The Road Trip that Changed the World: The Unlikely Theory that will Change How You View Culture, the Church, and, Most Importantly, Yourself

Overview


What if the problem is us? Sixty years ago a goatee beard would have gotten you beat up in a lot of places. Chin fuzz was the symbol of the Beats or Beatniks, a mid-century, marginal group who pioneered a new kind of lifestyle. Their approach to life was hedonistic, experiential, fluid, and individualistic. Their contradictory approach to spirituality combined a search for God with a search for 'kicks'.

In 1947, these Beatnik heroes set out on a road trip across America ...

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The Road Trip that Changed the World: The Unlikely Theory that will Change How You View Culture, the Church, and, Most Importantly, Yourself

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Overview


What if the problem is us? Sixty years ago a goatee beard would have gotten you beat up in a lot of places. Chin fuzz was the symbol of the Beats or Beatniks, a mid-century, marginal group who pioneered a new kind of lifestyle. Their approach to life was hedonistic, experiential, fluid, and individualistic. Their contradictory approach to spirituality combined a search for God with a search for 'kicks'.

In 1947, these Beatnik heroes set out on a road trip across America re-writing the "life-script" of all future generations. Theirs was a new kind of lifestyle for a secular age. Their lives then (like so many of our lives now) were built upon experience, pleasure, mobility and self-discovery. They would also model a new approach to faith: desiring Christ, while still pursuing a laundry list of vices. Yet this dream would turn into a nightmare and the open road would lead back to an ancient half-forgotten path.

This was a path trodden by millions of feet over thousands of years. It was a path that began with a single step of faith as a pilgrim named Abraham stepped away from a cynical culture. A path of devotion that would lead to a cross on a hill named Golgotha. 

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

ON THE BACK COVER:

In this masterfully written book, our friend Mark Sayers has pretty much unlocked the cultural code of millions of young adults. His insights into mass culture, the corporate psyche, and of spirituality sometimes border on the uncanny. With this work, Mark rightly takes his place as a major prophetic voice to the contemporary western church today.

Alan and Debra Hirsch, Authors, Activists, Dreamers

--

ON THE INSIDE PAGES:

Mark Sayers is one of the most important thinkers in the church today. This book is filled with his typical insights and genius in answering the question of why the church is struggling today. You will be informed, inspired, renewed and compelled to recover a serious, Jesus-centered discipleship and hunger for the Kingdom of God. Highly recommended.

Jon Tyson, Pastor, Trinity Grace Church New York & City Collective

--

In this masterfully written book, our friend Mark Sayers has pretty much unlocked the cultural code of millions of young adults. His insights into mass culture, the corporate psyche, and of spirituality sometimes border on the uncanny. With this work, Mark rightly takes his place as a major prophetic voice to the contemporary western church today.

Alan and Debra Hirsch, Authors, Activists, Dreamers

--

In his book, The Road Trip that Changed the World, Mark Sayers invites us to take a seat next to him as he guides us through the landscape of church, culture, consumerism, Christianity, religion, and faith. In the end, we can arrive at a place we long for: Home. A home not found in a creation of materials or in a geographical space but wonderfully discovered in a relationship with Jesus.

Dave Gibbons, Founder of Xealot.org and Newsong Church, and Author of XEALOTS

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As a keen student of culture, Mark Sayers unpacks how the primary narrative we inhabit will either lead us on the road, trying to capture as many "woosh" experiences as we can, or enable us to take the road less traveled. If the church is going to answer her sacred calling and not allow the culture of the road to squeeze the life out of her, this book is a must read!
 
JR Woodward, Co-founder of the Ecclesia Network and Kairos Los Angeles; author of Creating a Missional Culture

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Many writers can exegete the Bible, few can exegete our culture. Mark Sayers does both with illuminating clarity and perception. The Road Trip that Changed the World is masterful depiction of our media-saturated world and the subtleties of its influence. Through the unique intersection of faith and culture, Mark's observations are fresh, timely, buoyant, and full of hope.

Darren Whitehead, Author of Rumors of God (with Jon Tyson), Teaching Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church

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This is a book I wish I had written but know I never could. In a mesmerizing blend of anecdote and literature, pop sensitivity and cultural analysis, earthiness and biblical reflection, Mark Sayers gracefully calls the 'travelers' of the world and the church home-via the signpost of a cross. Brilliant!

