Book Review: The Seven Faith Tribes

The Seven Faith Tribes: Who They Are, What They Believe, and Why They Matter

7faithtribesBy George Barna – ISBN 1414324043 Publisher: BarnaBooks

“What will it take to restore our country to greatness?”

This is the question that George Barna posits as he explores the major “influence groups” in our country today. Cultural researcher and writer George Barna draws upon 25 years of research and interviews with more than 30,000 people to identify and study the primary “faith groups” (referred to as tribes) in America. His analysis is eye-opening and in some cases frightful. His opening statement from his analysis is that America is on the path of self-destruction. He writes; “Unless we, the people, can rally to restore health to this once proud and mighty nation, we have a long and disturbing decline to look forward to.”

Barna breaks down the seven major tribes into the following groups: Casual Christians, Captive Christians, American Jews, The Mormon Expansion, Pantheists: People of Different Gods, Muslims in America, and Spiritual Skeptics. I found it interesting if not surprising how these groups were broken down. The data presented in this study is extensive and the raw presentation of that data can be somewhat dry at times; however, the information serves as both a confirmation and a wake-up call for us to be more active in our roles as citizens and stewards of the kingdom of God.

I think you will find this book enlightening, sobering, challenging, and quite possibly…convicting. You can find it in any of your local book retailers, or purchase directly online through Amazon.com or CBD.com.

“…America is on the path to self-destruction. Time is of the essence. We must respond quickly and strategically. But only you can make that choice. Choose wisely.” George Barna

As I said, there is a lot of statistical data in the book. This leads some interpretive analysis that the reader may or not agree with; I suppose it depends on the filter by which you assess the data and the interpretation. Personally, I don’t know what to do with the data…or the analysis. I don’t know if I agree with the forward looking kumbaya “can’t we all get along” viewpoint of Barna. I do, however, agree with some of his points (made in later chapters) about the expectations and accountability that we should hold our leaders to.

I know my review isn’t about “me,” but intended to give an account of perceived value of the book. Suffice it to say that I’m still processing it and still talking about it…and still drawing people into discussions about its implications; both, from a statistical-data perspective and a theoretical analysis perspective.

I’m not sure how valid or realistic (I’ve already inferred this), are Barna’s conclusions, but that’s not the point. The point, I believe, is this book provides much fodder for thought, conversation, and strategic planning. I extend my kudos to the Barna Group and George Barna specifically; I appreciate his ministry contribution and his thoughtful analysis (regardless of my unqualified agreement or disagreement).

The following is a blog post that came during my reading of the 7 Faith Tribes

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