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The Unlikely Disciple



Pub. Date:
Grand Central Publishing
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Customer Reviews

The Good Book  May 25, 2011

This is one of the most enjoyable textbooks I have ever read. This textbook is an excellent read for anyone wanting to understand the true passion that drives so many evangelicals to actions that may seem incomprehensible to the outside world. This textbook is a well written, riveting account of Roose's secret stay at Liberty College and I highly recommend it to anyone of any faith.

The Unlikely Disciple: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.


No drinking.

No smoking.

No cursing.

No dancing.

No R-rated movies.

Kevin Roose wasn't used to rules like these. As a sophomore at Brown University, he spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an a cappella group, and fitting right in with Brown's free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But when Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservative Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, obedience is no longer optional.

Liberty is the late Reverend Jerry Falwell's "Bible Boot Camp" for young evangelicals, his training ground for the next generation of America's Religious Right. Liberty's ten thousand undergraduates take courses like Evangelism 101, hear from guest speakers like Sean Hannity and Karl Rove, and follow a forty-six-page code of conduct that regulates every aspect of their social lives. Hoping to connect with his evangelical peers, Roose decides to enroll at Liberty as a new transfer student, leaping across the God Divide and chronicling his adventures in this daring report from the front lines of America's culture war.

His journey takes him from an evangelical hip-hop concert to choir practice at Falwell's legendary Thomas Road Baptist Church. He experiments with prayer, participates in a spring break mission trip to Daytona Beach (where he learns to preach the gospel to partying coeds), and pays a visit to Every Man's Battle, an on-campus support group for chronic masturbators. He meets pastors' kids, closet doubters, Christian rebels, and conducts what would be the last print interview of Rev. Falwell's life.

Hilarious and heartwarming, respectful and thought-provoking, THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE will inspire and entertain believers and nonbelievers alike.

Author Biography

Kevin Roose is a 21-year-old writing wunderkind from small-town Ohio. His mother, an administrator at OberlinCollege, and his father, a full-time lawyer and part-time barbershop quartet singer, raised him in a progressive home filled with left-wing political activism. His family was technically Quaker, which contributed very little to his spiritual growth and meant mostly that he spent his childhood fielding jokes about oatmeal.

As a freshman at BrownUniversity, he began exploring journalism as a possible career path. He wrote his first op-ed columns for the Brown Daily Herald, enrolled in all the writing courses he could find, and spent a summer working as an assistant to A.J. Jacobs, editor-at-large at Esquire and bestselling author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically. While helping A.J. research The Year of Living Biblically, he stumbled upon a group of students from LibertyUniversity, the world's largest evangelical college. That chance meeting inspired THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE, and led to his sophomore-year sojourn to Liberty as a brand-new transfer student.

Despite A.J.'s insistence that entering the world of journalism these days is "like going into Betamax sales," Kevin continued to develop his writing after returning to Brown. He contributed to almost every campus publication, helped train underclassman writers as a Rose Writing Fellow, conducted poetry and fiction workshops for inmates at a medium-security correctional facility in Rhode Island, and was selected for a prestigious Royce Fellowship in recognition of his journalistic success. While completing his coursework and finishing THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE, he contributed to such publications as Esquire, SPIN, and mental_floss, and also resumed his columnist duties at the Brown Daily Herald. Barring an act of God, he will graduate from Brown in 2009 with an English degree.

He lives in a college dorm in Providence, Rhode Island, with three suitemates and a "Pulp Fiction" poster on the wall.

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