Gina Welch, a self-proclaimed liberal atheist Jew, decided to go “undercover” and attend (Jerry Falwells’) Thomas Road Baptist megachurch in Lynchburg, VA. Her new book, In the Land of Believers: An Outsider’s Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church, is not to be the hatchet job you might expect.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Welch recounts that her biggest surprise was “the individual reflectiveness of church members. I think I’d had this stereotype of evangelicals as blisteringly arrogant dogmatists. But I observed instead humility and a kind of obsessive self-reflection, enacted through prayer… which really resulted in care with choices, and a movingly ample capacity for selflessness and generosity.”
Would she have come to a similar conclusion if she had attended and become involved with a huge Catholic parish for more than a year? This is not a rhetorical question. I simply find myself wondering if people would have engaged with her in the way the Evangelicals did and what conclusions she might have drawn about Catholics from having worshipped with them.
Any thoughts on this?