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5 Stars Out Of 5
For the thinker: an invitation to critique
May 15, 2011
David Dark has written an amazingly good book. It is filled with insights, critique, and encouragement to see through the fog of hegemonic thinking that plays humans like a cheap shell game. The book is seriously and rigorously well-grounded in a wide breadth of background reading. He has done his homework. Dark uses a solid knowledge of scripture - his hermeneutic is clear and edgy; a depth of insight into philosophic and historical knowledge; and a solid background of popular and current culture to mold together a thought-provoking treatise of modernism and how it can shape us. His chapter on Bob Dylan is worth the price of the book alone. He is, I believe, following the biblical mandate of being in the world but not of it. His book - for serious readers willing to roll around ideas in their minds - represents an invitation to help Christians become the "Salt of the World" and not just the "Salt of the Church." I learned so much from this book that will help me in my post-secondary teaching. For someone who reads as much as I do - sometimes up to five books a week - this book was an outstanding treat! I recommend it highly.
If you are a Christian who loves the arts and is well-read in secular literature and enjoys an eclectic mix of secular music, you will identify with this book. The author uses the mediums of secular literature and secular music to intelligently address issues that are in dire need of being dealt with in the church that is residing in this land we call America. The author sees the reality of the kingdom of God and realizes that many in America have confused the kingdom of God with this particular version of the kingdom of the world. This book contains an intelligent, but plain spoken, call to discernment and repentance--and a return to following in Jesus' footsteps and living as citizens of the kingdom of God. A good read!
From time to time, not as frequently as one would like but not as rarely as one might fear, a busy editor's day is disrupted by the arrival of a book with an inimitable and irresistible voice. We only intended to skim it when we took it out of its shipping envelope, with a quick glance at the table of contents, the first few pages, and the indextaking the literary vital signs that allow readers, like emergency room nurses, to perform rapid triage. But we find ourselves increasingly absorbed in its pages, neglecting the rest of the mail on our desk, the bouncing icon on our screen, and the blinking light on our phone. A book like this is like treasure hidden in a field. The one who finds it goes away rejoicing, and also misses the 4:35 train.David Dark's book The Gospel According to America packs that kind of punch. Dark has several things going for him. He is from the South, the region that has provided some of America's most vivid and idiosyncratic voicesthe region where being American is most deeply and continually both a point of pride and a problem. He is a high school English teacher, which means that he has had to become adept at stirring sleepy students into awareness of a grand conversation that both transcends and includes the popular culture they absorb every day. But perhaps most important, he is dangerously and delightfully intoxicated by the gospel of Jesus Christ.All of which makes him an ideal person to answer our question, How can followers of Christ be a counterculture for the common good? What you believe is what you see is what you are is what you do. Stanley FishChristianity Today International/Books & Culture magazine.