15 May 2011
In the Land of Believers
Welch, Gina. In the Land of Believers: An Outsider's Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010.
Gina Welch was curious about the evangelical church. She wanted to know the truth behind the smiling faces, the protests against evolution, and the emphasis on being "born again." In order to truly understand these concepts from an insider's perspective, Welch went undercover and joined a megachurch. She went forward for salvation, was baptized in the church, went door-to-door soulwinning, and even joined a small group mission trip to Alaska. Throughout her time in the church, Welch hid the fact that she was not truly a believer and that she was only there to get information.
It was fascinating to me to read about the church, a place I am quite familiar with, from the perspective of someone who has not grown up in it or embraced it. I was intrigued by Welch's reactions to ideas such as worship music, group prayer, and witnessing. It was very interesting to read about her journey and the love she learned to have for the people in the church, while still questioning the idea that a person can have a relationship with Jesus after simply praying a prayer on a street corner. This was a very interesting read and definitely worth checking out of the library.