Monday, February 28, 2011

Book review: The Unlikely Disciple

A few weeks ago I read the book The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University by Kevin Roose. Mostly I was interested in it because I'm currently paying $25,000 a year for my daughter to go to that school (Liberty U., founded by the late Jerry Falwell) and I wanted to read an outsider's perspective.

Among Christian colleges, Liberty is actually considered rather liberal. The dress code includes pants for girls, tank tops are okay as long as the straps are three fingers wide, girls and guys are allowed to hold hands, stuff like that. But I guess for an unsaved guy from Brown, the "rules" seemed quite restrictive.

To his credit, Kevin Roose did not write a scathing report about his experience. He went there posing as a Christian, led his friends to believe he was one, and lived that lie for the entire semester. He made good friends, learned a lot of Bible he would not otherwise have learned in college, and published the last written interview with Dr. Jerry Falwell before his death in May 2007, at the end of Kevin's only semester at Liberty University.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Unlikely Disciple, not only because I have "insider information" about Liberty, but because it is well-written and very honest. I recommend it only if you don't mind reading about the private lives that are lived inside a guy's dorm. While I don't agree with Kevin's deception of those he called friends, I understand that he would never have been able to gain the perspective he did without it. I'm not saying that justifies what he did, only that I see why he did it.

If you're interested in hearing a sinner's honest view of Christians, this is a good place to start. It's an honest, hold-nothing-back, largely positive view of one of America's big Christian colleges.

Be thankful ~


1 comment:

Catherine said...

Intriguing! I've put it on my wish list at Borders!