Dr John Dickson, author, historian, and director of the Centre for Public Christianity

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Mark Sayers again proves himself to be a state-of-the-art connoisseur of the times in which we live. The Road Trip that Changed the World is a brilliant and gripping portrayal of what ails church and culture, combined with the redemptive wisdom of how to fix it. People stream into our Swiss L'Abri community from all over the world. They deeply struggle with a myriad of issues, including which direction to take in life. So many roads go nowhere. Sayers' book, by contrast, is an exceptionally valuable guide that can decisively help counter dead ends and lead us home. I highly recommend it. This is a vital read. Sayers at his best.

Dr Gregory J. Laughery, Author, Spiritual Rhythms For Today, and Director of L'Abri Fellowship, Switzerland.

--

If you desire to better understand the condition of a culture that has lost its sense of the transcendent then pick up The Road Trip that Changed the World. As a pastor in a secular global city, I find Mark's writings to be an invaluable resource for understanding the soul of my city and learning how to address its hopes, angsts, and aspirations with the Gospel.

JR Vassar, Lead Pastor of Apostles Church, NYC

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Mark Sayers once again skewers the cultural narrative we have been given and, while it wriggles impotently, invites us instead to make our home in the Story of God. Rich with cultural, personal and biblical insight, The Road Trip that Changed the World leads us down the dusty path countless feet have trodden that results in our becoming truly human. Highly recommended.

Sean Gladding, Author of The Story of God, the Story of Us

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This book will at once make you very uncomfortable and inspire you to take a fresh look at the true influences of your life. Will "the road" or the One who calls us to serve those on it be the dominate influence in our lives? Will we be the Church? 

Ellis Brust, Lead Pastor, Epiphany Anglican Church, Orange County, California

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Mark Sayers is one of the best readers and analysts of culture that I have met and read. In his new book he takes us on a road trip through our western culture and shows what it is that is shaping and what has shaped our culture. This is a must read for all who wants to find a way of discipleship and mission in a western context.

Thomas Willer, sociologist and pastor of Regen Church, Copenhagen

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The Road Trip that Changed the World exposes our modern obsession with novelty, entertainment, and self-actualization while sketching a compelling vision for abiblical alternative. Mark Sayers is a keen exegete of contemporary culture and a wise guide for true seekers.  He's written an important book that will help readers name, and resist, the gods of this age.

Drew Dyck, Managing Editor of Leadership Journal and author of Generation Ex-Christian

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Mark Sayers's gifts as a cultural critic, theologian, and story-teller are all on fine display in this remarkable and well-written analysis of western culture. Through the prism of Jack Kerouac's novel, On The Road, Sayers tells the story of our culture and then offers a better way-a way home-through his reflections on God's call of Abraham. This, and much more, make The Road Trip that Changed the World a gripping and profound work.

Douglas Groothuis, Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary, and author of Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith.

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Mark Sayers is a thoughtful, insightful, and observant leader who will push your thinking. At times he will make you mad. At times he will make you shout with affirmation. But you will not come away from this book unchanged. I'm thankful for his voice into the wider church world.
 
Gene Appel, Senior Pastor, Eastside Christian Church, Anaheim, California

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We often talk about what "culture" is doing to "them." We rarely think deeply about what "culture" is doing to "us." Sayers reveals what our cultural addiction to infinite choice has done to our stability as individuals-both inside and outside the church. The Road Trip that Changed the World is a terrific work of cultural hermeneutics, and we need to take Mark's challenges very seriously.

John Stonestreet, Speaker and author for Breakpoint and Summit Ministries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802409317
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 976,147
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author


MARK SAYERS is a cultural commentator, writer and speaker, who is highly sought out for his unique and perceptive insights into faith and contemporary culture. Mark is the author of The Road Trip that Changed the World. Mark is also the Senior Leader of Red Church. Mark lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife Trudi, daughter Grace, and twin boys Hudson and Billy.
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Read an Excerpt

THE ROAD TRIP THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

THE UNLIKELY THEORY THAT WILL CHANGE HOW YOU VIEW CULTURE, THE CHURCH, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, YOURSELF
By Mark Sayers

MOODY PUBLISHERS

Copyright © 2012 Mark Sayers
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-0931-7


Chapter One

A TALE OF TWO ROADS

"Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?" Carlo Marx in Jack Kerouac's On the Road

"Nobody move, everything will be OK." Mohamed Atta

In their chinos, casual shirts, and T-shirts they even dressed like writer Jack Kerouac. And although they had probably never read his classic novel On the Road, they were imitating Kerouac's vision of life to a T, living in cheap motels, sleeping in rental cars, crisscrossing their way around America. Through their lifelong exposure to popular culture, they had imbibed the life script for twenty somethings that Kerouac had sketched out almost half a century earlier. They were in a limbo, existing on the American road.

