Nathan Meyers's Reviews > Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith

Assimilate or Go Home by D.L. Mayfield
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it

On the one hand, this is an excellent read. DL Mayfield is extremely honest about how her upbringing shaped her vision of what a missionary should be. She chronicles the many ways that spending years ministering to and receiving blessings from refugees challenged and changed this vision. Her stories are a gut-punch for Christians in America who are blind to the incredible amount of privilege we hold and the unseen oppression both this privilege and our attitudes create. The book repeatedly challenged me--a very heady person--to get off the couch and move towards relationships with people on the margins. Knowing Jesus requires not just right thinking, but serving everybody and vulnerably sharing life with those that society rejects.

On the other hand, there are a lot of issues with DL Mayfield's unspoken theology. Through her experiences and spending time in the Bible, Mayfield turns from the fundamental conservatism common among middle class white Americans. However, she fails to present a concrete vision of what she turns to. It is clear she embraces the Franciscan vision that downward mobility is to be embraced. As she ventures down this path, she learns to best be present with her neighbors and friends but admits that teaching them English or wishing different life choices from what their culture prescribes are futile tasks. Her vision of Jesus is very experience-based, and its evolution is very much presented as a way for her to jive the Jesus of the Bible with her experiences. But ultimately she doesn't present a vision for why her neighbors need Jesus or the paths she pursues to show them Jesus. At one point, she seems to admit that her current life philosophy is "deeds, not creeds." And this is ultimately where the book let me down.

In sum, the book is challenging, honest, and fantastic in many ways. She sympathizes strongly with Jesus' love for the marginalized and I am incredibly inspired to do the same. But, in the end, there was a strong dose of Jesus and the gospel he preached that is absent.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Assimilate or Go Home.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

June 26, 2017 – Shelved
June 26, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
July 1, 2017 – Started Reading
July 3, 2017 – Finished Reading

No comments have been added yet.