Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rapture Ready (Book #66)

When I picked up Rapture Ready (Daniel Radosh, 2008), I was expecting pure snark, pure terror, or a blend of the two. Those are common approaches, you see, when outsiders try to write about the evangelical Christian subculture: either "OMG we'll be living in a theocracy within a decade if these people aren't stopped," or else "OMG look at the freaks." Radosh doesn't refrain from snark where it's deserved, but he's willing to engage with the Christians he meets as human beings worthy of respect. As a result, Rapture Ready is one of the best books of its kind I've read.

Radosh takes a tour of evangelical pop culture, observing everything from Christian pro wrestling to the arty, alternative Cornerstone music festival, from "creation science" museums to Christian comedians. He's a good writer and a perceptive, open-minded observer, and I enjoyed touring a culture I spent many years in and still inhabit the fringes of through his eyes. (And I was surprised as he was to discover that Frank Peretti is a pleasant, thoughtful, and considerate person!)

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