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

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,145 Ratings  ·  232 Reviews
What does it mean when a band is judged by how hard they pray rather than how hard they rock? Would Jesus buy "Jesus junk" or wear "witness wear"? What do Christian skate parks, raves, and romance novels say about evangelicalism -- and America? Daniel Radosh went searching for the answers and reached some surprising conclusions. Written with the perfect blend of amusement ...more
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Scribner Book Company
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Melki
Jul 29, 2013 Melki rated it really liked it
For the overly sensitive and easily offended, I feel I need to point out that this book does not make fun of Christianity and the majority of Christians. However, if you are the type of person who will buy a candle because it "smells like Jesus", be prepared to have the stuffing mocked out of you!

Well, okay...he does kind of poke fun at Stephen Baldwin. Or, should I say, he just lets Baldwin talk, and Baldwin does the job for him by being such an ass. Don't worry. Baldwin says that I'm allowed t
...more
Annie
May 05, 2009 Annie rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for this book to reinforce your belief that all Christians are mindless cattle, indiscriminately consuming whatever cultural drivel is set before them, you're going to be disappointed. Likewise, if you're hoping this book will be a post you can hitch your pro-Christian culture argument to, you'll also be disappointed. That's because this book is surprisingly even-handed, even when dealing with situations that would seem absurd to many people. (Humans riding saddled dinosaurs ...more
Julie Ehlers
Aug 07, 2016 Julie Ehlers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, god
Rapture Ready was a little different than I thought it would be. Given that the author was a writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I thought this would be a humorous look at some of the excesses of far-right Christian culture, set on skewering the people who embody the worst hypocrisies of calling yourself a Christian while showing little compassion or understanding for your fellow humans. And don't get me wrong--the book was often funny, and certainly extremely conservative Christians get ...more
Alicia
Sep 11, 2008 Alicia rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a really entertaining, well-written, insightful book about the bizarre alternate universe of Christian pop culture. It was also a timely read, considering the RNC's recent efforts to reignite the culture wars and demonize the "liberal media" (yawn...that old chestnut). I got the sense that book was animated by a desire to understand what forces really fuel the Christian market and why the right wing has been so successful in politicizing religious faith. Ultimately, the author ...more
Marie
Mar 04, 2009 Marie rated it really liked it
Radosh is a self-described non-religious Jewish liberal, who decides he wants to explore the $7 billion industry that is Christan pop (sub)culture. He travels to 18 cities and towns in 13 states, interviewing a fascinating group of people, ranging from Bibleman, the Caped Christian; Rob Adonis, the founder and star of Ultimate Christian Wrestling; Ken Ham, the country's leading creationism prophet; and Jay Bakker, the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and the pastor of a liberal, punk rock ...more
Jaclyn Day
Jan 11, 2013 Jaclyn Day rated it really liked it
This book was one of the suggestions in my 2013 Reading Challenge and I am so glad I included it. There are few books I've read that accurately and thoroughly capture the total weirdness that is Christian pop culture, but this one does it so well. I've mentioned before that I grew up in Christian schools and going to church with my family and I've personally seen or experienced so many similar things that Radosh covers in this book (sometimes to a lesser or even greater degree).

Christian pop cul
...more
Mark
Aug 14, 2009 Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Daniel Radosh is NOT an evangelical - in fact, he's a Humanistic Jew (his own description) - which for the purposes of this book is a very good thing. One of the pieces of advice you're often given when getting ready to sell your house is to have someone who's never been there come to walk through & look for all the things that need fixing or repainting. There's a reason - you've lived there for so long that you've become used to the imperfections, blemishes & outright broken stuff. Mr. ...more
Sarah
Jan 27, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
How is it that, in 35 years of being a Christian, I have never heard of Bibleman? Or attended a purity ball? Or listened to Christian emo? I feel...cheated. (Side note: I have seen a man tear a phone book in half in Jesus' name, which I think counts for something).

Radosh's perceptive bit of investigative journalism really opened my eyes to what some of my brothers and sisters in Christ are doing for the furtherance of the Kingdom. Covertly antisemitic passion plays, men in tights, hell houses an
...more
Johnny Brooks
Jul 25, 2010 Johnny Brooks rated it it was amazing
If you have Christian art hanging in your house, own Christian music CDs, go to Passion plays, believe Creation science is actually science, and think that plastic crosses are cool, then this book is for you.

"Adventures in the parallel universe of Christian pop culture" When I read that from the front of the book, I was hooked. I knew this book would be a cool read.

