Reviews Around the Web

Here are some reviews I have enjoyed around the web:

– Lawrence Henry reviews Tales From Q School by John Feinstein. Here is a taste:

Feinstein faces one sort of challenge writing about sporting events — and sporting figures — already well known. He has to find and create drama where the big, on-stage drama has already taken place in public, and is already known to the fan. At this task, discovering the stories behind the flash, he has no peer.

In Tales From Q School, however, Feinstein faces another problem entirely: How to make us care about a bunch of golfers who — for the most part — nobody knows at all. He has succeeded so brilliantly that Tales From Q School becomes the very best of tension-fraught adventures, with some episodes literally hair-raising in intensity.

Mary Grabar compares the “easy atheism” of Christopher Hitchen’s God Is Not Great with “the great works of literature written by Christian authors.” She comes to an interesting conclusion:

I am sad to say that if you go into a Christian bookstore you will not see Dostoyevsky on the shelf. Instead, you’ll find pastel-covered saccharine tomes, the pious stories of easy Christianity that the devout Catholic Flannery O’Connor disparaged.

Of course, easy Christianity is vulnerable to easy atheism, which is what is offered in Hitchens’ tome. It’s a shame the great works of Christian literature are not to be found on the shelves of Christian bookstores. It’s a bigger shame that they haven’t done any good on Christopher Hitchens’ bookshelf either.

– Sally Thomas explores Hippies of the Religious Right . A snippet:

Their conversions to Bible-believing Christianity were not the sort to rejoice the hearts of suburban, middle-class parents. The intelligence that one’s runaway daughter had given her life to Christ, been baptized in a bathtub, and taken up residence with a bunch of barefoot, long-haired, guitar-strumming, tongues-speaking twenty-year-olds in a place called Maranatha House was only marginally less disturbing to the average Methodist mother than the news that the same daughter had moved in with a professional tabla drummer and changed her name to Windflower.

Or so, at least, argues Preston Shires in his recent book Hippies of the Religious Right. Hippies, he maintains, did not leave off being hippies simply because they had traded their drug high for Jesus. As a first-century Gentile converting to Christianity did not have to undergo circumcision, so the typical late-1960s truth-seeking, grass-smoking beach dweller was not required, on conversion, to cut his hair, don a white short-sleeved shirt with a black necktie, and sing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” The churches, instead, would have to change their dowdy old playlist; they had to understand that the convert was bringing them the gift of his authentic young self and his hippie code of virtues: Love thy neighbor and be an individual.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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