The title for Byron Johnson’s new book, “More God, Less Crime,” sounds like a tabloid newspaper headline.

Yet Johnson, a Baylor University faculty member, goes much deeper than tabloid-style news. He offers a well-researched academic argument that Christian faith can have a beneficial influence in the battle against crime.

More specifically, he documents his thesis with statistics and studies showing that prison ministry groups do help inmates change their lives for the better and go back to prison less often. In between are stories about how the Ten Point Coalition in Boston cut back on crime through pastors using their spiritual and social influence with young people.

Johnson introduced his book in Indianapolis last week at the Sagamore Institute think tank, where his audience included Marion County Criminal Court Judge Mark Stoner.

He appreciates Johnson’s research, that an introduction to Christian faith can go a long way to give an inmate a head start after leaving prison. But he sees it in a larger context.

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