The Exvangelicals: Loving, Living, and Leaving the White Evangelical Church

St. Martin’s. Mar. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781250284471. $30. REL
Exvangelicals are former evangelicals who, for social, political, or theological reasons, find themselves at odds with the current state of the conservative American evangelical ethos. NPR political correspondent McCammon is well-suited to exploring exvangelicalism in this memoir, having been raised in a deeply religious evangelical family. She says her environment fostered a fear of the outside secular world. As she began to experience life outside her religious cocoon, she realized that some of what she had been taught—that dinosaurs roamed the earth with Adam and Eve, for example—were not just “alternative facts.” Her circumstances eventually morphed into religious trauma, where obedience born of fear was the norm. Her breaking point came with the campaign and presidency of Donald Trump, whose vitriolic rhetoric seemed likely to repel evangelicals. And yet, little that Trump said or did could dissuade her family and religious friends from their enthusiasm for him. Out of such cognitive dissonance came a real break with the Church, although McCammon says that her healing is ongoing.
VERDICT A much-needed look at evangelicalism from a perspective that’s both investigative and personal. It offers intriguing, compelling insight with expert reporting.
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