A delayed adolescence marked the culture of their group. Theirs was an all-male world. Yet long-distance phone calls to girlfriends, parents, and neglected wives betrayed an internal conflict between a desire for domestic bliss and an unfettered pursuit of pleasure. Kerouac was drawn to the seedy side of American life, so were the boys, they also liked strip clubs and dive bars. In Florida they rented scooters, speeding up and down the beaches.

They also seemed to have a weakness for glazed donuts, visiting convenience stores to sugar-load several times a day. The group had traveled en masse to Las Vegas, where they stayed in "cheap hotels on a dreary stretch of the Strip frequented by dope dealers and $10 street hookers." The sons of the wealthy were slumming it, and just like Kerouac would regularly be seen staggering drunk or stoned on hash. Other nights they would go up-market and splash the cash on lap dances and expensive champagnes.

Their public displays of arrogance and excess ensured that women would be seen on their arms. When they were not in the clubs they were buying porn, and paying for sex with prostitutes in their hotel rooms. Their behavior could have been the script for an MTV reality show or a B-grade spring break movie, a lifestyle unintentionally championed by Kerouac on the fringes of American life. A vision of life that would in our time be pushed to the center, becoming typical and expected.

Yet these men were far from typical. Their wild living was a precursor of something more sinister.

A COCKTAIL OF FAITH AND VICE

Jack Kerouac lived out a contradiction. Raised a conservative Catholic, he maintained a love for and relationship with Christ for his whole life. Even in his most debauched moments his Bible was never far from his side. At times he was prudish and conservative, at other times a libertine. The young men in the group were the same. Like Kerouac, their actions were also contradictory. One moment they were deeply religious, praying late into the night and poring over scriptures; the next moment their behavior was marked by an unrestrained indulgence in vice.

Both Kerouac and the young men were drawn to and yet felt like outsiders in American life. Both wished for a death that would see them leave this world and find union with God in paradise. Kerouac's journey to find God would take the form of a modern pilgrimage, with off-ramps and excursions into drug-fueled hallucinations, and dalliances with Buddhism and Taoism. Eventually, his body broken and addicted, he would return to his childhood devotion, spending his last days focused on Christ and the Cross. The young men would take a very different road in their quest to please God.

GO, GO, GO!

Popular culture chooses to ignore the middle-aged, worn-out Kerouac, hip to the futility of the American dream and the reality of sin, spending his last days meditating on the Cross. Instead it prefers the romantic vision of the handsome, twentysomething seminal hipster of On the Road. Speeding across America in a beat-up car that flew like a rocket, high as a kite, pretty girls in the back, jazz pouring out of the radio. His wild buddy and partner in crime Neal Cassady next to him like a fan at a jazz club, screaming GO, GO, GO out the window into the impossibly starry expanse of the Midwestern sky.

The young men would also be remembered for posterity, flying across America at high speed, not on an impossibly starry night, but on an impossibly blue-skied morning. Their shouts would not be jazz-inspired slang. Instead they would be guttural and Arabic, screamed last words of "Allahu Akbar." That morning the New York streets that Kerouac had walked half a century earlier with his friends were showered in the concrete dust of the World Trade Center and the vaporized remains of Mohamed Atta and his friends, known to history as the 9/11 hijackers.

CONTRADICTIONS

To us the behavior of the 9/11 hijackers seems strange. These were terrorists. A group of militants committed to a radical interpretation of Islam. A cell of men who were ready to offer their lives to defeat an enemy that they saw as morally degenerate. Men whose idea of modesty ensured that they covered with towels frames on their walls that contained some old photos of women bathing in 1920s swimming costumes, yet who happily would visit strip clubs.

