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When God Talks Back: Understanding the…
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When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship… (edició 2012)

de T. M. Luhrmann (Autor)

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2301092,832 (3.93)5
Psychological anthropologist Luhrmann offers an extended case study examining how believers come to have faith in an active, present God despite secular pressures in contemporary America. Drawing on extensive interviews and personal experience among Vineyard Movement members, Luhrmann focuses on the use of prayer among charismatic evangelical Christians. Her work combines personal narratives and excerpts from bestselling evangelical how-to guides with theories and data from psychology.… (més)
Membre:thetruedudeabides
Títol:When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God
Autors:T. M. Luhrmann (Autor)
Informació:Vintage (2012), Edition: Reprint, 464 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God de T. M. Luhrmann

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  Sarahgc | Nov 2, 2019 |
When God Talks Back is the story of American Evangelical Christianity. It isn’t exactly a history so much as it is an examination of how otherwise reasonable people can believe in something that you can’t see or feel. The author is Tanya M Luhrmann, an Anthropologist trained in Psychology. She decides to talk to evangelicals and ask them questions about their personal relationship with God. It is interesting to read since a lot of these people just sound crazy to me.

Those who are not new to my reviews might be familiar with my stance on religion as a whole. I am a non-believer and I have been for around ten years or so. For every Clive Staples Lewis there exists a Christopher Hitchens, and this has affected how I consider certain aspects of belief. I was raised Roman Catholic which is not exactly known for having fun Church Services. It made me think of how bored God must be on his Throne in the sky, listening to the Choirs of Angels singing songs of praise. Who makes an entire race of beings just to be praised by those beings? The songs themselves are also boring, and mostly in minor keys, making them sound depressing. Also, the sacraments and pomp seemed stupid to me. Woohoo, I get to eat Christ and drink his blood.

As to why these people sound crazy, their stories about how they became believers are heart-warming and encouraging, but then you find out that they consult God about everything. I mean, Everything. What to wear, where to go to school, whether to have burgers or fish, it becomes ridiculous to me. Most of the study the author conducts is about whether or not these people are nuts. It is quite fascinating to read and quite quotable. My problem is with how evangelicals contact God in the first place. Obviously, it is through prayer. How else do you talk to a disembodied entity? Then you have to listen to the random static of your mind. Random thoughts that come to mind could be God talking to you, and he cares about everything you do. You’re just awash in the Spirit of God.

Now just because you think of something random or weird doesn’t mean it’s God talking to you. It could just be that the person is pretending. This means that they have to have some kind of standard for how to assess the veracity of God Messages. This makes sense, or else you could have someone say that God told them to go and kill people. This is a huge no-no since God wouldn’t do that.

Anyway, while the book was interesting at first, my attention began to flag around halfway through the book. Other than that, the book tells you how to tell different denominations apart from each other, the ideas shared by all evangelicals, and how an otherwise intelligent, discerning person can believe in a so-called Imaginary Friend. It is an attempt to bridge the gap between the believer and non-believer. I suppose it does a somewhat good job, especially since these people shared their private thoughts and feelings on something so personal.
( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Would have made a great New Yorker article. As a 400-page book it feels stretched pretty thin. And Luhrmann, while seemingly an interesting person, is not a great writer. Still worth your time if you find the subject compeling. ( )
1 vota GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
This is an interesting account of the effects of a certain type of prayer training on the spiritual life of practitioners. The combination of observation, participation and experiment was particularly useful. However this book does not address the outward effects of the churches that were studied. There is very little comment on the moral code taught, or the political or social aspects of Christian practice among these groups. Not asking all books to be all thing; just noting that this is a narrow study, not a general account of a religious movement. ( )
1 vota ritaer | Dec 20, 2017 |
Would have made a great New Yorker article. As a 400-page book it feels stretched pretty thin. And Luhrmann, while seemingly an interesting person, is not a great writer. Still worth your time if you find the subject compeling. ( )
1 vota gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 10 (següent | mostra-les totes)
She says that the Vineyarders know that their “faith practice”—their date nights with God, their asking him for a red convertible—is, in some measure, playacting. At the same time, they see it as a way of encountering God. She later adds, “The playfulness and paradox of this new religiosity does for Christians what postmodernism, with its doubt-filled, self-aware, playful intellectual style, did for intellectuals. It allows them to waver between the metaphorical and the literal.”

But Luhrmann’s primary justification of the evangelicals is what she describes as the huge amount of work they do. “Coming to a committed belief in God was more like learning to do something than to think something,” she writes. If all these people had to do was believe something new, that would be easy. Instead, they have to teach their brains to work in a new way. Sunday service is only one training ground. They go to house group; they attend conferences and retreats. They read devotional books. They pray and pray. (Sometimes you wonder how they manage to hold down jobs.) Their progress is slow and halting. Luhrmann places great emphasis on the hours that they put in, and I think that is not only because this is important to them but because she expects that it will be important to the reader’s view of them. Americans respect hard work.
 
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Psychological anthropologist Luhrmann offers an extended case study examining how believers come to have faith in an active, present God despite secular pressures in contemporary America. Drawing on extensive interviews and personal experience among Vineyard Movement members, Luhrmann focuses on the use of prayer among charismatic evangelical Christians. Her work combines personal narratives and excerpts from bestselling evangelical how-to guides with theories and data from psychology.

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