pop culture

Justin’s #58 – Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, David Platt, 240 pages

November 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

Early in the new year, I read David Platt’s new book, “Counter Culture“. I had actually heard about his book Radical but I had never read it, until now. The best way I can describe this book in a nutshell is from what Jesus said in Luke 9:23: “And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” I think we read that and don’t take it seriously as Evangelical Americans. I think we read that and choose to ignore it. It’s not because we’re bad people (although, we do have wicked hearts) but I think it’s because we’ve been conditioned by a society that is so cultured to the opposition of what Christianity really is, we’ve lost our way a bit. This conditioning is due, in part, to the excessive wealth that being American has come to mean. Even those who live below the poverty line in this country are more wealthy than 60-80% of the world. David Platt understands this. And he wants you to take up your cross in a specific way. Because we live in a nation that adores the American dream. […]

Justin’s #52 – Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, Jon Krakauer, 384 pages

October 16, 2015 // 0 Comments

Montana has always had a special place in my heart because I lived and grew up there. I still remember making trips out to Billings (the state’s most populous town and the place of my birth) and stopping for food, or to take advantage of the state’s absence of sales tax by doing a little school clothes shopping in Missoula. In fact, just this year I made a trip out to Missoula with Marine Band New Orleans as I augmented them for their Spring Tour.  This is actually where my interest in Jon Krakauer’s book took fruition: I remember seeing it on a bookshelf in a store in Missoula, and my interest was all the more piqued when I saw Mark write his review for it earlier this year. Finally, I saw it on the shelf at my own library and thought “why not?” Jon wrote this book because a long time family friend was raped not by an acquaintance, but somewhere she knew very well. The book begins with the story of Allison Huguet who was born and raised in Missoula. While attending college in Oregon, she came home one weekend and went to a party with childhood friend Beau […]

Justin’s #38 – The Courage to be Protestant: Truth-Lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World, David F. Well, 272 pages

August 13, 2015 // 0 Comments

Well I’ve come to the end of a 5 books series on the modern day church. Leaving David Wells’ truly remarkable 20+ year project is bittersweet, I must say. This book, if I could recommend any of them, is the one I would read if I were you. “Courage” is an encompassing look at all facets that Wells has described in the previous 4 books. In fact, reading them back to back as I have makes him sound a bit repetitive at times! I read this book about a year ago and you can read my initial thoughts about it here. Wells breaks down the chapters into 7 different aspects (only one which I will discuss at any length). I have linked the book that talks about the contents of the chapter (as it is a culmination, I’ve already written at length about everything discussed; so as not to be redundant, I will link my other reviews in the hope that you will read them and understand the contents of this particular book): The Lay of the Evangelical Land No Room For Truth Christianity for Sale Above All Earthly P’wrs Truth No Room For Truth God God in the Wasteland […]

Justin’s #31 – Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World, David F. Wells, 317 pages

July 23, 2015 // 0 Comments

I’ve come to David F. Wells 4th book in his series on the Church (after No Place For Truth, God in the Wasteland, and Losing Our Virtue) and it is a doozy. More than the previous three books, I believe Wells brings the church into his crosshairs and not just the culture. In No Place, Wells talks extensively on how we got to the place that we are (primarily through modernity, postmodernism, capitalism, and urbanization). God in the Wasteland expounds more on the Church as a whole than any particular movements within it as does Losing Our Virtue (which describes how values have usurped virtue in our postmodern society). Above Earthly Pow’rs centers in on the seeker sensitive movement of the Evangelical Church after Wells talks at length about our postmodern world. Wells begins by a short synopsis of everything he has discussed so far in the previous 3 books (which I will not extensively describe here but be sure to check out the linked book reviews). What is of significance in this volume is centered on postmodernism. He has to logically connect how we got to where we are today by demonstrating how postmodern thought has infiltrated 1) American […]

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