The contradictory behavior of the 9/11 hijackers has confused analysts. Yet when examined in the light of our culture's true nature, the behavior of the group is not that shocking. Humans are contradictory creatures: we like to be logical, but our actions, wants, and desires are a far more confusing and inconsistent affair.

The majority of the 9/11 attackers were from upper- or middle-class families. Many, like the group's leader Mohamed Atta, had spent time living and studying in the West and felt strongly the tension between the worldview of the West and their adherence and loyalty to their own worldview and religion. The propaganda of Al Qaeda would point to various rationales for its war on the West, such as Western foreign policy, the existence of the state of Israel, and so on, but the hijackers' last moments giving into temptation illustrates a deeper and more implicit motive. They viewed the West as a culture that had thrown off any kind of restraint. Their last gasp giving into the fleshly temptations of the West was an admission to its seductive power and a confirmation of its need to be destroyed. Christianity and Judaism were seen as impotent and inferior because they had failed to rein in this new secular self with all of its base desires and personal freedoms.

The hijackers unintentionally found themselves caught between two visions of being human that would come to dominate the consciousness of the world at the beginning of the twenty-first century. To understand this tension more fully and appreciate its pull, not just on the lives of the 9/11 hijackers but on our own, we must now travel back to the period just after World War II. Back to the same Manhattan streets that Mohamed Atta would cover in ash, streets that in 1948 two men walked, reveling in and wrestling with the new culture that was emerging in the West. Two men who would create two philosophical roads.

TAKING A TEMPTING BITE OUT OF THE BIG APPLE

During a two-year period between 1947 and 1948, two young men lived in New York City. Both men were aspiring writers, both had reached a crossroads in their personal lives, both felt that Western culture had descended into a spiritual and existential crisis. Both men would end up writing bestselling books about this experience, works that would electrify generations to come, mold lifestyles, and offer visions of being human that would help shape the twenty-first century. Both in their own way would leave their marks not only on New York but on global culture. Both men would die early, in a manner that would appear as a kind of martyrdom to their followers. Their ideas would live on long after their deaths.

WHO WAS JACK KEROUAC?

Journalist Tom Brokaw would label Jack Kerouac's peers the "greatest generation," lauding their selflessness, work ethic, and commitment. This was the generation who understood material deprivation during the Great Depression, confronted the forces of fascism during World War II, and during the forties and fifties built America into the dominant global superpower.

Born in 1922, Kerouac was part of Brokaw's greatest generation, but his influence would shape the generation following his own. In a period of conformity and conservatism Kerouac would bounce around New York City in a ball of drug-fueled, jazz-inspired, sexual energy. Though unusual and deviant at the time, his lifestyle was far more like the typical young adults' of the twenty-first century—a lifestyle defined by a thirst for experience and travel, recreational drug use, a fear of and yet a desire for community and commitment. A promiscuous approach to sexuality, a desire to make it, a contradictory approach to faith, and few qualms about returning home to Mom when the money ran out.

For Kerouac, New York City was simply a starting point on a manic journey that would last for four years and that would crisscross the United States multiple times. This journey, part spiritual quest, part hedonistic romp, would inspire every road movie. Every buddy flick, every spring break bender, and every twentysomething, backpacking search to discover one's self that would follow over the coming decades owes something to Kerouac and his vision. Without Kerouac there could be no Easy Rider, no Eat, Pray, Love, no Blue Like Jazz. The details of this odyssey would be transformed into Kerouac's famous book On the Road, which is part confessional, part travelogue, and part novel.

The book would be loosely autobiographical. On the Road tells the story of Kerouac and his friend Neal Cassady's numerous romps across the continental United States between 1947 and 1951. Since the book includes frank descriptions of the drugfueled sexual misadventures of Kerouac's friends, his publishers worried about possible lawsuits. So they persuaded him to change the names to pseudonyms. Kerouac reinvented himself as Sal Paradise, and Neal became the legendary Dean Moriarty.

CATHOLIC, FRENCH-CANADIAN, AND CALVINIST

Kerouac was christened Jean Louis Lebris de Kerouac to French Canadian parents in Lowell, Massachusetts. Growing up in a French-speaking household, he did not speak English until he was six. The defining moment of his life was the tragic death of his brother Gerard from rheumatic fever at age nine. A survivor's sense of guilt haunted Kerouac for the rest of his life. His mother and father both loved God and the bottle—influences that would mark Kerouac's life and shape his grief. The French-speaking Catholics of Massachusetts followed the teachings of Cornelius Jansen, whose Catholicism was deeply influenced by the theology of John Calvin. This unique blend of Catholicism and Calvinism shaped Kerouac's faith, infusing it with a deep understanding of sin, the Cross, and the place of suffering in the Christian life.

