What Others Are Saying
Luder Whitlock, President Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary:
Evangelicalism needs more books like A Lover’s Quarrel to challenge its complacent acculturalization — because the gradual changes that have occurred during the last 40 years have not always been beneficial.
Dr. Alex McFarland, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, and author of “The Ten Most Common Objections To Christianity”:
For those who are truly serious about the implications of Christ’s Great Commission, I highly recommend “A Lover’s Quarrel.” This book is for all who are broken over the fact that our nation is spiritually bankrupt, despite a well-funded American Christian industry and thousands of Dolby-surround-sound-equipped churches. Reading it reminded me of what a doctor said to my father as he was about to undergo chemotherapy: “What you’re about to experience will be painful, but it is necessary to save your life.” I applaud Warren Smith’s scholarship and courageous candor. I pray that many will give serious consideration to the content of his book.
Marion Montgomery, author of more than two dozen works of criticism, fiction, and poetry:
Warren Cole Smith’s Lover’s Quarrel With The Evangelical Church recalls us to a once known but largely forgotten truth: that bad ideas have bad consequences despite good intentions. He is charitable with the Evangelical Church, but he reveals its deconstructions of orthodox understandings of Christianity. He speaks arrestingly of what it means to recover a valid sense of Christian community in its reality, not the technological spectacle of “virtual reality,” however sincerely pursued.
Dr. Allan Carlson, President, The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society:
In his new book, Waren Cole Smith delves with grace and disturbing insight into the promise and bewildering failures of modern American evangelicalism. Writing from long experience within the movement, he reveals how evangelicals have succumbed to the glitter and material enticements of the world. Importantly, his “lover’s quarrel” with evangelicalism also draws on other traditions — Christian and non-Christian — to show believers the way back to a surer grounding of the church in the Gospels.
Dinesh D’Souza, best-selling author of What’s So Great About Christianity:
Both thoughtful and courageous.
Dr. Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief, WORLD Magazine, and provost, The King’s College:
Words exchanged in lover’s quarrels are best quickly forgotten, but the terms Warren Cole Smith uses to critique current evangelical excesses – “the Christian Industrial Complex,” “Body-Count Evangelism” – should long be remembered. Smith points out that megachurches sometimes inflate their numbers, but even an accurate count may register only superficiality. Smith’s call for churches to emphasize spiritual depth is worth hearing.
Dr. Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California:
This is an important book for a crucial moment in our history as Christians in the United States. Besides being richly biblical in its analysis of contemporary evangelicalism, this book is written by a veteran journalist with hard-hitting and inescapable data to support his conclusions. I highly recommend this book.
William Lobdell, former religion editor of “The Los Angeles Times” and author of “Losing My Religion”:
Warren Cole Smith’s “A Lover’s Quarrel With The Evangelical Church” is the perfect dose of tough love that the evangelical community needs to become a better (and much more attractive) witness to the secular world. Warren easily wins the “quarrel” by using biblically based arguments backed by solid research that don’t leave much wiggle-room for debate. It might make some Christians uncomfortable, which is exactly why they should read this book.
Pat Terry, contemporary Christian music pioneer:
For those who’ve scratched their head and wondered how in the world evangelicalism arrived at its current state, this book opens some doors of insight. A compassionate tone overrides the temptation to cynicism, and in that context the author provides a narrative which I can’t help but think will benefit defenders and naysayers of the movement alike.
Dr. Michael Jordan, professor and chair, Department of English, Hillsdale College:
Warren Cole Smith, a long-time member, spokesman, and activist in the American evangelical church, serves this same church well by calling attention to some of its besetting sins and flaws. What distinguishes Smith’s critique from others is his use of Richard M. Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences (1948) to expose cultural and theological diseases in both evangelical churches and in the ubiquitous evangelical parachurch organizations. In A Lover’s Quarrel with the Evangelical Church, Smith utilizes Weaver’s perceptive, prophetic critique of modern American romanticism, sentimentality, and tradition-destroying reliance on mass media to build up, not to tear down, the Evangelical Church.
Dr. Michael A. Longinow, Professor and Chair, Department of Journalism, Biola University:
Warren Cole Smith, like a good tour guide, points out the sights and sounds of a troubled Evangelicalism in ways that will make you want to get off the bus and look around. His keen and ironic sense of history makes points of interest take on a life of their own. For those concerned about Evangelicalism, Smith’s tour becomes one more reason to seek change. For those who didn’t know Evangelicalism was in trouble, his insights will be an important wake-up call. It’s one of the most poignant and clearly written histories of Evangelicalism and its connections than has been written in quite a while.
Steve Rabey, writer and editor of Youthworker Journal:
There are plenty of critics and blowhards who lob rhetorical bombs from a safe distance. But Warren Cole Smith has done something more rare and valuable. He has wrestled with both his conscience and with the mixed messages of his Christian tradition. The result is an honest, thoughtful, heartfelt and provocative book that will challenge readers to do some similar wrestling of their own.
Dr. Gary Scott Smith, Professor of History, Grove City College, and author of Faith and the Presidency: From George Washington to George W. Bush:
In his powerful, judicious, constructive critique of evangelical churches, parachurch organizations, media, and culture Warren Cole Smith demonstrates that many evangelicals have become addicted to size, speed, and power and have abandoned a biblical perspective of creation, history, and mission. Determined not simply to point out problems, but to help evangelicals regain a biblical focus and fulfill the evangelistic and cultural mandates more effectively, he provides positive examples of what some organizations and congregations are doing to further these aims.
Steve Maye, President, Lead With Character, and Trustee, Erskine College:
Lover’s Quarrel is a riveting book that clearly separates real Christianity from both the feel-good movement and the money machines that drive much of modern evangelicalism. Who better to write this book than Mr. Smith who has been a key opinion-maker in the national evangelical movement? A careful yet truthful analysis of the Church today. A must read for any thinking Christian.
Alan R. Crippen, II, President, John Jay Institute:
Warren Smith offers an insightful and deeply personal critique of the evangelical movement from the inside-out. As a man of the movement, Smith’s provocative assessment hits home. His penetrating analysis, however, goes beyond self-criticism and offers evangelicalism a pathway toward recovering its high-cultural heritage as a significant and vital movement of religious and social reform.