A search on a popular Christian bookseller’s Web site revealed no less than sixty-two items with the word manifesto in the title and hundreds containing the term revolutionary. There are revolutionary books for teens. Ditto for stay-at-home moms. There’s a book about how Jesus was a revolutionary communicator, and how you can use His revolutionary communication skills in your home/business/church. The question then becomes, If we’re all revolutionaries, are any of us an actual revolutionary? Being a revolutionary used to mean that you overthrew a government; now it means that you’re a courageous enough visionary to have church on a golf course or in someone’s living room.
My point in all of this is not to make not-so-subtle jabs at revolutionary culture (maybe a little bit); rather, it is to encourage the scores of nonrevolutionaries in our midst, of which I am one. I want to encourage those of us who try really hard to pray for our families and friends, try to read our Bibles consistently, and share the gospel with those around us. Those of us who aren’t ready to chuck centuries worth of church history, and years of unglamorous but God-glorifying growth in the name of revolution.
I’m also a part of the generation that has produced more memoirs before the age of thirty-five than any other in history. We’re crazy about Christian narrative nonfiction, especially those “on the road” stories, no matter how trite or contrived they may be. We’re journeyers. We’re wanderers. We still haven’t found what we’re looking for. Jack Kerouac’s (or Donald Miller’s…or Lauren Winner’s) wayward children are all over the Christian book landscape.
These narrative titles all follow a similar pattern, in that in them experiences are had (a cross-country road trip, a self-finding excursion through Europe, a documentary chronicling the lameness of American Christians, a chronicle on how the author dropped out of church and subsequently “found” Jesus), and then those experiences are shared in book form. Many of these books are supposed to tell us that “community” is the answer, and individualism is bad, but at the end of the day these books are largely about the individual and his or her discoveries.
I am looking forward to this book. Both Ted and Kevin have a great way of getting right to the point in a helpful way. Don’t go find yourself. Find God and love the church.