A gifted football player, Kerouac earned a scholarship to Columbia University in Manhattan. Despite his athletic prowess and good looks, Kerouac found a home amongst a strange grouping of bohemian University buddies. The embryonic group consisted of poet Allen Ginsberg, writer William S. Burroughs, editor Lucien Carr, and various other misfits, bohemians, and artists. The group was united in their belief that American culture had gone awry. Their reading of Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West convinced them that they were living at the end of Western culture.

The group looked at a postwar society awash in materialism, secularism, and shallowness, and came to the belief that if rationalism and science had led society to its current crisis, then romanticism, spirituality, and experience would re-humanize America. The group found what they perceived as the strict and conservative moral confines of the forties stifling. They began to plot, plan, and live out a new way of being human, a response to the great crisis they saw all around them. If America was settling down behind white picket fences, they wanted a life on the road.

HOW A GROUP OF JAZZ FANS SHAPED THE CONTEMPORARY SELF

The proximity of Columbia University to Harlem gave the group an appreciation of jazz and a somewhat naive and patronizing desire to imitate what they saw as the unfettered and authentic lives of African-Americans. This group of renegade bookworms also idolized other groups that they saw living on the edge of American culture, such as prostitutes, homosexuals, and petty criminals. Idolization would turn into imitation and eventually immersion as the group pushed the boundaries of acceptable social behavior, grounding themselves in the world of hustlers who hung around Times Square.

Unbeknownst to the group, their seminal experiments with sexuality, Eastern religions, drugs, and restless travel would be launched from the margins into the cultural mainstream over the coming decades. Kerouac labeled his friends the "Beat Generation"; later the media would dub them "beatniks," after the Sputnik satellite. The Beats would foreshadow the counterculture and the hippie movement of the sixties, which would in turn influence the mainstream in the seventies, and eventually come to define the contemporary consumer, popular culture, and personal questing in the West.

Chapter Two

HOW WORSHIP BECAME ENTERTAINMENT

Not disciples but spectators ...

During the same eighteen-month period in which Kerouac and his friends were instigating their new mode of living on the edge of American culture, a young, well-dressed man arrived in the Big Apple. Like Kerouac, he was an unsuccessful novelist; he had a group of friends who read voraciously and hung out in cafes. Like Kerouac he sensed a spiritual danger in the postwar economic boom. He also was in the midst of a personal crisis. Unlike Kerouac's existential crisis over the death of his brother, this young man's crisis was ideological in nature. Like Kerouac he had grown up in a religious home. Sayyid Qutb, however, had been moving toward a more radical understanding of Islam in his homeland of Egypt. Yet at the same time he was drawn to modernization, and the West. His residency in the United States would spiritually, ideologically, and emotionally push him to his limits.

AL QAEDA AND THE ALL-AMERICAN GIRL

While Kerouac would throw himself guiltily into the hedonism of emerging postwar America, Qutb would recoil from it. Qutb tells the story of being woken on his ship over to America by a drunk woman who offered him sex. The encounter deeply shocked Qutb and shaped his interaction with and analysis of the United States. To Kerouac America was a seductress, inviting with her open expanses; spilling out westward she offered a new future of countless possibilities. To Qutb, America was a temptress sent by the devil to ensnare, entrap, and enslave. She was a danger, not just for the young, isolated, and homesick Muslim man but the entire Islamic world.

Sayyid, like Kerouac, could not help but notice the pulsating sexual energy of postwar America. The war had begun to change the social and sexual landscape. The conflict had taken young men away from women and a rediscovery of each other was occurring. Historian Robert S. EIIwood notes that the returning veterans brought back with them from the battlefields "newly uninhibited views on smoking, drinking, and sex." The mobilization of women into the workforce during the war had given women a taste of equality, creating a new sense of boldness. This boldness was seductive to Kerouac who reveled in it with abandon. Qutb also noted this new spirit amongst mid-century American young women; however, to him it was repulsive, a sign of moral decay. In an essay on his time in America, Qutb wrote:

The American girl is well acquainted with her body's seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips ... she shows all this and does not hide it.

