Reasons to Believe: One Man's Journey Among the Evangelicals and the Faith He Left Behind

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9780060832773: Reasons to Believe: One Man's Journey Among the Evangelicals and the Faith He Left Behind

Born again at sixteen, John Marks later abandoned his faith. In Reasons to Believe he attempts to cross a deep cultural barrier to understand those who now condemn his way of life. He speaks at length with missionaries, political activists, theologians—the rich and powerful, the poor and broken, and the pastors who have turned small congregations into megachurches. The result is a remarkable, intimate portrait of evan-gelicals, one of the most influential forces in America today, and the unforgettable story of how a lapsed believer came to terms with his faith.

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About the Author:

After writing for U.S. News & World Report for a decade, John Marks became a producer for Morley Safer at 60 Minutes. Marks is the author of three novels; Reasons to Believe is his first work of nonfiction. He is a Texas native and a graduate of Davidson College, and has an MA in creative writing from the University of Iowa. He lives in Massachusetts with his family.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Marks's first work of nonfiction began as a segment that he produced for 60 Minutes on the Left Behind phenomenon. During the research, a devout evangelical Christian couple made a deep impression on him, leaving him with the question of whether he would be left behind when Christ returns on judgment day. The problem gnawed at him. After getting laid off from 60 Minutes, the novelist (The Wall; War Torn) embarked on a two-year quest to uncover the wellsprings of America's most popular religion. While this memoir of longing and doubt treads some of the same territory explored by atheists such as Sam Harris, it is the first that doesn't simply reject the evangelical worldview. Marks discovers much that is positive, especially in the way churches rallied to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. What makes this book most compelling, however, are the ways in which Marks allows his interviewees to engage him as a potential convert. He is so sympathetic to them that until the very last page it is uncertain whether he will decide to abandon his secular life. In the end, Marks gives us a stunning glimpse of American evangelicalism in all its variety. (Feb.)
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