Theology Book Review

Are You Sure You're Right? Evangelicals and the Church of God

by Jerry A. Hickson
Reviewed date: 2023 Oct 28
138 pages
cover art

Jerry Hickson wrote this book to explain how the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) traditions differ from common evangelical beliefs that dominate American Christianity, particularly in the south. Although I would argue that the Church of God is firmly a part of the larger evangelical tradition that goes back almost 300 years, Hickson defines evangelicalism narrowly as a movement that arose out of the Fundamentalist movement in America in the mid-20th century. The Church of God (Anderson) has a lot in common with that strain of evangelicalism, but has some points of difference. E.g.,

  1. Evangelicals often hold to biblical inerrancy, whereas the Church of God traditionally taught that the Bible is inspired and authoritative but not inerrant.
  2. Evangelicalism is often Calvinist, emphasizing God's sovereignty, whereas the Church of God has been Arminian and emphasized human free will.
  3. Evangelicals often view the end times through a pre-millennial dispensationalist lens (e.g., like the Left Behind series), whereas Church of God has been largely amillennial.

It's a good book, but likely not of interest for those outside the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana.)

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