cover image Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age

Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age

Alan Noble. InterVarsity, $16 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-8308-4483-8

Noble, editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture, offers thoughtful insights into practices and ideologies that have become cultural barriers for Christians. Noble identifies two major trends that interfere with Christian spiritual formation: constant distraction (exacerbated by technology’s endless elevation of immediate gratification), and the growth of secularism. Drawing on Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor’s work, Noble unpacks the experience of living in a secular age in which social media invites “superficial but constant engagement” and being “open-minded, refusing to draw conclusions” has become a virtue. Following an incisive critique of evangelical worship services that feel more like concerts and TED Talks than sacred events, Noble recommends that churches reclaim practices of “embodied worship” (singing, praying, communal silence) and encourages individuals to live aesthetically, which “defies pragmatism and utilitarianism,” and engage in contemplative practices such as keeping the sabbath, “an act of spiritual defiance” against the notion that one “must always be working or self-improving.” Through these practices Christians will be able to find “manifestations of God’s goodness” and experiences of transcendence that many have become insulated from over time. This accessible, timely book provides concrete strategies for individuals and churches desiring a robust “disruptive” Christian witness in a distracted, secular age. (July)