The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University - eBook
The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University - eBook  -     By: Kevin Roose
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Grand Central Publishing / 2009 / ePub
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The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University - eBook

Grand Central Publishing / 2009 / ePub

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Product Description

Raised in a secular, liberal home, Kevin Roose had little contact with the Religious Right. When he happened upon a group of students from Jerry Falwell's Liberty University one day, he found himself standing over a massive cultural divide. Rather than brush these conservative students aside however, Roose decided to become one of them. Unlikely Disciple is the story of Roose's journey into a semester at Liberty University where he attempts to connect with the evangelical community by experiencing their world first-hand. Liberty U takes him to class, choir practice, an evangelical hip-hop concert and to Daytona Beach, where he learns how to convert bar-hopping co-eds to Christianity. Thought-provoking, hilariously told, yet respectful, Roose's embedded report from the front lines of the culture war will inspire and entertain believers and non-believers alike.

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 9780446544535
ISBN-13: 9780446544535

Publisher's Description


No drinking.
No smoking.

No cursing.
No dancing.
No R-rated movies.

Kevin Roose wasn't used to rules like these. As a sophomore at Brown University, he spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an a cappella group, and fitting right in with Brown's free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But when Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservative Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, obedience is no longer optional.

Liberty is the late Reverend Jerry Falwell's "Bible Boot Camp" for young evangelicals, his training ground for the next generation of America's Religious Right. Liberty's ten thousand undergraduates take courses like Evangelism 101, hear from guest speakers like Sean Hannity and Karl Rove, and follow a forty-six-page code of conduct that regulates every aspect of their social lives. Hoping to connect with his evangelical peers, Roose decides to enroll at Liberty as a new transfer student, leaping across the God Divide and chronicling his adventures in this daring report from the front lines of America's culture war.

His journey takes him from an evangelical hip-hop concert to choir practice at Falwell's legendary Thomas Road Baptist Church. He experiments with prayer, participates in a spring break mission trip to Daytona Beach (where he learns to preach the gospel to partying coeds), and pays a visit to Every Man's Battle, an on-campus support group for chronic masturbators. He meets pastors' kids, closet doubters, Christian rebels, and conducts what would be the last print interview of Rev. Falwell's life.
Hilarious and heartwarming, respectful and thought-provoking, THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE will inspire and entertain believers and nonbelievers alike. Ebook exclusive: Bonus quiz

Publisher's Weekly

In what could be described as religious gonzo journalism, Roose documents his experiences as a student for a semester at Liberty University, the largest Christian fundamentalist university in the United States. Coming from progressive Brown University, the author admits that the transition to Liberty, with its iron-clad attempts at controlling student behavior, came with much anxiety. He trains himself to control his foul language and even begins to pray and study the bible regularly, much to the bewilderment of his liberal Quaker parents. He suffers his way through a course debunking evolution, but surprisingly finds enjoyment in a scripture class. Roose may be young—he's a 19-year-old college sophomore—but he writes like a seasoned veteran and obviously enjoys his work. He quickly makes friends at Liberty, but is naively stunned and not a little disgusted by their anti-gay rhetoric. School founder Rev. Jerry Falwell grants Roose an interview for the student newspaper shortly before the famous evangelical's death in May 2007. "Complicated" is how he describes Falwell, which is a good descriptor for his undercover student experience. (March) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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  1. Wick
    Evansville, Indiana
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    An Interesting Read
    February 18, 2018
    Wick
    Evansville, Indiana
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is not the typical book I read, but because I took an online class through Liberty last year, I found Kevin Roose's story extremely intriguing. Kevin Roose transferred from the very liberal Brown University to the very conservative Liberty University three years ago and wrote about his one-semester experience at Liberty. What is unique about this story is that Kevin is not a Christian, but he presented himself as a Christian in an attempt to truly learn what it is like to be a student in a conservative Christian environment.

    You can see from my reviews that most of the books I read are Christian and cover deep topics, many from a reformed perspective. The Unlikely Disciple was a nice little break from the weightier material that I usually digest. It was also good for me to read from an author who has a totally different outlook on life.

    I first noticed that The Unlikely Disciple is endorsed by a couple of guys that I strongly disagree with on a number of important theological matters, but despite that, I found this book to be interesting for the most part. I do want to emphasize that I find Kevin Roose's decision to lie about his identity to be morally wrong, but I am glad he was able to learn that the overwhelming majority of the people at Liberty are not the crazy fundamentalists he thought they would be. It should also be noted that Kevin and his friends are crude at times, much like the typical male who attends a secular college in America (which was me).

    It is obvious that Kevin, who started writing the book when he was 19 years old, is a talented writer with a great deal of support. This book will make some ultraconservatives upset, but I am sadder than anything. Yes, I smiled and laughed at times and felt great to see Kevin grow in many ways, but Kevin failed to see that life is more than just trying to be good and having fun. I'm sure there are some reading this review and rolling their eyes, but I cannot help but feel sad. I hope one day Kevin writes a book where he tells us how his time at Liberty was a time when a seed was planted that God grew.
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