Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NuChristian: Finding Faith in a New Generation

Rathbun, Russell. nuChristian: Finding Faith in a New Generation. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2009.

Plot Summary
This is not a fiction book.

My Thoughts
I truly believe books find you when you need them. This book is such an example. As I read, I related to Rathbun's idea that "the average life of a church is about the time it takes one generation to live their lives together as an expression of the body of Christ" (Rathbun 8). He explains that Christians don't need to change the message to reach the new generation. They just need to think of different modes of giving the message. He uses the example of a church he and others started called House of Mercy. This church, at first, met the needs of young families. As the members age, so do the needs of the church. Rathbun explains that God's love didn't change but the way members got the message did.

There were many "oh, interesting" questions brought up by reading this book. Rathbun even has some guide questions in each chapter to help the reader understand the illustrated point and bullet points at the end to reinforce the ideas of the chapter.

My pastor has mentioned during several sermons about "postmodern worship." After reading this book, I understand more of what I think he meant. One thing that connected with me while reading this book is I am a postmodern, as defined by Rathbun. "For today's younger generations, black and white distinctions rarely exist" (Rathbun 17). I have always seen the gray. "Postmodern generations value complexity, rich content, and relationship" (Rathbun 20). Yep. "There are no hidden agendas" (Rathbun 23). Amen!

I like his point that "being a Christian isn't about who we are, but about who Christ is" (Rathbun 24). Eight short chapters that affirm me. I like it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Glass Castle

Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle: a Memoir. New York: Scribner, 2005.

Plot Summary
This is a memoir that follows Jeannette Walls unconventional life.

My Thoughts

I've just been on an adventure journey.

Oh my! I can hardly believe that this writer endured her life and was able to write about it as she did. It is amazing to me that her parents could keep the children without losing them to Child Protective Services.

The kids were just left....left to do whatever--left to fend for themselves--left to be unprotected from the world.

The content of this book is both disturbing (I know there are other parents out there who act just like the Walls) and enlightening (I can't imagine making the same decisions and justifications of the parents). I am mad at Rex and Rose Mary! How could they allow the children such experiences (i.e., riding in the back of a moving van, setting up a rich man for money, teaching them the Skedaddle)?

I read Half-Broke Horses and loved it. I liked this book, too, but for different reasons. The family is absolutely memorable. I have a different picture of survival. These kids are both emotional and physically starved. Thanks, Jeannette for opening my eyes to the dysfunction that served as your childhood.