Summary: 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
His journey takes him from an evangelical hip-hop concert to choir practice at Falwell's legendary
Hilarious and heartwarming, respectful and thought-provoking, THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE will inspire and entertain believers and nonbelievers alike. -- Grand Central Publishing
When I first became aware of THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE by Kevin Roose, I envisioned a book written by a liberal Ivy League self-described agnostic that would ridicule Liberty University and Evangelism. What I found instead was a well written, open-minded and respectful account of life at Liberty University.
Kevin Roose became a real student at Liberty and completely immersed himself in the student life. He enrolled in classes, dated Liberty women, participated in spiritual counseling, joined the Thomas Road Baptist Church choir and took part in a spring break mission trip to Daytona Beach. He even had the opportunity to interview Jerry Falwell, the founder of Liberty.
Roose found the atmosphere at Liberty supportive and warm. When he later told the friends at Liberty that he turned their lives into a book, to his surprise he found them forgiving and not angry. In fact, THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE is found in the Liberty library.
The book gives the reader an inside look at one of the largest conservative schools in the country. You discover that the students are typical college students in many ways despite the strong influence of the conservative right on issues such as abortion, global warming, evolution and gay rights. Not all students are religious zealots or political activists; some even express doubts about their faith. The fact that Roose’s family (particularly his gay aunt) and his secular friends were quite concerned that he was being brainwashed at Liberty adds an interesting and humorous aspect to the book.
Roose never fully buys into the “The Liberty Way” but does express self-doubt in some of his own ways of thinking. The experiment probably taught Kevin Roose as much about himself as it did about Liberty University. I believe he now considers himself a Christian and continues the practice of prayer he learned at Liberty.
I strongly recommend THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE. Anyone who reads it will find it entertaining, witty and thought provoking.
A big thanks to Booking Pap Pap for reviewing this book and to the folks at Hachette for sending me a copy! Check out the book's trailer: