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Hardcover Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture Book

ISBN: 0743297709

ISBN13: 9780743297707

Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

What does it mean when a band is judged by how hard they pray rather than how hard they rock? Would Jesus buy "Got Jesus?" T-shirts or sport "witness wear"? What do Christian skate parks, raves, and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Thoughtful, funny, and fair

I absolutely loved this book. It would have been shooting Jesus fish in a barrel to do nothing but poke fun at Christian trinkets and pop-culture tropes and apocalyptic fiction, but this book has a much more intriguing purpose than that. Along the way, a commonly repeated idea -- that American Christianity has a reputation not in line with what most American Christianity is like -- is expanded into a more controversial one: that American *evangelism* is deeply misunderstood as well. The book winds up being an enormously smart take on religion in America as well as a great book about pop culture in general, whether sacred or secular. It's very difficult to get outside popular culture enough to critique it without being too far away to know the context; this is why it's hard for an American to write about American popular culture, but also hard for an American to write about French popular culture. The subtitle of the book, that Christian pop culture is a "parallel universe" of sorts, is spot on. As you read about the relationship Christians have with Christian pop culture, you can't help thinking about the relationship you have with whatever elements of pop culture you happen to embrace. Not only will this book provoke interesting discussions about Christian pop culture, but about all pop culture. Don't misunderstand -- Rapture Ready! is also an engaging and very funny memoir of Radosh's travels through Christian music festivals and theme parks, but it resists the urge to collapse into simple fun-poking, and the reward is a marvelous mix of good humor with a well-crafted cultural critique.

Entertaining and Insightful.

I am, without a doubt, a person who lives a life far apart from Christian (or any religion, for that matter) pop culture. Noone in my family attends church regularly and I can count on one hand the number of I've actually been inside a church myself. However, I'm incredibly intrigued by religion. Its something so pervasive yet so alien to my way of thinking. As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it--lickity split. The author, a Jewish man with fairly liberal tendancies, immerses himself in Christian pop culture: attending concerts, going to creation museums and christian theme parks, and talking with pastors of all varieties as well as members of the churches he visits. Is it a totally unbiased report on christian pop culture? absolutely not. The author brings his background and views with him as he writes but that is part of the fun of the book. Some of it is down right frightening in its conservatism but there are, surprisingly, a few hopeful notes. I'd recommend this book to anyone. If you are a secularist, its a good laugh mixed with a certain amount of "they really aren't all crazy, maybe you shouldn't be so judgemental." If you are a Christian, its a good way to see yourself through the eyes of a secularist. You may think your creation museum is totally factual--but really? Most people think you are nuts to believe adam and eve rode around on domesticated dinosaurs. The "interview" with stephen baldwin alone is worth reading the book.

Rapture Ready!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My favorite chapters were the Passion play and the pro-wrestling chapter. I laughed out loud when the Christian pro-wrestler explained that their policy has always been to "not bleed on purpose" (p.241). I was raised without religion, so my perspective is admittedly skewed, but it is shocking to me that many of these products are conceived, and more importantly consumed, in earnest. Bibleman? Christian theme parks (excuse me, "themed ministry")? Pastel bibles for women? Christian pro-wrestling? It sounds like the making of a great South Park episode. But it's all real, and well worth reading about.

Surprisingly complex

I picked this book up last night expecting an entertaining, snarky take on evangelical Christians and the sometimes very strange pop culture artifacts they've produced. Daniel Radosh provided that, but when I put the book down at one in the morning, I'd been through something much more valuable. What I'd expected was a "Wow, Christians sure are wacky!" tone. And while Radosh certainly encounters plenty of colorful characters (from the Christian professional wrestling troupe to the Christian superhero Bibleman), he's much more interested in really communicating with people and trying to understand where they're coming from. Radosh's book embraces a complex, nuanced view of evangelical culture, and argues that secular liberals may have much more in common with at least some Christians than they would imagine. For every narrow-minded fundamentalist or weird, misguided extremist, there's a surprise: the encounter with Christian thriller writer Frank Peretti will come as particularly unexpected for anyone who grew up reading his books. Whether you're a Christian who wants some perspective on the outside world might see you or a non-Christian who wants to see what makes them tick, this book is a must-read. I think it could be a really valuable tool for establishing common ground for a dialogue between the two groups.

Entertaining and Insightful

This book is the rare bird that will have you laughing out loud often and stopping to think more than a few times, too. The author has done what alot of us would like to do, but don't dare; go undercover into christian fundamentalist culture. He's not out to risk his life, but is more interested in exploring the dichotomies between the ascetic lifestyle of Jesus, and the much marketed christianity of today. He exposes many hypocrisies, but what is more interesting is seeing how capitalism and big money corporations are manipulating Christians for their own ends. I think most readers of this book will be like myself, pretty much lefties looking for a good laugh, well you'll get that, but you'll also find some surprises that will make you question your own presumptions about christian "wackos." The book is really well written and moves along quite nicely, you'll be sad when it's over!
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