Daniel Radosh, author, is a humanist Jew, or something like that, who immerses himself in various aspects of Christian pop culture o
...more
Elise Smith
Mar 26, 2014 Elise Smith rated it it was amazing
I grabbed this book because I thought it would be a light, hilarious take on the oftentimes crazy world of Christian Pop Culture. This book IS hilarious, but it does so much more than just take cheap shots at Evangelicals. Through his journey, Radosh, a self-defined "humanist jew," meets everyone from the outright crazy fundamentals to the Christians who are embarrassed by how Christianity has been commercialized and politicized and just trying to live their faith authentically. He honestly is ...more
Ana Mardoll
Jul 10, 2011 Ana Mardoll rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Rapture Ready / 9781416593751

I expected "Rapture Ready!" to be a fun, snarky joyride through modern Christian evangelical pop culture - something that made cutesy fun of all the kitsch you see at the Mardel store, and a largely fluffy throw-away book. What I found, however, was a far deeper, more mature consideration of such - wrapped tightly in the best book I've read all year.

Daniel Radosh is a plainly a skilled writer, and as a good writer he can't help but feel deeply connected to the 'cha
...more
Ana Mardoll
Mar 02, 2011 Ana Mardoll rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Rapture Ready / 978-0-7432-9770-7

I expected "Rapture Ready!" to be a fun, snarky joyride through modern Christian evangelical pop culture - something that made cutesy fun of all the kitsch you see at the Mardel store, and a largely fluffy throw-away book. What I found, however, was a far deeper, more mature consideration of such - wrapped tightly in the best book I've read all year.

Daniel Radosh is a plainly a skilled writer, and as a good writer he can't help but feel deeply connected to the 'c
...more
Sara
Feb 15, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have no clue where I originally heard of this book, but I'm glad I did because I quite enjoyed it! This is a look at Evangelical Christian pop culture, from things as simple as music and books and clothes to bigger endeavors like Christian wrestling (!!) and theme parks. The author, I thought, treated the subject matter fairly, without being overly judgmental one way or another and even acknowledging when his assumptions turned out to be incorrect.

I didn't know much about the pop culture feat
...more
Elizabeth
Aug 22, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
It took me a long time to read this book, which perplexes me because every time I picked it up to read it I really enjoyed it and had many laugh-out-loud moments. I think because it hits so close to home--I grew up evangelical, and while I didn't experience everything that this book portrays, it certainly was along the same thread as I experienced growing up. In fact I attended the college that Tim LaHaye co-founded, and was taught by Institute for Creation Research-trained professors. I know ...more
Megan
May 06, 2008 Megan rated it really liked it
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
...more
Jared
May 15, 2011 Jared rated it really liked it
I almost want to give this book 5 stars, but by principle can not give a book that is written for an 8th grade reading level a 5 star review. Call me a snob. I don't care. There are other reasons I won't give this book 5 stars. Maybe it was because of his own liberal tolerant intolerance, or the buried postmodern assumptions and his desire for Christians to become postmodern. Or the fact that it is not masterful language or masterful storytelling. Or because this book will not matter in 20 ...more
Jacqueline
Aug 18, 2010 Jacqueline rated it liked it
Shelves: christian, nonfiction
I have mixed feelings about this book. I saw it listed on my daily "Book Lover's" calendar, and I was intrigued by the premise. A liberal, New York Jew explores the "parallel universe of Christian pop culture." As someone who has both worked in a Christian bookstore and grown up in conservative churches, I was interested in an outsider's take on the subculture. On the one hand, there is much to agree with in this book. Christian pop culture is often a cheesy, in-your-face derivative of secular ...more
Deb
Mar 04, 2011 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
Daniel Radosh, an outsider to the world of the American Christian subculture embarks upon a journey that takes him to Christian music festivals, Bible themed amusement parks, and interviews with Christian authors. Radosh, who is of Jewish background, shares his frank reactions to the products, places, and people he encounters. His viewpoint exposes much that is regrettable about the consumerism that drives many of these ventures. But Radosh is also surprised by the genuine efforts of Christians ...more
Melinda Worfolk
Jan 05, 2013 Melinda Worfolk rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
This book is a fascinating look at a subculture I only know a little bit about. The author's approach is not to point and laugh, but rather to make a genuine attempt to understand where evangelical Christians are coming from. However, he's definitely not afraid to call out the real jerks in the evangelical Christian world (like James Dobson's son Ryan Dobson, author of the book Be Intolerant: Because Some Things are Just Stupid...ugh*) and show his disgust at their intolerance and bigotry.

