Monday, September 24, 2012

"The Unlikely Disciple"

My mom and I recently finished reading a great book called "The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at the World's Holiest University" by Kevin Roose. I recently heard about this book when one of my friends put it on his Facebook page. I looked it up online, read the synopsis of the book and thought it sounded like a very interesting read. Here's a synopsis of the book:

The Unlikely Disciple is the story of the semester I spent at Liberty University, the Reverend Jerry Falwell’s “Bible Boot Camp” for young evangelicals. Liberty, which is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, is the world’s largest evangelical Christian university – a 10,000-student training ground for the next generation of America’s Religious Right.

I grew up in the ultimate secular/liberal family (my parents are Quakers who used to work for Ralph Nader), and I went to Brown University – a school that, by Falwellian standards, is only a notch or two above Sodom and Gomorrah. But during my sophomore year at Brown, I decided to enroll at Liberty as a transfer student, hoping to learn about my Christian peers by living among them for a semester. The Unlikely Disciple chronicles the fascinating, entertaining, thought-provoking experiences I had during my semester at Liberty. Such as:
  • Singing in the choir at Rev. Falwell’s legendary Thomas Road Baptist Church
  • Struggling to keep up in my impossibly hard Bible courses
  • Getting to know the guys in my dorm, whose personalities ranged from clean-cut pastors’ kids to foul-mouthed rebels
  • Going on a spring break mission trip to Daytona Beach, where fifteen Liberty students and I tried (and failed) to convert drunken co-eds
  • Experimenting with prayer
  • Attending a meeting of “Every Man's Battle,” Liberty’s on-campus support group for chronic masturbators
  • Going on dates with Liberty girls
  • Interviewing Rev. Falwell for Liberty’s campus newspaper (which, in a twist of fate, ended up being the last print interview of his life)
  • Learning some valuable lessons about the value of tolerance, the complexities of faith, and the future of America’s culture wars
It was great having my mom read this book to me because we enjoyed discussing it together along the way. It was great how the author was able to completely immerse himself in evangelical life at Liberty University, especially since this sort of lifestyle was completely foreign to him. This book was extremely well-written, especially for it being written by someone so young. My mom and I laughed all the way through the book and appreciated how witty and clever the writing was. I give this book two thumbs up and recommend it as a fascinating read.


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