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Everyday Men

Living in a Climate of Unbelief


Roger B. Edrington

This study is about everyday men. They are approached through a unique marriage of biblical theology and empirical research which gives birth to a missionary challenge.
Part One attempts to build a theological foundation for looking at people from the aspect of belief and unbelief. It sees this distinction as a crucial theme in the biblical material which remains relevant to men everywhere. The author discovers five elements of Christian belief in the biblical material while unbelief spans the five elements by its void, denial, or choice of an alternative.
Part Two starts with a random sample, in-depth interview of fifty men in a «working-class» area of Birmingham, England. The interviews attempt to discover the nature and saliency of the men's belief and unbelief in the Christian faith. The analysis stresses the qualitative response with the emphasis on listening to the men describe their lives, values, beliefs, and lack of beliefs in their own words. The findings are also compared to other related studies, prompting some conclusions regarding the meaning of these findings. The author attempts to bring the biblical material to bear on the findings about ordinary people and asks whether they can be described as believers or unbelievers. From this starting point, it becomes obvious that the scope of unbelief is very broad.
Part Three takes the understanding of God's Word and men's words and moves toward a missiological goal of approaching unbelievers with a gospel for today. It sees both the content and context of the gospel as important. The cultural problem is briefly considered and specific approaches are suggested in relation to the climate of unbelief in «working-class» English culture.