I part
...more
Nancy
Mar 30, 2010 Nancy rated it it was ok
I had such high hopes for this book. Fundamentalist Christianity fascinates me, and I am especially intrigued with Rapture-focused beliefs. When I hear about young fundamentalist children who go home to an unexpectedly empty house and immediately assume that everyone but them has been "raptured," I have a peculiar impulse to weep with compassion and laugh hysterically, both at the same time. (Note: that impulse is not a happy one - it's actually quite uncomfortable - but it IS intriguing.)

So poo
...more
Mallory
Jul 11, 2013 Mallory rated it liked it
While there was one section early on that was draggy to the point of being outright dull, it was worth pushing through for the rest of the information, which ranged from bizarre to hilarious to sort of sweet, in its own way. This is a strange book about strange things but it is also a very fair book. The author does his best to normalize--rather than mock--evangelical pop culture. When he does want to paint someone or something as crazy he chooses rather to let things speak for themselves. A ...more
Jesse
May 11, 2008 Jesse rated it it was amazing
The best book yet on Christian pop culture. Smart about lefty condescension, and about the ways that some Christians actually want to live their faith through their music (mostly, though he does semi-pitch a sitcom idea featuring a Christian, gay neighbors, and intolerant fundamentalist neighbors), but also about all the ignorance and intolerance (and just plain crap) out there. Introduced me to Krystal Meyers (the Christian Avril Lavigne), KJ the 52 (the C. Eminem--even has a two-part song ...more
Jean Ramsay
Jan 21, 2014 Jean Ramsay rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I went into this book thinking I was going to get my fill of 'insane religious behavior' - and though the book did bring to light some super crazy mind frames, it also showed that this isn't something every Christian wants or believes. It was not overly harsh, instead searched for the common ground where this subculture can meet with the secular world. The need to make all Christian follow a set of rules reminded me that Christianity is like any cliche, they have a uniform, there are those who ...more
Kelly Hager
Jun 25, 2010 Kelly Hager rated it liked it
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book (although he got a little unnecessarily snarky at the end, I thought). I was expecting this to be really funny--and parts are--but it's more of a sociological look at Christian pop culture than an AJ Jacobs-style book.

Still, it's definitely worth the read. I got some reading suggestions (Ted Dekker, who I had actually heard of before, of course) and learned more about a lot of things I wasn't really aware of. So if you're in the mood for an intellige
...more
Laura
Feb 11, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
I appreciated the information about modern day Christianity and found many of the writer's experiences quite profound. However, I would have appreciated less of his personal commentary. He came off as quite preachy at times and it bothered me to a point that I started liking him less. With the message he was carrying, I think it's important for him to be farther from judgment so that the reader can create an opinion for him/herself. Otherwise, he marginalizes his consumers. This message is ...more
Laurie
Feb 09, 2009 Laurie rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, non-fiction
I felt like I was eavesdropping on what "non-Christians" think of us Christians and it was fascinating. Having worked in a Christian bookstore and seen some of the ways "evangelicals" try to co-opt popular culture for their own ends, I found Radosh's perspective to be insightful and illuminating. I was surprised at how compassionate he was and think that all Christians should read this book to get a little bit of distance and, hopefully, perspective.
Karen Blanchette
Jun 25, 2015 Karen Blanchette rated it really liked it
This book was absolutely fascinating. Growing up in the South and spending some time around Evangelical Christians, I am not terribly surprised by what he found, but it really made me think about how the economy, Capitalism and American culture intersects with Christianity and religion in general. If you want to start thinking critically about how religious expression is constructed through pop culture. Very good.
Blair
Jun 17, 2009 Blair rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
This book was slow at first, but ultimately became riveting to me. Fascinating, in depth look at the world of evangelical pop culture. There are pop culture phenomenons that I didn't even realize existed. I also watched the movie Jesus Camp around the same time I read this book. The two dovetail nicely.
Ericca Thornhill
Jul 03, 2012 Ericca Thornhill rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
I've been asking myself a lot of questions about pop Christian culture lately, and this book does a great job of exploring that, even giving me some answers I'd thought were "my own ideas." Very interesting perspective on American Evangelicalism. I couldn't put it down.
Child960801
Jan 02, 2014 Child960801 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Fascinating book. I kind of want everyone to read it so we could talk about it. *spoiler alert* there is a chapter about Christian sexuality. Depending who you are it does get a little explicit.
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Daniel Radosh is an American journalist and blogger. Radosh is presently a Staff Writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He was previously a contributing editor at The Week. He writes occasionally for The New Yorker. His writing has also appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, GQ, Mademoiselle, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Might, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Playboy, Radar, Salo ...more
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