CHHI 510

Book Critique Assignment Instructions


In this assignment, you will read the assigned book and analyze it. It is more than a book report. It is a critique. A critique looks at (1) the author’s thesis, and (2) how well the author supports his/her thesis with the evidence and argumentation. To that end the main part of the critique should involve assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the work in relation to the author’s stated thesis.


You are to use Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution—A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First as your text for the book critique assignment. Read the book carefully and write a review of 700—1,000 words. In terms of style the review should be modeled after Keith E. Johnson’s review of Cyril of Alexandria’s Trinitarian Theology of Scripture in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society ( JETS) 58, no. 1 (March 2015): 214—18. It is available through the Jerry Falwell Library. Note that the book review should not have a title page or a bibliography page. The publication data, single spaced, as shown below should appear at the top of page 1.

Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution—A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First. By Alister McGrath. New York, NY: HarperOne, 2008, 552pp., $16.99.

Your name, city, and school should appear at the end of the paper, flush right. The body of the review should be double spaced. All text should be 12 point Times New Roman font. Alignment should be set to “Left.” There should be no footnotes. All citations, even of outside sources (if you use them), should be parenthetical, just as they appear in the example. Page numbers should appear in the top right hand corner of the paper.

The body of the review should consist of an introductory paragraph in which you give (1) the author’s thesis or theme for the book and (2) your thesis statement as a summary assessment of the book. The review should then contain a brief summary of the contents of the book (not more than 30% of the total assignment), followed by a more extensive critique of the book’s strengths and weaknesses (50%-60% of the assignment). You should look for two (2) significant strengths and two (2) significant weaknesses to the book. These strengths and weaknesses must be based on the simple question, “does the author adequately support and defend his thesis?” What parts of his argument build his thesis and support it? What are weaknesses that pose a problem for his thesis? Avoid the use of the first person (I, we, us, etc.) in your review. This is generally not acceptable in academic writing. Also avoid the use of contractions (don’t, isn’t, it’s) and archaic and British spellings (amongst, regards, towards).

Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.