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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

Moody Publishers / 2012 / Paperback

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We want to be part of something meaningful, but not be bound to it. Like characters in a Jack Kerouac novel, we've embraced the dream of the open road and unlimited freedom. Yet we still desire the solace of faith. Can we balance the two seeming extremes between faith and freedom? In The Road Trip That Changed the World, Mark Sayers explores faith in the context of contemporary culture while looking at the life of Jesus for clues to purposeful journeying.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.25 (inches)
ISBN: 0802409318
ISBN-13: 9780802409317
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Can’t find no satisfaction?

There’s no shortage of prescriptions for restlessness out there: Seek adventure. Live your life. Don’t hold back.

Sound familiar?

The Road Trip that Changed the World is a book challenging the contemporary conviction that personal freedom and self-fulfillment are the highest good.

Like the characters in a Jack Kerouac novel, we’ve dirtied the dream of white picket fences with exhaust fumes. The new dream is the open road—and freedom.

Yet we still desire the solace of faith. We like the concept of the sacred, but unwittingly subscribe to secularized, westernized spirituality. We’re convinced that there is a deeper plot to this thing called life, yet watered-down, therapeutic forms of religion are all we choose to swallow, and our personal story trumps any larger narrative.

This is the non-committal culture of the road. Though driving on freely, we have forgotten where we’re headed.

Jesus said His road is narrow. He wasn’t some aimless nomad. He had more than just a half tank of gas—He had passion, objectives, and a destination.

Do you?

Author Bio

MARK SAYERS is the Senior Leader of Red Church, and the co-founder of Uber Ministries. He is particularly interested in the intersection between Christianity and the culture of the West. Mark lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife Trudi, daughter Grace, and twin boys Hudson and Billy.

Editorial Reviews

Sayers is stunningly familiar with the canon of our culture and the light he sheds sometimes floors the reader. Floating between the United States, the UK, Japan, and Australia, he makes the regular holy, which is most tragic when we find that our Christian worlds have often made God familiar. Sayers presents us with a compelling analysis that for some may prove to be the beginning of coming to know the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. For others, the book may be a refining word from God that shows up just how temporal a road trip mindset is.

Eternity Newspaper, September 2012

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  1. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    a possible explanation for our culture
    May 25, 2012
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    "In 1947 Jack Kerouac set off on a road trip that would reshape the mental landscape of almost everyone born in the West since that date. His cross-country jaunt would change how we viewed the world, processed our lives and interacted with our faiths. It would alter the cultural code of the West, re-orientating our collective psyches around the idea of the road.

    "Kerouac recorded his road trips in his classic book On the Road. Even if you have never read the book, you have been influenced by it." (36) The second time Sayers read through the book, he realized that what he was holding in his hand contained the clues as to how we had gotten to where we are.

    It used to be that home gave us a sense of purpose, belonging, and place. You didn't have to discover who you were. Your connection to home gave you a sense of self. Thanks to Jack Kerouac, now we view life through the prism of a journey. We Christians even talk of our spiritual "journey."

    The automobile allowed youth to socialize outside of he family. It allowed space for premarital sex. It changed how we ate. It allowed church shopping and church hopping. We are perpetually "on the road." It is a state of mind, constantly looking for the next thing, living in incompleteness, engaged in a quest for a sense of significance.

    The California Baby Boomers, following on the heels of Kerouac's example, launched the contemporary church movement, changing the Christian culture.

    In the second half of the book, Sayers writes of the road Jesus taught about. This road leads to life, to the Cross. It is a different way to get our identity. Like Abraham, we must leave Ur to walk in the land God has given us.

    The book ends with the choice: which road?

    I was a bit confused during the initial chapters of this book. (I would have started the book differently.) I had heard of Kerouac but had never read any of his work and certainly had no idea of his contribution to our current culture. I am not sure if Sayers' thesis is right or not, that Kerouac had so much influence in generating our current culture. (Perhaps that is why the book's subtitle begins, "The Unlikely Theory...) But reading this book has been very informative. It certainly gave me insights into the "why" of all the talk of our Christian "journey." This is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in culture, both secular and Christian.

    I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
  2. Eugene, OR
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Two Popular Books Influenced Culture?
    May 1, 2012
    samcivy
    Eugene, OR
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    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 of 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. 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 casual clothing is mostly what everyone wears everywhere, including to high-class restaurants.. 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 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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