Wednesday, October 28, 2009
WEDNESDAY: The Unlikely Disciple
While visiting Rev. Falwell's church, doing research for the author A. J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically), Roose realized how little he knew about evangelical Christians. He decided to transfer to Liberty University for a semester "undercover" to see what he could learn. (He looked at it like a semester abroad, which is a clever analogy for his experience.)
The book chronicles his semester - relationships with other students, his coursework (Old and New Testament studies, a course called History of Life), dating under Liberty's conduct rules, and taking an evangelism trip to Florida for Spring Break. Some of the most interesting moments are told in asides as Roose tries to reconcile his personal belief system and morals with those espoused by Liberty and his fellow students. Roose's semester at Liberty ends with an interview of Rev. Falwell for the school paper - one of the last interviews of Falwell's life.
This was a fascinating look into Liberty University and it's students as well as a look into the mind and heart of an "outsider" as he negotiates the conservative Christian landscape.