The new American girl spoken of by Qutb could be readily found in the jazz clubs that Kerouac was drawn to. For Kerouac, jazz, particularly the sub-genre known as Bop, was transcendent, a kind of post-rational spiritual experience; an art form symbolic of a new future, and a new mode of humanity. Again Kerouac's view was in sharp contrast to Qutb, who offered this evaluation of American jazz music:

The American is primitive.... Jazz music is his music of choice. It is this music that the savage bushmen created to satisfy their primitive desires, and their desire for noise on the one hand, and the abundance of animal noises on the other. The American's enjoyment of jazz does not fully begin until he couples it with singing like crude screaming. And the louder the noise of the voices and instruments, until it rings in the ears to an unbearable degree, the greater the appreciation of the listeners.

Evaluating the responses of the two men, it would be easy at this point for us to write off Kerouac as a pioneer of the hedonism that has come to define youth and young adult culture in the West. It would also be equally tempting to dismiss Qutb's analysis as at best prudish and at worst bigoted. Both men, however, despite their limitations, noted cracks in Western culture that would turn into full-blown chasms. Both men through their writings would radically change the spiritual landscape of the West.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from THE ROAD TRIP THAT CHANGED THE WORLD by Mark Sayers Copyright © 2012 by Mark Sayers . Excerpted by permission of MOODY PUBLISHERS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Part 1:
Chapter One: A Tale of Two Roads
Chapter Two: How Worship Became Entertainment
Chapter Three: From Home to the Road
Chapter Four: The Journey
Chapter Five: The Secular World
Chapter Six: An Immanent World
Chapter Seven: Carving Out a Life of Meaning
Chapter Eight: The Sixties
Chapter Nine: The California Self
Chapter Ten: Superflat
Chapter Eleven: Feelings vs. Faith
Chapter Twelve: The Slavery of Absolute Freedom
Chapter Thirteen: Faith on the Road
Chapter Fourteen: The Road Turns Into a Nightmare
Chapter Fifteen: At the End of the Road a Cross

Part 2:
Chapter Sixteen: The Road Home
Chapter Seventeen: An Old Kind of Christian
Chapter Eighteen: Leaving Ur
Chapter Nineteen: Breaking Into Heaven
Chapter Twenty: How Getting God Right Changes Everything
Chapter Twenty-One: Holy Vandalism
Chapter Twenty-Two: Finding Transcendence in the Ordinary
Chapter Twenty-Three: The Relationship That Changes the World
Chapter Twenty-Four: Cultivating Creation
Chapter Twenty-Five: Finding Hope in an Atomic Holocaust

Acknowledgments
Notes

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    A View of What Changed American Culture and the Church

    The Road Trip That Changed the World
    The Unlikely theory that will change how you view culture, the church and most importantly, yourself.
    Mark Sayers ©2012
    Moody Publishers
    ISBN 978-0-802-0931-7
    e-book 275 pp includes notes



    Using Jack Kerouac’s well-known book, On The Road, as his basis, Sayers writes that this story has deeply affected and changed American culture. He says the church has absorbed those changes, to our detriment and he surely is partly correct. The author suggests that some Christians no longer seek God to worship Him, but only to ‘feel his presence’, thus practicing a self-centered religion. That might be a simplification of Christian behavior, however. And Scripture, since several Psalms and verses in Hebrews (6, 7) encourage people about the joys of God’s presence.


    This cook contains profound ideas and is well-documented book. But I wonder about cultural dislikes the author hints at, such as casual clothing being worn in church. He alludes to a dislike of casualness several times, so this may not be a fleeting viewpoint. God deserves utmost respect, of course, which may be Sayers motivation concerning the issue of casual attire.


    In the Pacific Northwest where I reside, casual clothing is mostly what everyone wears everywhere. To dress like Sayers apparently considers respectable for church could label someone hoity-toity or prideful or from out of town.


    However, the author’s theology sounds Biblical and deeply committed to Jesus.


    Comparing Kerouac’s influence with present culture has merit, although maybe not as strongly as the book suggests. Based on my BS studies in history, I’d expect far more factors than one or two authors’ works to be major change influences on a culture.


    Nevertheless, this can be a valuable volume.

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