Marguerite's Reviews > The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University

The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose
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's review
Jan 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: gotta-have-faith, biography
Read from January 09 to 17, 2011

Great reporting and nuanced writing from a young journalist. Kevin Roose interrupts his education at Brown to spend a semester at Liberty University trying to understand his evangelical counterparts. His openness to new and different experiences (Daytona Beach mission trip, singing in the choir at Thomas Road Baptist Church) helps him to find common ground with many of the Liberty students. He's less successful at understanding the Liberty professors, but he manages to secure an in-depth interview with Jerry Falwell (without blowing his cover) that helps him to appreciate and convey the man's charisma. Roose's approach -- respect, curiosity and honesty (apart from the undercover nature of his research) -- is a good model for living as well as reporting. Breaking bread with the "other," whatever the distinction, is better than yelling across a gulf of unknown proportions.

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