True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing in

James Choung, Author IVP Books $15 (231p) ISBN 978-0-8308-3609-3
Brian McLaren started a genre of fiction in which a disenchanted evangelical meets a wizened ethnic teacher of a new sort of Christianity, prompting a second conversion to a faith that is more world savvy, compassionate and appealing. In Choung's version, a college student in Seattle named Caleb struggles to share the gospel (and a bit more) with his friend Anna. While the narrative runs the risk of falling into stereotype (and often does resort to evangelical catchphrases), Choung manages to make readers care about his characters' religious and romantic fates. Its best moments are Caleb's wrestling with the relationship between his Korean ethnic identity and his faith. Choung concludes the book in his own voice, with a diagram designed to help an individual share the gospel with another on the surface of a napkin. While the faith presented is indeed more passionate about the environment and \x93social justice\x94 than many evangelicals are wont to be, the goal of a more effective one-on-one evangelism is hardly revolutionary. The book will appeal to readers of McLaren and others for whom \x93vampire Christianity,\x94 a phrase Choung's real-life mentor Dallas Willard uses to describe a faith reduced to a bit of blood shed on one's behalf, has become untenable. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/24/2008
Release date: 03/01/2008
Genre: Religion
Paperback - 286 pages - 978-1-4429-6536-2
Open Ebook - 234 pages - 978-0-8308-7754-6
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