Sunday, April 20

Girl at the End of the World by Elizabeth Esther

Life in The Assembly seemed normal to Elizabeth Esther…at first. From a young age she was trained in street preaching, preparing for the apocalypse, and raised so that she could become a proper submissive wife someday. Sinning could lead to spankings and the fear of the wrath of God. Even infants were punished so that they could more properly learn their place. When Elizabeth expresses her interest in extracurricular programs at school, her parents insist that she instead devout her time to The Assembly. Her father then tells her (in complete seriousness), “’Well, since I’m your father and have authority over you until you’re married…God’s will for you comes through me!’”

As she grew older, Elizabeth began to question the teachings of The Assembly. But the leadership was heavy handed, and included members of her own family. All of her life she had learned to submit to them, and fear had been instilled in her. Still, she began to question The Assembly, but it wasn’t until she was grown and married that she began to see beyond the walls of this cult.

Saturday, April 19

20 and Something by David H. Kim

After reading The Hyperlinked Life, I was interested in checking out another book in Barna Group’s “Frames” series. The Frames series is composed of several short books with the goal of offering, “…concise, data-driven and visually appealing insights for anyone who wants a more faith-driven and fulfilling life.” 20 and Something takes a look at Millennials. What makes this generation different that other generations? And for those who are millennials, this book seeks to take a look at many of the questions that they will encounter and then offers guidance.

Once again, the infographics at the beginning are great, showing what millennials hope to achieve before turning 30, what they think adulthood means, and whether they are satisfied with different aspects of their life.

Sunday, April 6

When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman

The swell of Evangelicalism swept through the United States in the 80’s and 90’s. Christianity became ‘marketable’ as it gained its own music, its own bookstores, and even its own clothing and jewelry.  WWJD bracelets seemed to spread like wildfire. Cubbies and Awana taught the importance of memorizing Bible verses and introduced children to the core of the faith. Teenagers flock to their school’s flag pole to pray. Phrases that have now become cliché became common place such as “Let go and let God” and “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”

It is in this world that Addie’s story takes place. As all of these cultural influences are at their peak, and Amy Grant and DC Talk take hold in young hearts, she too is swept up in it all. She is on FIRE for the Lord. Her youth group attendance is impeccable, her Bible at her side at all times, and most importantly she will not missionary date (though she does feel called to date a missionary).