Jesus v. Evangelicals

A Biblical Critique of a Wayward Movement

by Constantine R. Campbell

On Sale: 2023-01-17

Book Summary

This book is an insider's critique of the evangelicals' misuse of the Bible. By revealing evangelical distortions of the Bible, this book seeks to restore the dignity of the Christian faith and to renew public interest in Jesus, while calling evangelicals back to his teaching.

About the Book

American evangelicalism is at a crisis point.

The naked grasping at political power at the expense of moral credibility has revealed a movement in disarray. Evangelicals are now faced with a quandary: will they double-down and continue along this perilous path, or will they stop, reflect, and change course? And while support of Donald Trump has produced the tipping point of the evangelical crisis, it is not by any means its only problem.

Evangelicals claim the Bible as the supreme authority in matters of faith. But in reality, it is particular readings of the Bible that govern evangelical faith. Some evangelical readings of the Bible can be highly selective. They distort the Bible's teaching in crucial ways and often lead evangelicals to misguided attempts to relate to the world around them. Many Christians who once self-professed as "evangelicals" can no longer use the term of themselves because of what it has come to represent--power-mongering, divisiveness, judgementalism, hypocrisy, pride, greed. Some leave not just evangelicalism but Christianity for good.

Jesus v. Evangelicals is an insider's critique of the evangelical movement according to its own rules. Since evangelicals regard themselves governed by the Bible, biblical scholar Constantine Campbell engages the Bible to critique evangelicals and to call out the problems within the contemporary evangelical movement. By revealing evangelical distortions of the Bible, this book seeks to restore the dignity of the Christian faith and to renew public interest in Jesus, while calling evangelicals back to his teaching. Constantine Campbell appeals to evangelicals to break free from the grid that has distorted their understanding of the Bible and to restore public respect for Christianity in spite of its misrepresentations by the evangelical church.


'Sometimes it takes someone from a foreign country to perceive the impact of the USA on its version of evangelicalism. Add to that a person's excruciating experiences among evangelicals. Both can provoke serious questions about the integrity and faithfulness of the movement. Con Campbell has watched American evangelicalism from afar and up close, and he has experienced one of life's biggest tragedies. This book is a testimony of his experience within evangelicalism as one of its leaders, in the USA and abroad, and it becomes through his pain a heartfelt plea that evangelicalism turn back to Jesus to rediscover all over again the way of Jesus. Jesus v. Evangelicals is a painful healing many of us need.'

'What happens in America never stays in America. We are only kidding ourselves to think that our Christian brothers and sisters are unaware of or untouched by the hostile divisions, politicization, abuse scandals, and tribalism infecting American evangelicalism. The whole world witnessed the violence at the US Capitol on January 6 with rioters waving Jesus banners. For Australian biblical scholar Constantine Campbell, this crisis is alarming, destructive, and profoundly personal. He has the wounds to prove it. This is not the Christianity of Jesus. Jesus v. Evangelicals is Campbell's foray into understanding and uprooting underlying causes of this crisis and to find ways, as they say, to right the ship. This book points readers back to Jesus.'

'Con Campbell knows the American evangelical scene from the inside, yet he offers an outsider's perspective of a movement that he believes has gone astray. Using a mixture of cultural commentary and biblical insights, Campbell puts his finger on the lies and lunacies that get trotted out in the name of Christ in American circles. This is not an elitist critique of popular American religion, it is calling America back to the religion of Jesus and the apostles.'

'With Jesus v. Evangelicals, Constantine Campbell does not wade into the shallow end of the pool of controversial topics that Christians fight about but dives fully into the deep! This book will surely annoy some people, but it will motivate others because Campbell's thoughtful, biblical, vulnerable, and culturally astute analysis can help chart a new and better course. I applaud him for bringing his scholarship and personal experience to challenge the status quo.'

'Campbell holds up a light as much as a mirror in this breathtakingly important book, asking fellow Christians to take responsibility for their commitments to themselves and others by offering close readings of Scripture in conversation with contemporary evangelical life. Taking account of institutions and attitudes that create division and confusion, Campbell offers intellectual clarity and spiritual charity in equal measure as he walks the reader through his own relationship with the biblical text and the Christian worlds he inhabits, observing rifts between evangelicals and their larger communities. But just as important, he shares thoughts on how those rifts can be mended in an enduring, meaningful, and honest way. This book matters not only to evangelicals but also to those outside of the evangelical community who care about what happens to their neighbors who live within it and want to better understand the struggles they face.'

Product Details

  • Imprint: Zondervan
  • On Sale: 2023-01-17
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2023-01-17
  • Trim Size: 141.000in x 212.000in x 0.660in
  • Weight: 231.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Christianity / General
  • Category 2 : RELIGION / Biblical Criticism & Interpretation / General
  • Category 3 : RELIGION / Christian Life / Social Issues