus. If you, too, are struggling, After Evangelicalism shows that it is possible to cut loose from evangelical Christianity and, more than that, it is necessary.
“What distinguishes After Evangelicalism from other critiques and gives the book great value is how Gushee comes to his criticisms…. He begins, in the mode of classical political theology, with Scripture and critically, its exegesis. The through-line of the book is methodology: how does one explore sacred texts for political and personal ethics today? …Gushee’s book is precisely, inspiringly political theology.” —Political Theology
"Who should read [After Evangelicalism]? Certainly for those whom it is intended: the wounded and weary of church. In addition, I would urge my evangelical ministry colleagues to engage this important work. Let it serve as a goad to love and good deeds, especially toward those whom we once baptized and with whom we have broken bread and walked in holy fellowship, yet have walked away."
—The Presbyterian Outlook
“After Evangelicalism could very likely attract significant attention. There are many well-educated, fair-minded, and service-oriented white evangelicals who lack the shortsightedness, insensitivity, and intellectual shallowness Gushee decries. So his critique of their more flawed faith-compatriots rings sadly true. Perhaps his book will be a wake-up call for both.”
—The New York Journal of Books
“I generally like [Gushee’s] books, but this is my new favorite.”
—Tripp Fuller, Homebrewed Christianity podcast
“Since the evangelical revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, evangelicalism has given the impression that it is immune to the decline plaguing mainline Protestantism. That is, until now. As David Gushee’s insightful analysis of the current post-evangelical moment suggests, US evangelicalism squandered its opportunity, and now people—especially young people—are leaving evangelical Christianity. As Gushee demonstrates, evangelicalism’s wounds are mostly self-inflicted, originating in the move by straight white men to perpetuate structures that reinforce their power and dominance over the life of the church. Gushee is driven by a profound need to address the pastoral concerns of this growing post-evangelical movement and herein offers a combination manifesto, love letter, and game plan for fellow #exvangelicals. The rest of the church would do well to heed his words too. Gushee’s spiritual inventory of this movement and his articulation of a post-evangelical theological framework serve as a road map for renewal for a fragmented and moribund first-world Christianity.”
—Rubén Rosario Rodríguez, Professor of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University
“If you’re part of the growing number of post-evangelicals whose conscience resulted in living out your faith in exile, this is the book for you—especially if your spirit longs to move beyond the painful place we’ve come from and reengage your spiritual imagination to explore beyond the evangelical horizon.”
—Benjamin L. Corey, author of Unafraid: Moving beyond Fear-Based Faith
“There is a growing number of people who identify as ex-Christians in the United States when in fact they are probably ex-evangelicals. It’s not an overstatement to say that Christianity is better represented outside of that fairly recent, contextual, and reactionary movement. And for those who find themselves disillusioned with the evangelical brand of the Christian faith they once found meaningful, it may seem as though to leave evangelicalism is to throw away Christianity. In this book, Gushee gives a methodical account for why that is not the case. In After Evangelicalism, Gushee offers clear, comprehensive, theological content for Christians who follow after Jesus in a direction other than evangelicalism. And of the many books that David Gushee has written, this may be one of his most timely and most well-read books.”
—Reggie L. Williams, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, McCormick Theological Seminary
“After Evangelicalism is essential reading for those who have found white evangelicalism wanting. Drawing on his own spiritual journey, David Gushee provides an incisive critique of American evangelicalism. But this is not ultimately a work of deconstruction. Gushee offers a succinct yet deeply informed guide for post-evangelicals seeking to pursue Christ-honoring lives, and he does this with such eloquence that the book transcends its immediate purpose and speaks compellingly to all who are exploring how to be Christian in these times.”
—Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Professor of History, Calvin University, and author of Jesus and John Wayne
“This is the kind of book that church people need to read together: in Sunday School classes, Zoom book clubs, and discipleship groups. It is personal, powerful, and pointed in all the right directions.”
—Dwight A. Moody, The Meeting House
“Thinking about Christianity after evangelicalism is neither trendy, alarmist, nor faithless, but rather it carves out a needed path forward for those millions of exvangelicals who have found the movement that birthed them to be irrelevant, traumatic, and even abhorrent and are seeking a place to land. Few have earned the right to speak to this topic with such prophetic clarity and practical insight, not to mention approachable writing style, as David Gushee.”
—Peter Enns, author of How the Bible Actually Works