The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Great and terrible
Icon books.svg
On our shelf:
Writer's block
Scandalous behavior is rapidly destroying American Christianity. By their daily activity, most "Christians" regularly commit treason. With their mouths they claim that Jesus is Lord, but with their actions they demonstrate allegiance to money, sex, and self-fulfillment.

The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World? (ISBN 0801065410) is a 2005 book by the evangelical theology professor Ronald J. Sider. It is presented as a "wake-up call" to American evangelicals, telling them what everyone else already knew but they pretend isn't happening.

Some fun facts from the book[edit]

  • The evangelical population is more racist than the norm.
  • Evangelical teens have sex just as much as their peers.
  • Evangelical adults divorce more frequently than others.[note 1]
  • Only 6% of evangelicals cough up 10% of their income when the collection plate comes around.[note 2]
  • Just 22% of Americans feel positive about Evangelicals.[1]


The book is subtitled, "Why are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World?" The historical Christian position is that Christians are freed from the punishment for sin but not sin itself, so in their view, this is to be expected. But for Sider, who adheres to the comparatively novel doctrine of Christian perfection,Wikipedia the more reality-based historical notion is untenable; he says that evangelicals can "shape up" by getting back to basics and knocking it off with all the sinning.

Political power[edit]

Evangelicals have more political power than they had for a long time.

It strikes me as being incredibly tragic and, yes, hypocritical for the evidence to show that precisely at a time when evangelicals have more political power to raise the issue of moral values in this society than they've had in a long time, the hard statistics on their own living show that they don't live what they're talking about. And sure, I'm afraid that's hypocrisy.
—Ron Sider[2]

Yes, Evangelicals are too often hypocritical and do not live up to the standards they try to impose onto others.

See also[edit]


  1. It is possible that this is because more of them married in hasteWikipedia after neglecting to use birth control during the above-mentioned adolescent romps.
  2. For evangelical preachers who depend in tithes for their income, that is very important.


  1. Book Reviews: Ronald J. Sider, The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience
  2. Stan Guthrie, The Evangelical Scandal. Archived from the original at, 13 April 2005.