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Download In the Land of Believers: An Outsider's Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample In the Land of Believers: An Outsiders Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church, by Gina Welch Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (278 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gina Welch Narrator: Judith Brackley Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Ever since evangelical Christians rose to national prominence, mainstream America has tracked their every move with a nervous eye. But in spite of this vigilance, our understanding hasn’t gone beyond the caricatures. Who are evangelicals, really? What are they like in private, and what do they want? Is it possible that beneath the differences in culture, language, church, and party, we might share with them some common purpose?

To find out, Gina Welch, a young secular Jew from Berkeley, joined Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church. Over the course of nearly two years, Welch immersed herself in the life and language of the devout: she learned to interpret the world like an evangelical, weathered the death of Falwell, and embarked on a mission trip to Alaska intended to save one hundred souls. Alive to the meaning behind the music and the mind behind the slogans, Welch recognized the allure of evangelicalism, even for the godless, realizing that the congregation met needs and answered questions she didn’t know she had.

What emerges is a riveting account of a skeptic’s transformation from uninformed cynicism to compassionate understanding and a rare view of how evangelicals see themselves.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Excellent prose with a laudable purpose: to promote understanding of evangelical Christians…An engaging, personal look at one variant of Christian fundamentalism.”

    Library Journal

  • “Memorable…A genuinely inquisitive memoir about the complicated nature of religious belief.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alaina | 2/10/2014

    " I think this it's probably more important for (some) Evangelicals to read this book than the intended audience (non-"believers). Great perspective on evangelism from an outsider's perspective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Zach | 2/5/2014

    " Very interesting book about an atheist girl who goes "undercover" to Jerry Falwell's church and befriends evangelicals and ultimately goes on a mission trip with them to Alaska. Although Welch spends a little too much time saying how "nice" evangelicals are and glosses over the times she witnesses their sexism, homophobia, and exclusionism, this is still a really captivating read. I wouldn't say I learned anything from this aside from maybe respecting people even if they have views that I might consider crazy - because they would consider my views crazy. If evangelicals were more open to getting to know non-evangelicals then I don't think a book like this would even need to exist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sweisiger | 1/27/2014

    " An interesting exploration of a particular evangelical world; I appreciated the author's sensitivity to a culture other than her own, and her willingness to explore her own assumptions about evangelicals... I did not expect myself to empathize as much with her experience as I did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tracy Black | 1/11/2014

    " Excellent book! There was no Christian bashing or sneering. It was an honest attempt by an atheist to understand the mindset and motivation of evangelical Christians. "

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About the Author

Gina Welch, a 2001 graduate of Yale University, teaches creative writing at George Washington University. She has also taught writing at the University of Virginia, American University, UVA Young Writer Workshop, and WriterHouse in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her writing has previously appeared in Meridian, Time Out New York, and Playboy.